beauty

Beauty Superfood: Vitamin C

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When it comes to youthful, radiant & healthy skin - Vitamin C is the answer! Vitamin C is a powerful beauty superfood that nourishes the skin to prevent signs of aging and keeps the skin healthy, vibrant & glowing! Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient that our bodies cannot produce, therefore Vitamin C is an essential part of our daily diet. If eating a balanced, whole foods diet, you will likely be able to get adequate amounts of Vitamin C daily from the food you eat (this is what we recommend). However, there is also the option to use a natural supplement - this can be expensive and isn't really necessary.

Nourishing Benefits of Vitamin C:

  • Powerful antioxidant benefits - Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight damage caused by free radicals (in the foods we may eat and our environment). Free radicals can cause damage to the bodies cells and speed up signs of aging - antioxidants are important for nourishing our bodies and our skin!
  • Heals the skin - Vitamin C helps to heal and replenish the skin from acne-related blemishes.
  • Supports skin integrity - Vitamin C plays a critical role in the formation of collagen and collagen helps to give the skin its firmness and even tone. Increasing your Vitamin C intake (within a healthy range), will help the body to produce collagen resulting in healthy skin, hair and nails.
  • Helps iron absorption - as females, many of us have low(er) levels of iron, which can cause anemia and low energy. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron from our food, when we eat iron-rich and Vitamin C rich foods at the same time.

Top 10 Vitamin C rich foods: oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, guava, grapefruit, kiwi and green peppers

Our advice: limit your intake of juice as a source of Vitamin C. Juice is loaded with natural sugars which can cause our blood sugar to spike and our body in unable to digest that much fructose at any given time.

Here's to healthy, glowing skin!

A-Z HEALTH

“For the love of”-GARLIC!

Garlic. It’s a staple in cooking world-wide. It’s one of the most common, easily accessible, delicious, nutritious and potent herbs on earth.

Garlic is capable of many things. As an immune boosting herb, it has the ability to affect our organs involved in immunity in such a way, that our bodies can produce more immune boosting cells, increase the activity level of existing cells, or both. Hence, why our elders would say “eat more garlic” when we suffer with cold/flu symptoms.

Not only will immune boosting garlic reduce cold/flu symptoms and potentially help us avoid them in the first place, but garlic can help rid our bodies of parasites, lower blood pressure, and aid in reducing risk of cardiovascular type dis-ease. The list goes on…purifying the blood, detoxifying through lymph and the rest of the body, lower the blood clotting factor.

Let’s talk antioxidants. What do they do? Combat free radicals, that’s what. Why is that awesome? Because a free radical is an unstable molecule that can cause irritation and breakdown of our tissues unless they are neutralized by antioxidants in the body. Garlic is just one of those antioxidants.

Garlic gives us anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. It’s been used as a supplemental herb for more than boosting immunity. There’s more garlic has been used for; anti-ageing, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory aid, energy boosting, immune support, and on a spiritual level, century old tales tell us that, in theory, garlic keeps away evil spirits (or any spirits for that matter). Hollywood has certainly brought these stories to life!

So eat your garlic! Cook with it, use it raw, source organic, local, good quality stuff. Keep some on hand to ward away those spirits, and most importantly, live long and strong!

10 Tips for Beautiful Skin

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You may have seen on our website that ESME, in old french, means "esteemed" or "loved" - and this is what we're all about at ESME beautiful. To us, beauty is about esteem, self-esteem, and love. Which is why through our services and products, we aim to make you feel beautiful. And today on the blog we are talking all about beautiful skin. Did you know that the skin is the bodies largest organ? Since we can absorb the the products we put on topically, it is important to be picky of what we are using. Just as we recommend with food, steer clear of ingredients you cannot pronounce and use natural & organic products, where possible. We also recommend that regular facials are part of your beauty routine. BUT...we can only nourish our skin so much with external practices and products. It is equally important that we nourish our bodies from the inside, out. Nutrition for beauty means cutting some foods out, while adding in some beauty superfoods (we promise its nothing too extreme or restrictive).Beauty foods are often high in antioxidants, low in sugar and very hydrating.

Here are 10 tips to nourish your skin from the inside, out:

  1. Cut out all refined sugar. Refined sugar spikes your insulin levels, causing an increase of inflammation in the body (and on your skin). Inflammation is responsible for breaking down collagen and elastin, which keep your skin tight and wrinkle-free.
  2. Add leafy greens to each meal. The vitamins and minerals in leafy greens like kale, spinach, parsley and cilantro are essential to detoxify the body. Boost your smoothies and salads with extra kale (for antioxidant benefits) and spinach (good source of omega-3s, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and other vitamins).
  3. Drink a glass of lemon water each morning. Warm lemon water boosts your metabolism and detoxifies the body. Contrary to popular belief, lemons are alkaline and help to balance the pH levels in your body (which in turn, reduces skin inflammation and breakouts). Check out this blog post on the top benefits of lemon water.
  4. Make your midday snack a healthy one. We recommend having sliced cucumbers, carrots and celery on hand to eat with healthy dips like hummus and/or nut butter. Cucumbers are especially good for your skin as they are hydrating and nourishing (great for your skin from the inside and topically).
  5. Amp up your parsley and cilantro. Parsley is great for supporting the liver & kidney, boosts metabolism and effectively removes toxins from the body. Parsley is great to add into smoothies, juice or sprinkled on salad. On the other hand, cilantro is rich in antioxidants and helps to naturally cleanse the body. If you like cilantro, add to smoothies, juice, salads and dips.
  6. Stay off soy. Soy is full of phytoestrogens that can cause breakouts on your skin. You may notice these hormonal blemishes around your mouth, jaw line and chin.
  7. Cut the coffee. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that too much will dehydrate your body. Signs of dehydration include headaches, lack of energy and under eye circles. For many people, drinking coffee is a habit. Try swapping your morning coffee with green tea. Green tea does contain a small amount of caffeine but it green tea is also high in wrinkle-fighting antioxidants.
  8. Cut out all processed foods & dairy. Processed foods are often filled with chemicals which can cause inflammation in the body and breakouts on your skin. Try to eat as natural as possible and limit your intake of packaged foods. If buying packaged foods, make sure you can pronounce all of the ingredients and aim for foods with less than 5 ingredients. Many people are allergic, sensitive or intolerant to dairy. If this is you, dairy may cause havoc on your skin through inflammation, breakouts or small red bumps / skin irritation. Cut dairy out for a couple of weeks and observe any changes.
  9. Drink 8-10 cups of water every day. Being dehydrated can cause irritated skin, a slowed metabolism and an increased appetite. Ensure your body is hydrated and drink 8-10 cups of water each day, throughout the whole day. If you are active, drink more water to account for water lost through sweat.
  10. Eat lots of healthy fats. Especially avocados, your skin will thank you! Avocados are full of moisturizing monosaturated fats, are a great source of antioxidants. The antioxidants in avocados help to protect your skin from damage causing fine lines and wrinkles. Tip: if you have avocados that are soft - peel, remove the pit and slice into quarters. Freeze and add to smoothies. 
What beauty swaps are you going to make this week?
 
[AUTHOR: BECCA CORNWALL]

The Truth About Nail Polish

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So what's the real truth about nail polish? I used to think that since polish is applied topically on the nail, the chemicals in the polish wouldn't have much impact on my health. But, the research I've been doing has taught me otherwise. In fact, the research suggests that our bodies absorb chemicals & toxins through our nails (check out this article here). That means, we must be mindful about the products that we are putting on our nails, fingers and toes.

There are some toxic & harmful chemicals found in nail polish that we at Esme recommend you steer clear of. Better to be safe, right? From what I can find, here's the low-down on the three most harmful ingredients found in conventional nail polishes:

  1. Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde Resin: You may remember from high-school biology, formaldehyde is the chemical compound used to preserve dead bodies. Do you really want that on your nails or anywhere near your beautiful body? Formaldehyde is often added to nail polishes because of how it can help strengthen and harden the nail. But, keep in mind that formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen, meaning there is research and evidence that it is directly related to causing cancer. No thanks!
  2. Toluene: The purpose of toluene in nail polish is to improve the look of a smooth finish across the nail (and it helps to prevent pigment separation in the bottle). Watch out, when exposed to toluene in the air we breath, it can cause irritation, can affect the nervous system and can cause reproductive harm & fertility issues.
  3. Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP): DBP is used in nail polish for added flexibility and fluidity. But DBP is very harmful and is connected to cancer and birth defects.

When choosing your polish, you also want to watch out for a chemical called camphor. Camphor is a highly flammable poison that covers your nails and deprives absorption of nutrients. Plus, some research suggests that, in large quantities, camphor can cause seizures and disorientation. Our advice? Be cautious and say no to any polish with formaldehyde, toluene, DBP and camphor.

With all of this being said, it is important to remember to be consistently mindful of what you are putting on your skin & nails. At Esme, we are confident that the polishes we use are as natural as possible and free from harmful chemicals. Here are some options for our favourite brands (and the ones we use here at Esme):

Click here to book your next mani/pedi at Esme Beautiful. We can't wait to see you!

[AUTHOR: BECCA CORNWALL]

[Recipe] : Detox Turmeric Soup

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As the weather cools down and the daylight gets shorter - a big bowl of delicious soup always feels like a good idea.

This recipe is not only full of naturally cleansing veggies - but also adds in the powerhouse of turmeric to fight inflammation and a flavourful punch!

INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 medium carrot, finely chopped 2 stalks celery, finely chopped 1 tablespoon McCormick Ground Turmeric 2 teaspoons garlic, minced (about 4 cloves) ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 32-ounce carton vegetable broth 3-4 cups water 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste 3 cups cauliflower florets, chopped 1 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed 1 bunch kale, chopped 1 7-ounce package shirataki noodles, drained*

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large saucepan or pot over medium-low, warm oil.

Add onion; stir. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onions begin to brown.

Add carrots and celery; cook for 3-5 more minutes, until the vegetables soften.

Add turmeric, garlic, ginger, and cayenne; stir until the vegetables are coated. Cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Add broth, water, salt, and pepper; stir. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low.

Add cauliflower. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.

When the cauliflower is fork tender, add beans, kale, and noodles.

Cook until the kale is slightly wilted.

Serve hot.

Curl up under a blanket & enjoy....

#ESMEINK : "Sleep Habits" Day 19

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SLEEP

I've always been a bit of a night owl.

Going to bed early, to me, makes me feel like I'm going to miss something. I have such clarity in the evenings. I'm kid free in the evenings. It's quiet. Peaceful. I think I've developed a bit of a bad habit, and I'm starting to feel the effects.

I've not only noticed how tired I feel lately, but I've had troubles with weight gain-and bouts of anxiety-even though I'm meditating, and grounding as much as possible.

My nervous system is stressed, due to lack of sleep, causing me to feel this anxiety. It's Raised my cortisol levels causing my body to store excess weight. I'm feeling physically not myself, and so i'm forced to really evaluate my sleeping patterns-which is something I have avoided for a long time.

How patient I am, or am not with my kids is also a factor in my lack of sleep. I can't do my best when I'm exhausted. I can't be the best mom that I know how to be if I continue down this path.

{old habits}

I go to bed between 11 and 12pm. For lots of people, this doesn't seem late. But when I'm woken by a sweet girl, who crawls into my bed, and rubs my cheek with her hand, and runs her fingers through my hair, and kisses my cheeks and nose and says "I love you mommy," EVERY morning at 630am, I feel unconditionally loved, and unbelievably exhausted.

While the pure joy of her love never gets old, I want to wake feeling more refreshed, not feeling like I need to lay in bed for another hour before I start my day.

I know my husband doesn't like that most nights I'll stay awake downstairs to clean up, or watch a show, or journal, because I'm not ready to go to bed. I could absolutely fall asleep, but for some reason I'm just not ready to end the day.

"Your future depends on your dreams, so go to sleep."

-Mesut Barasany

{new patterns}

I've always wanted to be up before the kids to either do yoga, meditate, and have myself a healthy breakfast and coffee before the kids wake up. Maybe even get a quick journal done. Maybe start running, or do a workout. Quality self love. Something I talk about almost every day lately. I know I'd feel better throughout the day if I did. I know, because I've done it enough times to count on one hand. It was epic. Every time. But i've never been able to get into the groove.

I think It's time for me to just start building a new pattern. I need to make my self a "bed time." I'll have to make sure that I have done whatever it is that I need to do before that time.

I'll set aside 3 days of the week to begin, when I wake up at 530 to take time for myself before the kids wake up.

I will watch the sunrise in silent. I will find more peace. I will feel better. I will discipline myself, and become a better version of me.

"Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

-Benjamin Franklin

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Reflecting on Love" Day 15

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Today Stacy and I are celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. We have been together for 7 years!

What is marriage? What should it look like?

Truth, I think there is no model. I think it's based on so many things. I think every single marriage in this world looks different. But I also know, I love the way mine looks.

How well I am able to love my husband, is a direct reflection on how well I love myself. In a relationship it's so important to love one's self. That might mean healing wounds from a past relationships. Healing from a form of abuse. Maybe releasing/healing insecurities. Being true to who I am, and not moulding into what I think someone wants me to be. Discovering who I am continually, having someone accept that, and be willing to join him on his journey. Self love has been a work in progress for me lately, opening up new boxes. Really taking time for me. It means that I've put a little less focus on him. I know he feels it, but I also know he's not concerned because we talk about what I'm going through. He listens. He cares. We are both ever changing, and growing on our own as individuals. We love watching each other grow. It's beautiful. I can't wait for the next big thing for him. He's capable of such great things, and touching peoples lives. He pours more passion into everything he commits to, than any one I've ever met.

Inspiration. I've found it in Stacy. He's not afraid to try anything. From jumping off of a building on a movie set, to sleeping under the starts out in the wild chasing sasquatch, he won't let anything get in his way. Not judgement. Not fear. Not physical set backs. If he wants it, he gets it. Isn't that a great way to live?

Believing in someone. And knowing they believe in you too. His words infuse confidence in me. He believes in me. Truly. He pushes me forward when I have an idea. His support is always there, 100% of the time. And It' reciprocated.

Laughter is honestly, is what first attracted me to him. I've never laughed so hard in my life. Daily! It's so good for the soul.

Lovers first. We are always lovers first. When we are not lovers, we are best of friends. knowing that I have a best friend to come home to at the end of every day makes life easy. I'm not worried about coming home and being judged, shamed, feeling like a live in a space that's not mine or ours. It's pure freedom.

Vulnerability. Being able to open my heart and wholly let him in is the most vulnerable thing I've ever done. At first, this was a challenge. I was falling in love so fast, and I was scared. There had been past relationships that caused lots of heartache, and I needed recovery and healing from them. I've been able to do that because he earned my trust, and we have gone down the path of healing together. For that I am blessed.

So marriage, to me, is knowing there is always time for self love. Having someone who inspires and challenges me to become my greater self. It's having a lover, and a best friend. It's having an unbreakable support system that at times, may crack a little, but those are just symbolic of the challenges we overcome. Worlds colliding. Different belief systems that are instilled upon two individuals, coming together and tying to figure out how to exist together-and separately. It's beautiful, and hard, and beautiful again. It's so much more, than I ever could have imagined. It's so different that the picture I always had in my head. That, to me, is true love!

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{VOW}

I will love you without judgement because you do the same for me. I will love you for who you grow to become because you love me through my growth. I promise to always give you freedom. Thank you for mine. Growing older with you is fun, and I vow to continue to keep it that way. I will always try to inspire you. Because you inspire me, to be the higher me. I will challenge you. In life, love, friendship and spirituality. I will rise to your challenges too. We've gotten through some of the toughest challenges. We find the lessons. We find the messages. The message that stands out the most, is that LOVE can heal all things. Love is strong. I still DO.

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

[DIY] : Natural Face Mask

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There's nothing better on a rainy or chilly weekend than to use it as an excuse to relax in cozy pj's, binge watch Netflix, & pamper yourself!

We've put together all-natural face masks to try (for oily or normal skin types) - that will leave your skin hydrated & purified. These recipes also aid in anti-aging and calming of your precious skin.

Enjoy!

Recipe for OILY Skin: *1/2 teaspoon of your choice of clay (such as bentonite) *mix with enough water just to combine and create a paste like consistency. *massage onto face, and allow to sit on 10-15 minutes.

*add a drop of essential oil of choice if desired (suggestion : Pink Grapefruit)

Wipe away with warm water or warm wet towel.

Recipe for NORMAL Skin: *1/2 teaspoon of clay of choice * 1/8 cup of all natural face cream. *1/4 teaspoon of vitamin E oil

*add a drop of essential oil of choice if desired (suggestion : Pink Grapefruit) Mix all ingredients, and apply to face for 10-15 minutes. (This should make enough for a few mask treatments)