My Occasional Sleeping Buddy…Melatonin

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Good afternoon readers! Thought I’d share with you something I’ve been using for a while now. It’s called Melatonin, and it’s helped me get to bed early. A bonus if you have to get up real early for work! The only negative thing about taking melatonin capsules is that if you take them too late, you MAY wake up a bit groggy in the morning.

I think we sometimes take sleep for granted. We’re bombarded with lots of negative factors in our lives – some on a daily basis. How many of you struggle with stress, worrying, drinking too much coffee, not sleeping in a pitch black bedroom, and not eating a predominantly raw diet? All of those contribute in making you NOT get proper sleep.

WHAT IS MELATONIN?

It’s an important hormone that’s stored in your pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin helps maintain your body’s circadian rhythm – basically it tells you when you should fall asleep and when you should wake up.

When it’s real dark, your body produces more melatonin. That’s why it’s important to sleep in a dark bedroom. If you  can see your hand before bed, your room isn’t dark enough.  You’ll have to invest in some darker curtains and/or get a sleeping eye patch.

Melatonin levels drop when you get older. That’s why your grandparents never sleep in.  It’s not that they don’t like sleeping or that they just want to get a head start in the day – it’s because they simply don’t produce enough melatonin!

WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT MELATONIN?

Trust me, you should care about this hormone. Low melatonin levels means you’re at a much greater risk for getting cancer.  Melatonin kicks cancer’s butt. Studies have shown that melatonin is one of the best anti-cancer treatments known to man.  It kills cancer cells!  It’s crazy that the medical establishment and the media aren’t regularly pushing melatonin as a cancer treatment.

MELATONIN DEFICIENCY BRINGS: 

  • Insomnia
  • Depression and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Diseases
  • Accelerated Aging
  • Increased Cancer Risk
  • Decreased free radical deaths
  • Risk of osteoporosis

HOW DO I GET BETTER SLEEP?

  1. Sleep in a pitch black bedroom. Oh, and never turn on the light if you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  2. Expose yourself to lots of bright sunlight in the daytime.
  3. Exercise, so you can optimize your sleep.
  4. Take melatonin tablets, BUT only if you suffer from sleeping issues.
  5. Get more Tryptophan – this amino acid makes melatonin, so eat more  spinach, spirulina, mangoes, bananas, dried dates, oats, turkey, chicken, eggs, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and fish. Organic please.
  6. Disconnect your computer, switch off your mobile phone, & avoid having cables running all over your room. Make sure your bedroom is free of electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). EMFs disrupt your pineal gland’s production of melatonin.
  7. Don’t drink fluids within 2 hours of going to bed.
  8. Don’t watch TV before bed. Rather pick up a book.
  9. Try and stay away from processed foods. Aim to eat at least 80% raw a day to be really healthy. 🙂
  10. Avoid caffeine.
  11. Avoid alcohol.
  12. And… Avoid foods that make you gassy and bloated. For example, dairy and raw broccoli.

Jojoba Oil Fights Wrinkles

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A jojoba plant in all of its glory.

I absolutely love jojoba oil for my skin.  It’s the ONLY oil similar to human sebum, so it’s perfect for your skin!

WHAT IS JOJOBA?

Jojoba’s pronounced as “ho-H0-bah.” Don’t let them catch you saying, “Joe-joe-bah.” Jojoba originates from California and hails from the Simmondsia chinensis family. You may remember seeing that name in your skin care products, e.g. moisturisers and cleansers.

This wild shrub dwells in the deserts of Arizona, California and Mexico. Due to its popularity, many other countries are now growing jojoba, e.g. Argentina, Australia, Israel, and Peru.

The seeds below hold this anti-ageing ester. Best of all, it doesn’t go bad quickly like almond oil and coconut oil – that’s because it doesn’t contain triglycerides. Jojoba oil has so many benefits! Soon you’ll see why I can’t get enough of it.

jojoba oil vivien veil

 

“I CAN USE JOJOBA OIL…”

  • “For my lips!” – I like putting this on my lips because it’s non-comedogenic, in other words, it won’t clog your pores. It’s so natural and doesn’t contain nasty ingredients. Just put a few drops on your finger and apply it onto your lips.
  • “It’s a great makeup remover!” – It won’t aggravate your skin or eyes. I like removing my eye makeup with jojoba because there’s no toxic chemicals, and best of all, it’s a great anti-wrinkle eye oil.
  • “My skin feels silky smooth!” – Add a few drops of this anti-ageing oil to any facial moisturiser and see how quickly it eliminates dryness and flakiness.  Your skin will look well-nourished and really supple. It’ll look like you’ve been drinking litres and litres of water! I like massaging it all over my face, neck and décolletage after a warm shower
  • “It makes my hair grow!” – Massaging jojoba oil onto your scalp promotes new hair cell growth. It also gives your hair follicles a deep cleanse by removing excess sebum. Remember too much sebum on your scalp clogs hair follicles. That means you’ll lose hair! *gasp* Jojoba penetrates the hair shaft – making it stronger, shinier, thicker and healthier. Use this oil and you’ll have healthier hair growth.
  • “Great for shavers!” – Men, listen up! Put some jojoba oil on your beard and mustache area before you apply your shaving cream, and you’ll have a much better shave. Who likes razor burns anyway!? Your skin will be soft!
  • “Get someone to give you a massage!” – Jojoba oil is the ultimate massage oil! It won’t make you break out like other pore clogging oils, and will put you into relax mode.
  • “Put it on your cuticles!” – Tired of looking at your dried cuticles? Then say goodbye to them with jojoba oil. Just a few drops all over your nails will zap the dryness away.
  • “It’s my bedtime beauty secret!” – I rub jojoba oil on my face and neck before bed. I don’t add it with my night cream, but you can if you want. I like to let my face breathe more at night, so I find the oil on its own works best. And don’t worry, you won’t break out! Many top of the range cosmetic companies add jojoba oil in their products. Why? Because they know it’s one of the best skin ingredients in the world.

Jojoba Oil Benefits

  • 24/7 Moisture – Some popular water based moisturisers leave your skin begging for more moisturiser, but not jojoba oil. This baby provides moisture all day long. Your skin will thank thee!
  • Doesn’t Rot – Jojoba oil won’t lose any of its powerful antioxidants and benefits after keeping it on the shelf for a long time. Yes, jojoba oil doesn’t come cheap, but a bonus is it’s got a long shelf life!
  • Mimics Skin Oil – It balances oil production by fooling your skin into thinking it has made plenty of oil. Remember, a few drops go a long way. If you don’t want to look too shiny, don’t use too much oil. 🙂
  • Reduces Lines & Wrinkles – Jojoba oil rejuvenates your skin and promotes new cell growth. Your skin rapidly absorbs the oil making it soft and youthful. It restores skin suppleness and promotes skin elasticity.  Jojoba oil makes a great under-eye treatment.
  • Acne – Believe it or not, jojoba oil can help your acne. Many of you may think, “How can putting oil on oily skin help combat acne?” Other oils may make your acne worse, but not jojoba oil. Jojoba oil dissolves your pore clogging sebum – ultimately unblocking your pores. It’ll balance and regulate your sebum production. It’ll also help fade scars and nourish your skin. Remember jojoba oil alone won’t get rid of your acne, but it will help tremendously. You’ll have to change your diet to totally erase acne.
  • Stretch Marks and Acne Scars – Jojoba oil’s ability to restore a natural pH balance in the skin, moisturise, and protect make it an effective treatment of scars and other skin ailments like eczema and arthritis.

Let me know what you think about jojoba oil. Has it improved your skin?

 

Bananas to the Rescue

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Banans to the Rescue by Vivien Veil

Bananas bring me a lot of joy in the afternoon and the evening, but NEVER in the morning — unless of course, I want to take a morning nap.  🙂  You see, the banana aids in getting you to relax because it contains melatonin, serotonin and magnesium. So, next time someone tells you to grab a banana for energy – tell them to take a hike.   🙂  Whoever came up with that theory needs to take Nutrition 101.

I can eat 6-10 at a go.  “Woah, that’s a lot, Vivien!” Yes, it’s a lot, but easy when you put them in a blender. My pals can easily devour whole pizzas in one sitting, yet find it hard to believe that I can eat up to 10 bananas in a single meal.

“But Vivien, I don’t want to gain weight. Bananas are high in calories. *grabs Diet Coke and potato chips*

Look in the mirror and repeat after me, “Bananas are not fattening.”  If I had a pound or dollar for the many times I’ve heard someone tell me that. I eat tons of bananas every day and still weigh the same. Your body will digest the ripe banana completely unlike a bag of chips. Low carb dieters need to wake up and smell the great genus Musa family.

Notice I said ripe banana? You should aim to eat only ripe bananas. Perhaps someone taught you to refuse them.  Well, you must embrace them because they’re so delicious and good for you.

*gives ripe banana*

Here’s what I usually eat for a quick meal: 

  • 6-10 RIPE bananas (depending on my hunger)
  • Ice cubes
  • A little bit of Coconut Water or plain water (sometimes I use rice milk) 🙂
  • Optional: Hemp Seeds
Sometimes I chop ripe bananas into cubes, put them into baggies and then place them in the freezer. That way you don’t have to buy ice.  🙂 You can also freeze the ripe bananas and make popsicles or ice lollies. Great snacks for kids and teething babies!

“Okay, why ripe bananas?”

Green bananas contain indigestible starches and less easily digested sugar – meaning you’re going to be one bloated cat if you eat them. If not, you’re one of the lucky few. You see, us humans lack the enzyme to digest unripe bananas properly.  Take this advice to heart.  Your stomach and brain will thank you if you eat ripe fruit – trust me.

“I’ve got some green bananas now. Tell me there’s a way to ripen them fast!”

Yes! Place them in a brown bag with an apple and it’ll accelerate the ripening process.

“I’ll only eat bananas if they’ll make me younger looking and beautiful.”

Well, you’re in luck my vain friend.  Check out the benefits of eating bananas below.

Benefits of Loving Bananas:

  • Anti-aging properties here we come! Bananas carry vitamins A, B6, C, E, F, iodine, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. These gems will keep your skin looking young.
  • Your heart loves bananas. The potassium keeps your heart in tip top shape.
  • Marvelous for your kidneys and bones. Thanks again to potassium! 🙂 The potassium restrains calcium excretion in your urine – minimizing the risk of nasty kidney stones. Say goodbye to osteoporosis! Mr Banana keeps you from losing calcium from you body.
  • Bananas can kick depression and the blues to the curb. Tryptophan to the rescue! Tryptophan produces serotonin in your body, which will calm your brain and make you relaxed – oh, and sleepy.
  • Calling all insomniacs! Try introducing bananas and see if it helps you get some shuteye.
  • They’ll help keep you regular. Your colon will love you because of the fiber.
  • Suffering from gout? Arthritis? Don’t fret my pet! Mr Banana is here to help. Bananas contain B6, folate and vitamin C – all enemies of gout and arthritis.
  • Bananas make an awesome hair conditioner because of its wonderful effects on the scalp. The effects must be greater if you eat them!
  • Too much whiskey Saturday night? Don’t worry! Put that coffee down and grab a banana. It’ll raise your blood sugar levels and re-hydrate your body.
  • Low iron levels? Anemia? Bananas can activate the production of hemoglobin in your blood.
  • Ulcers? Bananas neutralise acidity and lessens irritation by coating the lining of your stomach.
  • Too stressed out? Potassium sends oxygen to the brain and normalises your heartbeat. It won’t take your problems away, but it’ll make them more tolerable. 🙂
  • Are you a smoker? Bananas help cigarette addicts give up smoking. The B6, B12, magnesium and potassium assist in getting rid of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
  • Bananas contain prebiotics, which help stimulate the growth and activity of pre-existing good bacteria in your digestive system.  Your gut wins!
  • Prevents strokes and hypertension
  • Relieves heartburn
  • Ripe bananas can help prevent cancer
The benefits are endless! Take a moment and say thank you to the natives of Papua New Guinea for bringing you such an exceptional fruit!
*Drinks banana smoothie*
V x
Top 10 banana producing nations
(in million metric tons)
 India* 26.2
 Philippines 9.0
 China 8.2
 Ecuador 7.6
 Brazil 7.2
 Indonesia 6.3
 Mexico* 2.2
 Costa Rica 2.1
 Colombia 2.0
 Thailand 1.5
World total 95.6
Source: 2009 data, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations[3]
* Countries use 2008 FAO data