Category Archives Food
“Stop drinking so much coffee and start drinking more green tea.” I hear this advice almost every time I go to my doctor. We know that Green Tea is highly regarded. It is frequently talked about on health-themed shows such as Dr. Oz and featured in magazines. It is also found in many skin care products, including ours. Why?
1. Green Tea is abundant in polyphenols, making it a potent antioxidant. Skin cells can be protected by Green Tea!
2. Green Tea has more antioxidants benefits than Vitamin C or Vitamin E.
3. Green Tea is anti-inflammatory. It can help soothe red and irritated skin and ease symptoms of many forms of dermatitits. It also can be used to help soothe a sunburn.
4. Green Tea– because it is both antioxidant AND anti-inflammatory– can actually help to make your sunscreen perform better.
5. Green Tea can help keep your skin looking more youthful, thanks to the mix of catechins and polyphenols.
Green Tea and (seed)
Find Green Tea Extract in all of our Body Lotions & Body Creams. Do you like Green Tea? I will be honest. I am not in love with the flavor of hot green tea. Over ice, though, is another story! It is one of my favorite summer drinks. I brew my green tea at night and then remove the tea bags. I chill it in the fridge, adding in lemon and fresh mint leaves from my garden. Delicious and healthy!
I have been thinking about food allergies quite a bit lately, as the little boy next door was recently diagnosed with a milk allergy.
I have shared here before that my own son, Nicholas, was severely allergic to milk and egg whites until he was about four years old, requiring us to carry an EpiPen with us everywhere we went. When I was talking to the mother of the little boy about her son’s allergies, she said she didn’t even think about the ingredients in skin care containing milk products. Many products do, though, and this can pose a problem.
I remember the guilt I felt as a mother once I found out that my son was, indeed, allergic to cow’s milk. In addition to vomiting and hives, Nicholas had eczema. Being a person with an extensive background in skin care, I noticed his eczema right off the bat. I did what I believed to be best at the time. I slathered a natural lotion made with buttermilk all over his skin. And I did it several times a day in an attempt to treat his condition. My pediatrician had suggested a product filled with petrolatum, which I wasn’t fond of applying since it is essentially crude oil. I wanted something natural, something better.
I did this because the natural lactic acid and probiotics in buttermilk can be highly beneficial as a natural eczema remedy…unless, of course you are allergic. In fact, if you were to look up natural ingredients to treat eczema online, buttermilk and other dairy products are some of the most common recommendations.
I vividly remember my Nick’s eczema getting worse and worse. We soon found out from an allergist that Nick’s issue was a milk allergy (egg whites, too). That is when it became so clear to me that what we apply to our skin can have a major impact to what happens INSIDE our bodies. Think of it like this — sometimes your skin reacts to the way you feel on the inside. If you are super anxious or nervous, your skin may rebel and you will break out in hives. Flip it around–if you do something to your skin, it can impact how you feel internally. I know some people debate the claims often heard about 60% of what we apply on our skin gets absorbed into the bloodstream.
I was one of those people who doubted that because there was only anecdotal evidence. My opinion quickly changed after I saw what applying milk ingredients to my milk allergic son’s skin did to him. Once the allergy was diagnosed and I stopped applying milk-based ingredients to his skin (and stopped feeding him dairy), his eczema significantly improved.
I keep hearing about more and more people developing food allergies. I am one of them. For years, I have enjoyed clam bakes each summer. I loved clam chowder, linguini with clam sauce, and clams casino as an appetizer. All of a sudden, at the age of 38, I developed an allergy to clams last summer. It was sudden and no one knows why. It can just happen. I was rinsing clams before I steamed them and my arms started itching. I thought nothing of it and then I steamed them. I put them on my plate and started eating them, only to develop hives and a swollen tongue. I was having an allergic reaction. I thought it was just a strange coincidence, so I attempted to eat clams again. I had another reaction. Adults can develop food allergies, just as children can.
While there are no skin care products that I know of containing clams (how odd that would be!), when you have an allergy to soy, gluten, dairy or anything else that may be in your skin care or beauty products, you may find that applying these products will trigger the same reaction you experience when you eat them.
At (seed), every product with the exception of the hand scrub is dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free. Our hand scrub is dairy-free and gluten-free. Providing you with natural, safe products matters to you and matters to us.
If you have food allergies, pay very close attention to your ingredients. Everything from body wash and shampoo to conditioner and body lotion potentially has ingredients that may be derived from the very food ingredients you are allergic to.
Father’s Day is June 15th. Let’s talk about men and the sun today.
Thinking of my own husband’s habits, he really does not care about ingredients. He will run to the grocery store to buy a gallon of milk and it he sees a giant colorful bottle of shampoo, he will return home with it, provided it was on Shopper’s Club savings at Wegmans AND marked “25% more free.” He is the same way with sun care. While I scour the aisles and study ingredients listings intently, double checking my own knowledge with the Skin Deep mobile app on my phone, he grabs anything that is in a big bottle and says SPF 30.
And he rarely applies said sunscreen. He tans very easily and he really believes that if he gets a tan that his skin is protected from burning. In fact, I believe he rolls his eyes when I discuss UV damage. I can be lighthearted about it and poke fun at him, but truth be told this is an issue I am very concerned about.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, men or more likely to develop skin cancer than any other form of cancer. Men are also less likely to apply sunscreen and avoid the sun than women.
Why is that? Is it that, as women, we are concerned about skin aging caused by the sun more than me? Or is it the lack of sunscreen advertising targeting men? Just looking at the magazines on my coffee table, I see several ads for sunscreen showing cute babies and small children at the beach. I see ads talking about sunscreen being used to prevent wrinkles, but I am not seeing any ads about men using sunscreen.
This is something that needs to change
We have a male friend who hits the indoor tanning bed twice a week. He says he wants to look good on the golf course. At a Memorial Day picnic, I made a comment about skin cancer and he said that, “Hey, no one has ever died of skin cancer.” Statistics prove this to be untrue.
Sun care tips for men
- Avoid peak sun hours of 10am to 4pm
- Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen even on cloudy days
- Be sure sunglasses have UV protective lenses
- Wear a hat
- Make an appointment for a skin checkup. Only 21% of men regularly get skin exams. These are saving lives.
Small steps may lead to big changes
I am not saying to nag your father, husband, brother or sun. If you have natural mineral sunscreen on the shelf, he will be more likely to use it. If you are applying your own sunscreen, offer some to him as well. Getting the man in your life in the habit of wearing sunscreen may be life saving.
Coming next week
What’s next on the (seed) blog? We will clear up common misconceptions about oil and the skin. Stay tuned!
Did you know that there are five miraculous fruits that can significantly improve the overall appearance of your skin? Whether it is skin dryness, dullness, flaking, blotchiness or uneven tone, these common skin complaints can cause the skin to lose some of its beautiful glow. You may notice that your skin’s texture is even on the rough side.
No worries–all you need to do is head to the produce department of your local grocery store or to the nearest farmer’s market and you’ll be able to reclaim that healthy, youthful clarity your skin once had.
When it comes to skin radiance, all you need to remember is that fruit is your friend!
1. Pineapple gives a healthy glow.
Pineapple contains an abundance of bromelain. Bromelain is special enzyme that gently exfoliates the skin. Other skin care benefits of pineapple include improving the appearance of acne scars, neutralizing free radicals, and an increase in both luminosity and hydration. Skin will often look more clear, even fresher.
2. Get rid of dead skin cells with papaya.
Papaya is rich in papain, another skin-benefiting enzyme. Papain contains a large quantity of Vitamin C, which will ultimately give skin a a brighter, healthier look.
Papaya also will help aid the cell renewal and turnover process, which helps the skin slough away dead skin cells.
3. When life gives you lemons…
When you think of lemons, you don’t often think of skin care. Lemons, though, can greatly improve your skin. Not only can this acidic fruit help to lighten brown spots, but lemons can give a natural glow.
A word to the wise — as lemons are high in acid, the juice can sting broken or irritated skin. Ouch! You can help prevent this by diluting the freshly squeezed lemon juice with some water.
4. Berries are powerful brighteners!
Strawberries contain more Vitamin C than a plump, juicy orange. Salicylic acid is also present in strawberries, making it even more beneficial to the skin. Why? Salicylic acid can reach into the pores and help “unclog” them. This can help purge milia, whiteheads and blackheads as well. Strawberries are one of the best natural brightening ingredients for improving the appearance of dull skin.
5. An apple a day keeps dullness away.
Not just any apple will do when it comes to getting your glow back. Green apples are best because they are very rich in Malic acid. Gentler than other acids such as Glycolic and Salicylic acid, Malic acid encourages cell turnover without irritating sensitive skin.
It can also help to gently fade sun spots, even out blotchiness, and help eliminate fine lines. The result? An instant, youthful glow.
Eat your fruits!
Clear and glowing skin are synonymous with being the picture of good health. You can easily get that radiant look by adding the above five fruits to your diet. Not only will the appearance of your skin show a gradual improvement, but your overall health may improve as well.
We speak a great deal about the wonderful benefits of grape seed oil when it comes to skin care. In fact, each and every single one of our products contains grape seed oil because we believe strongly in the benefits.
We know that grape seed oil is very nutrient-rich. In fact, it contains Vitamin E, Phytosterols, Omega 6 Fatty Acids, and is naturally anti-inflammatory. It calms the skin, is a potent antioxidant, and can help give skin a plumper and more youthful appearance.
As you know, grape seed oil comes from the seeds of grapes. I bet there may just be some fun facts you didn’t know about grapes. Let’s take a look!
Today, I would like to discuss the use of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy to treat stress. We spoke about Lavender before and today I would like to discuss this remarkable gift from nature even more.
Everyone from time to time goes through stressful times. We have all been there. Whether it is something temporary–such as worrying about a car repair or an upcoming test, or longer lasting such as an unhappy relationship, financial troubles, etc.–stress affects our bodies on so many levels. Holiday time, while a time of happiness, can also be a stress-inducer.
If I were to ask you what the main symptom of stress is in terms of health, you might say “a headache.” Tension headaches are a very common sign. Other signs, though, is a rapid heart rate, an increase in blood sugar levels, decreased energy, skin troubles ranging from paleness to breakouts, insomnia, and depression.
When I am stressed out, my skin just looks tired. My heart will race. My shoulders will tense up and have knots. I think we’ve all experiences these symptoms before. Then there’s insomnia. If I am stressed, I go to bed and then my mind starts zooming from issue to issue and I cannot relax. Then I worry that I’ll be tired the next day for not sleeping well. It’s quite a cycle. It’s at that time when I experience those symptoms that I realize I really need to get more in touch with my tranquil side once again.
Using Essential Oils can help relieve the symptoms of stress and find our way back to that peaceful and relaxed state. Ideally, you’ll also be using exercise, meditation, and healthy eating to help things along as well.
The most well known oil for relaxation and stress relief is Lavender.
It is, perhaps, the most well known of the Essential Oils.
Lavender, or Lavandula Angustifolia, is commonly grown throughout Europe, particularly in Bulgaria, France, and England. It can be grown here, though. I live in New York and our climate really isn’t the best for growing an abundance of beautiful lavender. That is not to say it cannot be done, though. This fragrant herb is just lovely. It works well on its own or can be used in blends to enchance its effects. I actually have some in my summer garden.
Lavender, though, does much more than smell nice. A scientific research team at Texas A & M University conducted a study to measure a human’s response to odor. Study participants were asleep and given EEG tests. This study was conducted in 1992 and had interesting results. It showed that Lavender Essential Oil essentially lulled the participants to sleep sooner.
Lavender, though, isn’t the only beneficial Essential Oil when it comes to relaxation.
Chamomile is another. Chamomile, or Anthemis Nobilis, is distilled from dried flowers of the chamomile plant. Its usage dates back to ancient Egypt. Chamomile usually is found in England, North America and in most southern parts of Europe. You often hear people saying to have some chamomile tea if you need to relax a bit. Why? This Essential Oil has been shown to calm nervous personalities, anger and irritability, and anxiety. It is very soothing. I’ll talk more about this another week, but just as it calms the mood, it calms even troubled skin.
Lemon Essential Oil is another relaxing oil. This is surprising to many people, as Lemon (Citrus Limonum) can also be energizing. When combined with other Essential Oils, it can be wonderfully stress-relieving. It improves mental clarity and can even “lift” heavy emotions when used in conjunction with oils in a blend. Lemon calm help relieve the symptoms of tension and migraine headaches as well. Lemon Essential Oil originated in India.
Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is said to have originated in India. It also comes from the West Indies, Africa, and China. This warming oil is often used to treat muscle aches and pains and I have personally found it helpful to me when I had knots in my shoulder blades and back and need to relax and de-stress. I have found it to be particularly helpful in a recipe I am going to share with you today down below.
Cedarwood is another beneficial oil, but isn’t talked about as much as the others. Cedarwood, or Cedrus Atlantica, is commonly grown in Morocco, among other countries in the area. While it is woodsy and not something you’d think of as a relaxing oil, it actually is known by aromatherapists as a gentle sedative and can help to calm symptoms of anxiety.
How can you reap the benefits of the Essential Oils I have mentioned?
You can gently and carefully add some of them to a handkerchief and take a small sniff. You can put some in a carrier oil and apply a dab or two to the skin. Personally, I like an aromatherapy spray.
*Today I would like to share a recipe with you. It is a relatively simply do it yourself project with a handful of ingredients. This is a pillow mist and body spray. It’s one I came up with using stress-relieving essential oils combined into a synergistic blend and will provide the great benefits of aromatherapy.
You can spray this right on your linens. I spray it on my pillowcases, sheets, and curtains. I spray it on unscented dryer sheets and even place it underneath my mattress pad. This recipe is gentle, so you can even spritz a bit on (spot test for sensitivity first, please) and enjoy its effects.
One of my favorite relaxation ideas is to spray this on my towels, pop them in the dryer while I am in the tub, and then when I come out I have warm towels and aromatherapy.
Here is the recipe:
2 ounces of distilled water
2 ounces of witch hazel
15 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops ginger essential oil
4-5 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
Combine in a bottle. This makes just over 4 ounces. You can divide it into 1 ounce or 2 ounce bottles with misting spray tops.
*Another favorite means of relaxation: add some lavender sprigs to a small sauce pan of honey and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then pour into airtight canning jars. I actually made a bunch of jars and will give some in Christmas baskets full of handmade goodies. I like Buckwheat honey, but there are so many other lovely varieties. It takes hardly and time and VOILA! — lavender infused honey. It tastes particularly delicious in Chamomile tea. If you recall from above, this herb is great for R & R, too!
*Make sure you’re using your favorite (seed) products infused with lavender as well to help unwind and de-stress. In addition, why not make a little R & R basket for your gift recipients? Body products from (seed) are affordably priced, high quality gifts! Put our lavender products in a gift basket with some herbal tea and maybe a pair of slippers and you’ll have a fabulous gift to give someone who needs some stress reduction!
Enjoy…and be well rested!
You’ve heard the term before: “antioxidant”. From skin care advertisements to healthy living magazines, the term is used often. Most of us, though, aren’t 100% sure about what the hoopla is over.
Antioxidants are found in food and in skin care, but do you know exactly what they do? Let’s learn more about one of the most potent ingredients from nature. This is a two-part post, with today’s being about antioxidants and our skin. Look for a post aout the health benefits of antioxidants in our next post.
Think of the term “antioxidant” as a shield against harmful flying objects. In reality, these “flying objects” are free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that cause tissue damage and aging. These could be things such as cigarette smoke, radiation, UV rays, pesticides, various drugs, smog, and other forms of environmental pollution.
The result of these free radicals? Skin sallowness, skin sagging, lost of firmness, and increase in fine lines.
Picture these harmful things flying at you, swirling around. Antioxidants will help shield you from harm, essentially. Think of them as superheroes! They are special molecules that can help stop those free radicals–they can neutralize their effects. Antioxidants are working hard to protect your skin and shield it from harm. They help to protect vulnerable skin cells.
That is why the use of antioxidants in skin care is so important. Antioxidants aren’t just a buzz word. They really are little superheroes, helping to protect our skin. Antioxidant protection is a key benefit of seedology®.
Would you believe that a tiny little seed is packed full of antioxidant powers? Amazingly, seeds are amazing sources of antioxidants. In fact, the seed-based ingredients we use in our products contain antioxidant benefits. Take a look:
Grape Seeds: this highly sustainable seed (a byproduct of the winemaking process) is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin E, a known nutrient to help diminish the signs of aging. Grape seed oil is rich in lineoleic essential fatty acids and phtyosterols. And, it feels great — wonderfully light, it absorbs quickly, and offers moisturization.
Sunflower Seeds: Rich in sesamol, an antioxidant for minimizing sun damage, it is also rich in oleic essential fatty acid and phytosterols, which plumps the skin, and makes it look healthy.
Jojoba Seeds: A long chain fatty acid, which is close to human oils, jojoba seed oil is actually a wax ester that creates a moisture barrier on the skin, protecting your soft, healthy hands from frequent hand washing.
Pomegranate, Apricot, and Strawberry Seeds: Natural seed exfoliants that slough off dry, dead skin, these refined seeds work to revive your skin while using our gently exfoliating body soap.
Acai, Passion Flower, and Rice Bran Seeds: a proprietary mix of these seed nutrients offer our shampoo bar the ability to rinse your hair clean.
Nature provides us with so many potent ingredients. Antioxidants are a true gift from nature and you can feel confident knowing that (seed) products provide your skin with these amazingly protective benefits.
I have been familiar with what it means to be gluten-free for quite some time now. Many years ago, before the condition was well known, my Aunt Joan was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease. Her symptoms were severe and truly impacted her quality of life.
Once she knew what the culprit was–gluten–she was able to get her health back on track. And I will be the first to admit that the only time I really gave a thought to “Gluten Free” was when Aunt Joan was in town and I was making a dish to pass.
Over the years, though, paying close attention to food ingredients in skincare has been something I have really had my finger on. I told you a few months back about my own son’s milk allergy. Thankfully, he did outgrow it. Now, though, I have been experiencing some issues of my own when it comes to food and food ingredients.
For instance, I had quite a reaction to clams a few weeks back. My whole body broke out in hives. I itched from head to toe. My tongue even swelled. My doctor told me to avoid clams, mussels, and similar forms of shellfish for good. It took Benadryl and a steroid to give me relief.
I also have been very sensitive to wheat. I have not experienced a true allergic reaction to wheat the way I did to clams, but whenever I consume products with wheat and other grains (such as rye), I feel poorly–bloating, brain “fog”, regular headaches, etc. In March, I eliminated gluten from my diet and the difference has really been amazing. I haven’t had a single headache, I have lost weight, my skin has been radiant, and I don’t feel exhausted. No more tummy aches, bloating, or flustered feeling either! My doctor said that I am gluten-sensitive and she is right. I have seen the amazing difference in how I feel since eliminating Gluten.
Since I have long been a believer in what you put ON your skin gets into your bloodstream, I decided that I would go gluten free with my skincare routine as well. They say that 60% of the personal care products you apply are absorbed into your bloodstream and I believe it. Think about it– if you are applying a lipstick or a lip balm and you should avoid gluten, you will inadvertently be tasting that gluten while the product is on your lips.
We are so happy that we can offer you effective, 100% natural body care products free of gluten.
What are people saying about our products?
Now that I have gone completely gluten free, I am always looking for advice on your favorite makeup items and other products (like toothpaste) that are free of gluten. Red Apple Lipstick makes some nice gluten-free lip products. Do you have a favorite? Let me know!
SHop the (seed) Market for our complete line of gluten free body care products today: Click to shop.
Hello friends. With this week full of tragedy, I thought I would share a “comfort food” recipe with you.
I LOVE chocolate pudding. I love, love, love it.
Most chocolate puddings use dairy milk. If you are vegan, try this recipe for a yummy chocolate chia pudding.
Chia seed is actually VERY healthy for you. It is very high in fiber and has a very large amount of Omega-3
First off, I went to Wegmans and bought myself a package of Bob’s Red Mill Chia Seed. If you’re local, I found them in the Nature’s Marketplace section at our local store for $6.99.
I also found a recipe on another food blog called Food Doodles. The simple and healthy recipe I am going to share below is originally from Love Veggies and Yoga. I tweaked it a bit for my own taste buds. Here is what I did:
2 T. chia seeds
1/2 cup Almond Breeze UNSWEETENED Chocolate Almond Milk
2 packets of Stevia in the Raw Zero Calorie All Natural Sweetener (I get a weird aftertaste from liquid Stevia and avoid it. I do not have this issue with Stevia in the Raw.)
1 T. Dutch process cocoa
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
You combine all these together and let sit out for about 20 minutes. Then you whisk it up or even put it in the blended (my pick), leave it out and repeat the 20 minute wait. Put in the fridge for a few hours and it will thicken up. You can also freeze for a yummy treat on a hot day.
Here is my pudding before it has had time to set. It will thicken up–don’t worry!
Top with fresh berries and Voila!
Calories: Cocoa powder (12), Stevia (0), Vanilla Extract (6), chia seed (140), almond milk (22.5)
TOTAL CALORIES: 180.5 for the entire dessert, which is divided into 2 portions of 90 calories each.
We’ve spoken of our love for lavender before here on the (seed) blog–and with good reason. There are so many benefits of lavender, such as promoting a sense of relaxtion and calm.
At (seed), we really respect the benefits that lavender possesses. That is why we incorporate it into so many of our natural body care products. We use lavender oil in the (seed) Body Oil Relaxing Blend because of its stress-relieving properties. In our Relaxing Blend Body Lotion, lavender is combined with sage. Sage is shown to help clear the mind and lavender is known for its soothing of the senses. We also use lavender in our Relaxing Lavender Hand Cream, which I love because midway through the day I can get that burst of aromatherapy while I am softening my hands. It’s a great pick me up! You’ll also find lavender oil in our Relaxing Lavender Body Cream.
Our body cream is thick and rich without being greasy and it absorbs into your skin without feeling heavy. Your skin will feel pampered, soothed & nourished day after day. With grape seed oil and shea butter, our Relaxing Lavender Body Cream is just what your elbows, knees, and other areas in need of extra moisture.
We want you to experience the aromatherapy benefits of lavender and the benefits of seedology® in our body cream, so we have a fabulous lavender collection to tell you about” our Loving Lavender Variety Pack.
This collection includes three full sized items for just $26. Here is what is included:
- One (1) Body Cream Lavender 8 oz.
- One (1) Body Lotion Lavender Sage 8 oz.
- One (1) Healthy Hand Cream – Lavender 3.5 oz
Lavender is truly special! I’d like to share some of my other lavender favorites with you today.
I love a good book, and this book by Jeannie Ralston is wonderful. It is called The Unlikely Lavender Queen:
This chocolate bar is interesting, yet delicious! It is the Dagoba Organic Chocolate Lavender Blueberry Bar. I buy mine at Wegmans.
Lavender Mint Sparkling Water from Ayala’s is also a refreshing zero calorie drink!
Do you have lavender favorites? Share them with us!