Holiday Hair Saviors

Staff Writer

Let’s face it, getting hair to transform into thick, luscious, shiny locks is at best a combination of good genes and good hair care and at worst a skilled extension job that will from-russia-10fool everyone into thinking that maybe you were born with it. The Holiday Season has fully descended upon us, and that means many opportunities to put your hair on display and pray that it acts like it has some sense just this once.

If you’re like us, you’ve got an enviable collection of hair products that promise to transform you into a vintage Hollywood icon, but what they actually do is deposit a bunch of silicone and synthetic fragrances onto your scalp, and leave your hair mediocre and hardly tamed. There is no shortage of hair care products on the market that make outrageous claims and deliver marginal results. Well, if we may be so bold, consider your quest for the perfect coif a done deal.

This collection of life changing hair masks comes courtesy of Natura Siberica, an organic Russian brand that specializes in harnessing the power of nature to transform your hair. Sound familiar? We thought so too… until we actually used these masks. Each massive jar of thick cream goes beyond simply coating the hair shaft (and potentially weighing it down) to truly nourish each strand. Each of these masks are full of specific ingredients designed to do specific things, but regardless of hair type it’s hard to find a bad one in the bunch.

The same can be said in general for the entire company. There is an actual effort to make products and perform as well as they claim. There is some discrepancy with the shampoos (we found a few to be a little harsh) but  overall a vast majority of the collection perform as expected if not better. The body selection isn’t too shabby either.

Unless you’re fluent in Russian, we recommend getting whatever you can find from Amazon (do due diligence regarding sellers), and the rest from Fresh Spa. The latter will cost you a pretty penny in shipping and the wait time averages about 65 days, but we’re convinced it’s worth the wait. So if time is of the essence, Amazon is your best bet. No matter what you choose, Natura Siberia is on a quest to earn your business for life. You’ll know it’s true from the first scoop of a mask, to the inevitable panic that sets in once you realize you’re about to run out.

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He SAID: Seasonal Blues

Stanley Popovich

Autumn is upon us. And while millions of people celebrate the start to the new season, many others experience the opposite. The cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is still up for debate, but some scientists believe that hormonal changes and lack of sunlight during Autumn and Winter trigger the condition. The result can leave the affected person depressed, fatigued, and prone to weight gain.

If you find yourself in an uncomfortable or depressed state, there are some practical things you can do to shift back to a sunnier disposition.

Be Objective

This is obviously easier said than done. But the first step to combating a problem, is admitting that the problem actually exists. Ask yourself what you’re feeling, then follow by asking ‘why’ you’re feeling a certain way. Write down specific reasons for those feelings (I am sad about a specific thing vs. I just feel sad) and address them individually.

Pace Yourself

Rome was not built in a day, so don’t expect to solve every issue right away. Instead, give yourself time to identify a solution for each issue that affects you. Treat it like a budget: go over each item and take small steps to balance every thought and action. For example, if you’re struggling with weight gain, objectively identify what you’re eating, how much you’re exercising and adjust accordingly. Remember that it will take time and consistency to reach your desired goal.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

This might sound hokey, but try it anyway (you might just surprise yourself). Focusing on positive imagery, words and actions will help clear the ‘fog’ of depression, because you literally won’t have time to be sad. Take this choice a step further and outline a clear picture for the places you frequent, and the people you hang around. A brightly lit cafe in the morning feels very different from a dim bar at night. Friends and acquaintances who encourage and uplift you produce a different result than those who complain and drag you down all the time. This might mean deleting a few Facebook friends and unfollowing some folks on Instagram.

Educate Yourself

Knowledge is power. Learn as much as you can about managing anxiety and depression. There’s no shortage of credible information both on and offline. Start digging, cross-referencing and consulting the top experts in this field. Much of their work is readily available, and might help you take an objective look at the way you feel.

Get Help

Take all that information and consult a professional. Most Mental Health Programs are covered by insurance. Do some research at your place of work, and take advantage of those health benefits you pay for. If you’re not employed, there are free programs available for low income and disadvantaged citizens. Help is out there. Do the research, and find a program that best works for you.

*Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods”

 

She SAID: A Tasty Drink… to Your Health

Terri Kennerson

By now, the idea of a juice cleanse is about as common as a gym membership. The industry is truly survival of the fittest (we will ever mourn the passing of The Real Juice), with pressed juice outfits opening and closing faster than you can say organic protein smoothie. The novelty of a juice cleanse is often met with the reality of what it means to actually ingest and keep down any number of blends for longer than an hour or two. At the end of the day, it all comes down to taste.

PRESSED JUICERYjuicing

Pressed might be winning the taste war against even the most established juice joints. Their blends contain all the right ingredients, but they’ve seemed to manage the balance between sweet and savory better than the competition. Two of the best examples lie in the Yuzu Jalepeno juice (yes, they use real jalepenos) and the Charcoal Coconut Water (what?). All of the blends go down easy with minimal fear of a gag reflex. Proof that what’s good for you can also be good to you, and that it’s never a good idea to judge a … bottle… by its cover.

BLUEPRINT

A lonjuicing1g established cult favorite (we’re still trying to figure out what ritual sacrifice put this company so far ahead) and celebrity-endorsed health choice, Blueprint is an easy find both in national grocery chains and online. Despite the relatively cheap cost of most ingredients, you can still expect to pay a pretty penny for a bottle of Blueprint’s juiced goodness. Much like Pressed Juicery, the blends go down easy.  The difference here is that the ingredients are easy to sort in terms of taste, so there’s less of a fear factor. That’s good news if you’re new to the juicing game, or just don’t want to take the chance that something might be as gross inside the bottle as it looks on the outside.

SUJA

Like Blueprint, SUJA is making its way into the national consciousness, one bottle at a time. Unlike Blueprint, the blends lean more toward an experienced juicer than a juicing2novice. As much as we understand the benefits of celery, making it a primary part of most juices is just not that appealing. On the up side, some of the green blends are heavily masked with fruit and feel more like a smoothie than a juice. We’re also huge fans of how they sneak in just enough ginger to enhance (not heat) the blend. With an ever growing selection popping up on store shelves, and a choice of sizes (and prices), SUJA is easily on the way to becoming a household name.

Like anything, the way these juices are used pretty much determine their effectiveness. If you’re taking them with a meal instead of as a meal replacement, you might look down one day and see a little extra love around those handles. Users may primarily down these babies to drop a pound or two (or clear up some gastric thing or another), but with an increasing number of tasty blends, more people might just pick one up because it tastes good…

And it’s good for you.

Imagine that.

We SAID: Spice it Up

Staff Writer

Walk into any grocery or department store this season, and you’ll likely be hit with the unmistakable scent of cinnamon. It’s a common fragrance additive around this time of year, meant to invoke feelings of warmth, coziness and (retailers hope) an urge to spend more than you may have intended. cinnamon1

Although cinnamon (in smell and recipes) are a staple this time of year, it’s a great spice to incorporate anytime. Common applications (besides baking) include adding it to coffee, teas, oatmeal or any other warm cereal or beverage.

Traditionally cinnamon bark has been used as medicine to help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes, or to help lower cinnamon2cholesterol and fight yeast infections. Lab studies show that cinnamon may reduce inflammation and fight certain bacteria.

You can also use cinnamon to clean up (and spice things up) around the house. Oil extracted from cinnamon will help kill common household germs and deodorize most surfaces. A natural product that kills germs and smells like the season? Win/Win.

We SAID: Shake It Off…

Staff Writer

Monday morning began with a sobering reminder of the weekend revelry; Boo to Halloween for showing up on a Friday! After three days of too much of … everything … it’s time to face the work week. And let’s be honest: you’re not ready. Even Daylight Saving Time wasn’t enough to undo the damage.

recovery1Getting back on track may require more than simply plunging your face in a sink full of ice water. Open up  your pores (and give your senses a boost) with a quick treatment using Fresh Black Tea Mask. The cooling mask gets to work in about 10 minutes, and plumps up the skin. It’ll help you look refreshed (even if you aren’t) and get your skin on the road to recovery.

Before you leave the house, pop a shot of Dr. Slim’s Detox in a bottle of water. The liquid formula contains familiar ingredients like Ginseng and Garcinia Cambogia. It’s not a miracle in a bottle, but it will get things moving again. Sip it throughout the day to jump-start the metabolic process.

Pair the water concoction with a handful (or more) of Jujubes. These exotic dates crunch and taste a bit like tiny little apples. But don’t let the size fool you; they pack a powerful digestive punch, and will help recoveryyou flush your system clean.

Once you’re back home, brew up a pot of ginger tea. Slice a 1-inch plug of ginger root and add to boiling water. Let it steep for about 10 minutes before drinking. If you want to really get things moving, eat the ginger. recovery5

About 30 minutes before you turn in for the night, put on Peter Thomas Roth’s Gold Mask, and boost the process with Knesko Nano Gold Eye Pads. The mask promises to lift and tighten the skin with a boost of caffeine (it didn’t seem to have any effect on our ability to fall asleep), colloidal gold, and a moisturizing dose of hyaluronic acid. The Eye Pads diminish puffiness and reduce signs of fatigue.

recovery3

Then take yourself to bed. Turn off the television, turn off the phone and turn off the lights. Tuesday will be a better day. Here’s hoping.

We SAID: Detox Your Weekend

Staff Writer

We dove head first into Summer, ate everything under the sun for the 4th of July (let’s face it, we’re still recovering from that binge)… and right now, a day on the beach in anything less than a mumu is not our idea of the best time. So we’re looking for the best way to detox… quick.

Eat this:

watermelonWatermelon is one of the quickest ways to jump start the metabolism. Its name implies it all… ‘water’ melon. The liquid filled fruit works quickly to move stubborn foods through the digestive track, sometimes in as little as an hour. Plus, watermelon is good for you. Given its name, you might assume the fruit has little nutritional value—as it is more than 90 percent water. But a 10-ounce wedge of watermelon packs in about one-third of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C, as well as a modest amount of potassium (9 percent of the daily value).

Drink this:

A little bit lemonwaterof lemon goes a long way to stimulating a really quick detox. A squeeze of lemon in a glass of water takes care of more than just the digestive system, it also helps boost overall health. Lemon is an excellent source of immunity boosting Vitamin C, and contains pectin fiber to help boost colon health. Lemon can also help maintain pH levels in the body. And like watermelon, also contains a healthy dose of potassium.

 

Try this:

yogatwistA simple twist can help stimulate the digestive system. It’s not necessary to be a super-bendy yogi to get into the pose (your knee does not have to touch the floor). The key to the reclining twist is in the shoulders; it is more important that they remain on the floor, than that the knee touch the floor. More flexibility comes with practice. The more often you practice, the better you will become.

 

Try this (too):

liquiddietSunday Riley Liquid Diet is a caffeine based ‘lotion’ that works to shed water weight. A little bit on ‘problem areas’ of the body helps to stimulate digestion and eliminate waste. The product promises to work over 3 days; we found that we  had to … go … within a few hours of application. One word of warning: because it contains caffeine, we recommend avoiding using this product before bed. As it goes, we absorb a majority of what we place topically on our skin. So it stands to reason that if a cup of joe in the morning is gonna wake you up, a pump of Liquid Diet at night is gonna keep you up.