Monday, November 29, 2010


Raisins, a great option from when you're craving a sweet healthy snack! Raisins are a high energy food, which provides natural sugars, potassium and the fiber necessary to keep our digestive system healthy. I was amazed to find out that just a 1/4 cup of raisin is equal to 1 full fruit serving which can be part of a healthy diet. Raisins are great for when you need a boost in a workout or sport, the high sugar levels give a natural boost, and you won't crash because its all natural. The Potassium in raisins can help reduce the risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, and help prevent some types of kidney disease. Also, adding about 3 ounces(about a handful) of raisins daily can help prevent constipation.( The only thing that we need to keep in mind is, that because of the high sugar levels, although natural, can cause weight gain for someone who doesn't have an active lifestyle. Therefore, eat in moderation.... Random thought- Every time I eat raisins I think of that singing raisin commercial with the "Heard it through the grapevine" song..lol

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dark Chocolate

Why is Dark Chocolate Healthy?
Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.
Heart Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:

Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.

Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. These other two chocolates cannot make any health claims. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content.
So when you're having a sweet tooth, go for a piece of dark chocolate, you'll be indulging without feeling guilty!!!
.Keep in mind, This doesn't mean "I can stuff my face with dark chocolate because its good for me."This means its a healthier choice than milk chocolate to satisfy those sweet cravings we all have from time to time.My personal choice is eitheir the hershey specially dark, or the willy wonka dark chocolate bar (=

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yummy Juice

So.... I hear about people Juicing, but it sounds so hard to keep up. I decided to make at least 1 healthy juice which I always have in my refrigerator, where at least once a day i can have at least 1 cup. I decided to make a juice which is very popular in Brazil, and also very healthy. The ingredients may sound yucky, but the end result is very yummy.

3 full leaves of raw collard green
3 cups of orange (I use the Tropicana)
2 lemons or powered lemonade
3 spoons of flax seed.

Tip: You can add some crushed mint for extra flavor.

I make enough to fill my glass juice pitcher and I keep in the refrigerator. Once I am almost halfway done, I make more, to make sure I always have it available. I love drinking this after a run.

Mix it all in the blender until collard green and flax seed are completely dissolved.

Here's the health benefits of these yummy ingredients

Collard greens are packed with nutrition. As other vegetables in the cabbage family,
collard greens provide anticancer properties. They offer an excellent source of
vitamins B6 and C, carotenes, chlorophyll, and manganese. One cup of collard greens
provides more than 70 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Collard greens are also a
very good source of fiber, and several minerals, including iron, copper, and calcium.
They also offer a good source of vitamins B1, B2, and E.

An orange packs over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong anti-oxidant effects.The combination of the high amount of anti-oxidant (vitamin C) and flavonoids in oranges makes it one of the best fruits in helping to promote optimal health.

Lemon is a rich source of vitamins A, B and C, citric acid, amino acids, phosphorous, copper, magnesium, potassium, sugar and calcium. And it is also very good for your liver and it also improves bowel movement and reduces wrinkling. Slow bowel movement is dangerous to your body and retains toxins. But lemon is powerful enough to remove all that. Lemon is also great for dental and skin care.

Flaxseed, read earlier blog post.

Sources:Murray , Michael N.D.. The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods,New York: Atria Books, 2005,Centers For Disease Control And Prevention-5 A Day,
National Agricultural Library-USDA. usda.gov.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Its time for your "ME" commitment!

So last night I tried a home made honey facial for the first time. I read once that we shouldn't put anything in our skin that we can't eat, considering our skin is the largest organ in our bodies. I thought about this, and decided to start a whole system of homemade weekly facials, and I am hoping to stick to this new regiment. I made myself a little schedule of simple fast and effective facials four times a week. Here's the schedule I came up with...
Gigi’s Facial Treatment

Tuesday=Milk mask

Thursday=Honey, brown sugar and lemon mask

Saturday=Milk, egg and oatmeal mask

Sunday=Honey, Olive oil and egg yoke mask.

Daily leite de Rosa(Rose Milk) and facial cream with SPF 15

I've tried previously all of the above facials with the exception of the honey, which I have to admit I was very pleased with the result. I want to share with you the recipes for these masks, they are very easy and affordable.(=

Milk mask= Place the brown sugar in a small bowl. Brown sugar is made with some of the world's finest oils and is used in many skin care products. It not only tastes and smells great, but it moisturizes and rejuvenates skin while gently exfoliating and removing dead skin cells..Add 3 tbsp. of 2% milk. The lactic acid in milk soothes and softens dry, itchy skin. Milk will help moisturize, while at the same time tightening wrinkles and refining pores.Wash your face gently with warm water and pat dry. Apply the milk face mask to your face and neck, massaging gently for a few minutes, and wash with lukewarm water.

Honey,brown sugar and lemon mask= All you need here is a spoon of honey, a couple drops of lemon and half a spoon of brown sugar.Honey is a humectant, which draws moisture from the air to your skin and brown sugar is a terrific exfoliating agent that removes those dead skin cells that make your skin look and feel dry and flaky. The lemon work as a astringent, cleaning out your pores. Together these three ingredients make a winning team. There's no easier way to pamper your self and feel invigorating.

Milk, egg and oatmeal mask= 2 spoons of milk, 1 egg yolk and half a spoon of oatmeal. This mask is one of my favorites. My skin looks so smooth once I wash it away. Feels like I've been in a spa all day.

Honey, olive oil and egg yoke mask= Here you add just a drop of olive oil, a spoon of honey and 1 egg yoke. Mix it until its a creamy mixture and apply it to you face. Take advantage that its Sunday and cut 2 slices of cucumbers, lay down and place it on your eyes. Its your time!

You might be thinking this is way too time consuming, but actually its not that bad. I take about 20 minutes to do all this. You can whip up these masks in less than 5minutes place it on your face and do what you have to do around the house. I sometimes do leave it on while I am cooking, then wash it off to have dinner. Everything successful in life, whether its for you mind, body or soul requires discipline in order to be successful. These ingredients also will last you a long time, and some of these you always have laying around the house. So if the excuse was, " I don't have money to buy good creams!" You're out of excuses! Milk is about $2.49 a gallon, eggs $2.99, lemons 5 for $3.00, oatmeal $2.49, honey $2.99 and olive oil $5.99. These items are useful obviously for consumption and now for your skin health. See, you'll be killing two birds with one stone. No one can make you feel good about yourself, expect yourself! So go, make the commitment to have a little "ME" time for four days a week, and you'll see that while radiating your skin you will also be relaxing, and building a better you! I will keep you updated on my weekly homemade facial treatment..(=

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I really want to motivate my friends to find some type of exercise that they enjoy. Exercise is so important for our overall health. Most of us sit all day, either at work, in our cars or at home. Our bodies need to have some type of movement in order to function properly for as long as it can. It doesn't have to be something intense, even if its just 20 minutes per day, but something that will get your blood pumping, your heart rate up, and most important that will keep you healthy. My personal experience has been with running! I always wanted to run but never thought I would be that person. A friend of mine Andrea, prepared a running calendar for beginners so that I could follow and eventually find myself running 5k three times a week. Keep in mind, I never ran in my life, so if I can do it so can you! Here's the schedule I followed when I first started my running routine. ( I was training for my first 5k)

Week1(4 days per week)

-Walk for 4 minutes, run for 1 minute walk for 2 minutes repeat 4x

Week 2 (4 days per week)

-Walk 3 minutes, run for 4 minutes walk for 2 minutes repeat 4x

Week 3 (4 days per week)

-Walk 1 minute, run for 6 minutes walk for 2 minutes repeat 3x

Week 4 (4 days per week)

-Walk 1 minute, run for 10 minutes walk for 2 minutes repeat 3x

Week 5 (4 days per week)

-Walk 1 minute, run for 15 minutes walk for 2 minutes repeat 2x

Week 6 (4 days per week)

-Walk 1 minute run for 20 minutes, walk for 1 minute repeat 2x

Week 7 (4 days per week)

-Walk 1 minute run for 30 minutes, walk 1 minute

Week 8 (4 days per week)

-Walk 1 minute run for 35 minutes

Every week add 5 minutes to your run, a 5k takes an average of 35 minutes to run...Personally the first 2 weeks were the hardest to adapt, after that I didn't even realize the time pass. Your body will adapt, and running becomes like walking to you. The feeling you get after a run its amazing!Don't STOP AT THE 5K, i challenged myself to run 10k recently, and i couldn't believe I did it! My next challenge is half a marathon, then a full marathon. Push yourself, you'll be surprised at what you're capable of doing! It's been scientifically proven that exercise releases hormones to our bodies that fight depression, so allot of times when you have that weight on your shoulder, that feeling of not wanting to do anything but be in bed, it could be lack of exercises. Maybe running doesn't appeal to you, so look for something that will motivate you. Maybe going for walks everyday, or swimming, dancing, anything, that will get your moving and get you feeling great!!!! JUST DO IT!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The wonders of Flax Seed

Like 65% of women in the united states I've always had a problem with constipation. It is seriously the worst feeling in the world. When something that should happen naturally in our bodies goes wrong, it feels like it screws up our whole system. I've always tried to find something that would work for me. I tried Activia, which worked, but not consistant. I also tried herbal life, which was amazing, but not realistic, no one drinks 2 shakes a day forever. I've always heard about the wonders of flax seed, that not only its great for the heart and cholesterol but also for the digestive system. I was eager to try this considering its all natural and super affordable. It may be tiny, but it’s mighty: The flax seed carries one of the biggest nutrient payloads on the planet. And while it’s not technically a grain, it has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains, while the amount of fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids in flax leaves grains in the dust. Additionally, flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. And its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance -- many dieters have found that flax seed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied.Flax seed is high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese, but this little seed is just getting started. There are three additional nutrient groups which flax seed has in abundance, and each has many benefits. The combination of fiber and magnesium were the ideal potion I needed to solve my problem in a healthy way. The amazing thing is that in the process I would be benefiting my health in ways I couldn't even imagine.So, i wanted to try this, but not in the form of a pill, because they make me skeptical. They sell it in the form of a oil, but it seemed hard for me to swallow. So i went for the all natural route. I bought a bad of flax seed at Path mark in the natural food section for only $1.99. Yes natural, cheap and effective. I use a bag per month, and I am amazed with the results. I either sprinkle some over my food, or, yogurt, put a hand full in smoothies, or just chew on a few. They taste like tiny sunflower seeds. This natural high fiber seed has completely solved my constipation problem, as well as making me feel more energized. I highly recommend flax seed to anyone who's looking to improve not only their digestive health, but maintain good cholesterol, increase antioxidant intake, and stock up on vitamin B. (-=

Friday, November 5, 2010


Who doesn't want a white smile? It's always been so important to me to take care of my teeth, but no matter how much we brush our teeth that yellowish tint never seems to go away. I tried different toothpastes that promised whitening and no of them did the job marketed in commercials and ads. One day I saw the commercial for the Crest 3D tooth paste that promised to show results within 14 days, so I decided to give it a try. To my surprise I actually saw results, off course my teeth didn't turn into Hollywood million dollar fake veneers smile, but I did see a difference in the shade! It looked cleaner, it felt cleaner and fresh. I highly recommend this product for anyone looking for a affordable teeth makeover. They also offer the strips which seem to give better results. For about $4.00 you can buy at any supermarket or pharmacy and try it out, hope it works for you like it did for me! ( I also floss regularly at least once a day.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I am turning 26 in a couple of months and started that it's about time I start to take care of my skin. I've never been very zealous when it comes to things like this, I always wanted to be that girl that has flawless skin and silky hair, but anytime I started a beautifying regiment, I would stop after the first week. I am on a new quest to find inexpensive things that i could stick with and that offer me great results. My first experience has been with a popular old Brazilian product called "Leite de Rosas" in English, Rose milk. This product was created in 1929 as a solution for perfume for women who couldn't afford the expensive exclusive colognes. Later on it was discovered that its also a great skin cleanser. Women in Brazil use this to remove makeup and dirt build up in their pores. I was amazed at how well this product works. I had finished showering and exfoliating one day and decided to use this product on what I thought was my clean face. I was shocked at how the cotton changed from white to dark within a few brushes. I've been using this product daily and have found a significant change in the appearance of my skin. I highly recommend this to be used as a make up remover, and facial cleanser. You can find this product for just $2.50 a bottle at any store that sells Brazilian products. So, this old school product proved itself to be very efficient. (=