Wellness

If you know me you know I love to do my research – this means really digging, understanding biases, agendas, you know the drill. 

WAY back in 2009 I wrote a blog post about sunscreen. That is when I learned that not all sunscreens are created equal and wrote about the benefits of using a physical sunscreen vs. a chemical sunscreen. But now, I’ve learned that there is a lot more to the picture and a lot more to consider even buying physical sunscreens, because some are still filled with toxic chemicals. 

Almost every health and/or women’s magazine will advise you to wear daily sunscreen in an effort to protect us from skin damage and skin cancer. Until a few months ago, I followed this advice. Once I learned about the toxic chemicals in most sunscreens and humans’ need for unprotected sun every day, I now only wear sunblock (and yeah, there is a difference between sunscreen and sunblock) when I will be out in the sun in the middle of the day for an extended period of time. 

Ok, now back to sunscreen vs. sunblock. The difference is simply that a sunSCREEN will screen out the sun with chemicals. Chemical UV filters penetrate the skin, enter the bloodstream, and can wreak havoc on our bodies. 500 of the most popular sunscreens actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer. {via} SCARY SHIT, right?! {via} SunBLOCK is a physical block, such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. You will need to work a little harder to blend sunblock into your skin, but it’s SO WORTH IT. 

Not only is sunscreen (the ones with toxic ingredients)  mostly just not great for you, but we actually need to be able to produce Vitman D naturally for optimal health. {via}

So what’s a girl to do? How can we protect ourselves from sun damage?

  1. Eat a nutrient-dense diet and avoid polyunsaturated fats which will help your body protect itself from disease. {via}
  2. Dress well – A hat and longer sleeves protect the body without any chemicals.
  3. Use a natural, non-toxic sunblock when you will be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. My favorite is Juice Beauty’s Sport Sunscreen. The only ingredient is Zinc and it blends into my skin really well. No breakouts, either. I apply it anywhere and everywhere that I need it. 
  4. Use coconut oil as a backup – I just learned that coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4, and I’ve put it on my arms for early morning hikes and no burns here. 

Since most of us are working from home right now, I feel like we should make it a mission to get outside for at least 30 minutes each day and get that Vitamin D! Being in the sun also just puts me in a good mood.

Off to do some sunning…

xx, Lynn

I started following Brittany on Instagram a long time ago and was instantly drawn to her because she offers such tangible tricks and tips to live your best life – something I stand for and you know that if you’ve been following along here. Brittany is Nutritionist, biohacker, and podcaster. She helps her clients optimize their hormones, gut, and skin.

So I was very excited that she agreed to come on the All Gussied Up podcast to discuss it all from skin to the benefits of sunning to cold baths for your face and body.

In the episode, you’ll learn how she got into nutrition and biohacking, what the top biohacks are for optimal health, and she recommends a sunscreen that is a new favorite of mine.

With that, I invite you to listen to our conversation HERE.

♡♡♡

Wow wow wow…LIGHT is such a huge topic…especially for me recently. It all started when I listened to Matt Blackburn’s podcast episode about the changes he would make if he had cancer (edit to read: HOW TO NOT GET CANCER) <– but we know of the censorship that goes on. Zipping my lips on that now.

Anyway, in Matt’s podcast episode he spent quite awhile discussing light and how it affects our cells, our eyesight, and our circadian rhythm. Much of the information I had no idea about, such as how bad most LED lights are for humans (and animals, too), and how red light can benefit everyone. I will be writing a whole blog post on light another time, but today we are focusing in on red light.

So let’s break it down and get into specifics.

What is red light therapy?

Red light therapy is also known as RLT, photobiomodulation (PBM), low level light therapy (LLLT), biostimulation, and photonic stimulation or light box therapy.

Red light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to accomplish various outcomes.

Studies have shown that different wavelengths affect the body in different ways, and the most effective wavelengths of red light seem to be between 650-850 nm.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

These specific wavelengths of red light create a biochemical affect in our cells that serves to increase mitochondrial function. This improves ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production in the body.

Why should that matter?

ATP is the source of energy for every cell in the body. Without it, we don’t function at all. Without enough of it, we don’t function well.

When your red light(s’s wavelengths range is between 650-850, the light penetrates about 8-10 millimeters into the skin which can positively affect all skin layers, blood vessels, lymphs, and hair follicles. {via}

The History of red light therapy

Red light therapy is not new, but it wasn’t really talked about in the US for a long time. In 1903, a Nobel Prize of Medicine was given to a scientist by the name of Niels Finsen for the use of light therapy; once known as photo therapy. Research progressed and by the 1960s photo therapy – was being used primarily in Eastern Europe for treatment of chronic pain, arthritis and associated conditions, joint rehabilitation, and soft-tissue injury along with other medical ailments. During this same time this therapy was being used in a small sector of the United States by equestrian practices for animals with joint and soft tissue injury. When I was researching the history of red light therapy, I saw that there are many studies done in Russian that have not been translated to English and aren’t really shared in the US.

The benefits of red light therapy

These are all evidence-based benefits:

♡ Beneficial for skin to reduce eczema, rosacea, and acne

♡ Stimulates slow healing wounds.

♡ Helps fade scars and stretch marks.

♡ Can prevent recurring cold sores, or herpes simplex.

♡ Red light activates the lymphatic system for potentially improved detoxification.

♡ It helps to repair sun damage.

♡ Helps with sleep.

Personally I have noticed that I am getting WAY better sleep and I feel more energized in the morning using red light bulbs. The only lights in our bedroom are red, so if the lights are on, they are red and we only use them at night and just allow the natural sunlight to provide light during the day.

I also feel so much more relaxed at night. Red light is so much less jarring than bright lights and I really noticed the contrast when I went in to another room after being in red light flooded bedroom. It was a JOLT, let me tell you. Since then, we have replaced all light bulbs to either red or yellow. More on that when I share more about light in general.

Where to get red lights

Red light therapy usually refers to using a panel of red light, although you can purchase red light bulbs that will provide many of the same benefits as using a panel.

There are many options for an at home red light therapy device (panel) but after doing quite a bit of research, GembaRed is superior.

If you’re looking to purchase red light bulbs, avoid LED lights and go for A19 bulbs. Unfortunately home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowes don’t always carry this kind of light bulb but you can find them on lightbulbs.com which is where I purchase all of our bulbs. Here are the ones that we use in the bedroom. No dirty electricity/EMFs from these lights.

Have you used red light therapy? What are your thoughts?

xo, Lynn

More sources:

  1. A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase
  2. Red Light and the Sleep Quality and Endurance

Rosacea is a real bitch to deal with. Let me tell ya, because I have dealt with it since the age of 10. Riiiight as I began to go through puberty, I was also slapped in the face with rosacea – literally.

So since I am an expert on the topic, I have some tips for you to help you deal with rosacea.

First things first, what is it? Rosacea is a common chronic skin condition characterized by flushing and skin redness on the face. Key symptoms are facial redness with swollen red bumps and small visible blood vessels.

Fun shit, right?

There is no magic potion to treat rosacea, HOWEVER, it can be managed with diet and the right products.

SO TA-DA, my top 3 tips to deal with rosacea:

♡ Remove or reduce inflammatory foods. When I did this for other reasons (overall health), my rosacea immediately got better. I used to have textured skin where I have rosacea – which is on my cheeks – but that went way down after I cut out gluten, processed dairy, vegetable oils, and processed foods. Of course I still cheat and eat processed foods sometimes, but cleaning up my diet has resulted in big improvements for my skin. Not only for my rosacea but also for my keratosis pilaris.

I feel like in the health community, the gut and diet is not addressed first, and it really should be. You know that term ‘you are what you eat’…? It’s so true and I have experienced the positive affects of eating well to help this issue.

I could write a whole post on cutting out processed foods, but here are some important tidbits that have helped me over the last several years:

  • Dairy: this food group is known to be inflammatory and I cut it out completely 5 years ago for 3 reasons: ethically I didn’t feel good about it (that has since changed), physically I felt sick eating dairy, and then the inflammation piece. Since then, I have learned that raw milk and cheese is the clean and obviously not processed. There is a gross-out factor for me, but if you love milk and cheese, look into raw.
  • Cut out packaged foods with more than one ingredient.
  • Eggs: totally a staple in our house. Most of the nutrition is in the yolks, so don’t leave those out. Try to avoid the carton white eggs.
  • Stick to unprocessed meats: we literally JUST cut out bacon. I know, SAD FUCKING DAY. I don’t restrict when I eat out, but at home, I make breakfast sausage using spices and ground turkey instead.
  • Fish: Most fish is considered clean, just be careful of the mercury content found in most fish today. Make sure that you are buying sustainably. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium web site for up to date info on what fish is safe to purchase in any given season.

♡ Clean your water. Yep, your water. After reading Hidden Epidemic and doing further research on disparaging minerals found in our water such as fluoride, I purchased this water filter for drinking water and this shower filter. The combination has seriously helped to improve my rosacea but also my overall skin health (and internal health), because we should not be ingesting and absorbing the shitty chemicals found in basic drinking water and bathing water. I will write a full blog post on this topic soon!

♡ Vitamin E oil and cream. Omigod this is this a skin saver. I just started using Vitamin E oil and cream after learning more about the amazing benefits of Vtiamin E. It is anti-inflammatory when ingested and it provides insane benefits for the skin when applied topically. It tones down redness and strengthens skin barrier functions. It’s also SUPER moisturizing, so I only use a liberal amount of pure Vitamin E at night. During the day, I do use a tiny amount as it protects the skin from the sun.

If you’re struggling with rosacea, try these tips. You will not be disappointed. I make it a point to share things that actually work here, and not things that are 85869603020 million dollars.

Off to slather my face with Vitamin E!

xo,
Lynn

Woah boy is this a big topic…one that I have wanted to write about for a long time.

WHY I QUIT VEGANISM.

If you’re vegan or if you’re not vegan, I hope that this post helps you in one way or another. I’ve compiled facts and resources for you if you’re inclined to dig deeper and do more research on this topic. More on that as we go.

2000 was the year that I stopped eating all red meat after my family and I drove by Harris Ranch on I-5 as we traveled to LA from Northern California. Seeing those cows packed into confinement made me so angry. I declared right then and there that I was done with red meat. Looking back, I totally get that this was Speciesism. 

But I stuck to my word and never touched red meat again…after one last In ‘n Out burger because they were my FAVORITE. Spoiler: I wish I knew better and did not stop because NOW I am grossed out by it and don’t have the desire to eat red meat. 

I continued with everything else though: poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. Just no beef.

In 2014 I decided to go vegan for ethical reasons. I hate the idea of exploiting animals. By the beginning of 2016, my body was screaming at me to stop. I spent several months prior to quitting veganism trying to ignore my body’s cues. I experienced extremely dry skin, indigestion almost all of the time even after eating the ‘right’ combinations of foods and eating little to no ‘junk’, fatigue, and the list goes on. Side note: one of the junky foods I would eat a lot were Beast Burgers from Beyond Meat. Finally an option packed with protein! Until I came to learn that Beyond Meat products are packed with bad-for-you ingredients. Occasionally I’d cheat and eat fish. To my dismay, I would feel SO. MUCH. BETTER. My digestive issues resolved, and I felt satiated. The way that I felt started to really nag at me and I constantly weighed my options: feel good in my body but feel guilty AF about the impact of my choices. 

I lumped animal products into one evil category of factory farming. You know those horrifying videos of animals being abused. I have not watched one purposely and I never want to. But I do know what goes on at many factory farms. I saw it with my own eyes at the California State Fair with a dairy cow. What I was not aware of was a whole other world of meat, eggs, and dairy, grown by independent farmers who practice regenerative agriculture. “In short, regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management, fertilizer use, and more. It is a method of farming that improves the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them”. {via}

These farmers use techniques that enhance their environments and treat their animals humanely, allowing them to engage in their natural behaviors and eat the food they’re meant to eat. The additional benefit is that the meat, dairy, and eggs produced by these farmers are more nutritious than your run of the mill shitty factory farm. 

I chose my health and my body as my priority and having the education behind independent farmers and the benefits, I do not place any guilt on myself for consuming animal products now. I am very selective about where my meat and eggs come from – I still don’t consume dairy because it grosses me out and I am lactose intolerant. Tip: If you’re looking to forego grocery store meat, I highly recommend visiting your local Famer’s Market to support your local farmer(s).

Let’s get into the specifics of why and how eating meat is not something that you should feel guilty about – because this information helped me a lot. All of this information is via The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Paleo Leap. You can visit their site to read more about the biological benefits as well as environmental benefits, but here is a brief list:

♡ Meat contributes greatly to our overall health and contains many nutrients that cannot be obtained in any amount from plants:

  • Carnosine, a molecule found in meat sources, is an antioxidant that protects against degeneration.
  • Vitamin B12, found in meat, helps make DNA, prevents certain types of anemia, and contributes to the health of nerve cells.
  • Meat is a complete protein source with a higher biological value.
  • Meat is a good source of the difficult to get vitamin D, contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, and the minerals zinc, selenium, and iron.

Book recommendations:

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

How to Heal Your Metabolism

The Vegetarian Myth

Nourishing Fats: Why We Need Animal Fats for Health and Happiness

There you have it. I hope this helped you if you’re vegan and feeling guilty about the thought of adding animal protein in to your diet, or if you’re just looking to make healthier choices in general. Because I wish I would’ve read something like this when I was struggling.

xo,

Lynn

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