Yum Orange-Lavender Face Scrub

21 Jul

Lavender Water Drop

Exfoliating is a must for beautiful/healthy skin. Here’s a recipe you can do at home. Sugar and plant oils are boosted by the addition of orange and lavender essential oils. And it smells yummy.
Orange and lavender essential oils are great for all types of skin. Orange has vitamin C, which helps with collagen production and is rejuvenates skin cells. Lavender is calming and enhances blood circulation, which all skin types can benefit.
Exfoliate several times a week. If you’re prone to breakouts or have sensitive skin, grind the sugar in a blender or food processor. Another way is to blend all ingredients together for a few seconds.
One more thing, orange essential oil is photosensitive. So, avoid direct sunlight after exfoliating or use a good sunscreen.

Yum Scrub Organics Orange-Lavender Face Scrub Rind  of orange cutaway in spiral shape

1/2 cup organic sugar (If the sugar crystals are too large, grind them for 30 sec. or so in a blender).
1/2 cup organic plant oils (unrefined if possible) – Sunflower, safflower, avocado, olive – good for dry and mature skin. Jojoba is good for all skin types including oily and those prone to blemishes. So, is Argan but it’s a but pricey.
3 drops organic orange essential oil
3 drops organic lavender essential oil

Mix together.  Store in a jar.  Test on a small area of the face to make sure there isn’t a skin reaction to one of the ingredients.  Scoop some exfoliant into the palms, and massage over face and neck.  Rinse thoroughly with cool to cold water multiple times.  Apply moisturizer.

DSC_0602_4_2  Shop YSO at Abe’s

ACE Up Your Skincare Routine

9 Jul

There are many things that go into having great looking skin or to improve/heal skin issues. If you read any of our posts, you know that besides organic/natural topicals, such as ours :), we also promote the whole-body approach. This includes things, such as stress reducing techniques, exercise, and diet, especially diet. We’re big on food as medicine, especially for the skin.
Ah, but it can get confusing what nutrients skin needs and where to get them. Well, all whole, fresh foods are excellent for the skin. That said, some are better than others. 

Woman smiling in grassACE It
Skin including those of you with beautiful skin (because you want to keep that way as you age) needs specific nutrients. The nutrients that are specifically beneficial to skin are those that have anti-oxidant benefits. And again–confusion. What are the anti-oxidants vitamins? ACE. Vitamin A, C, and E are the anti-oxidant vitamins that are so beneficial for skin.

Nasty Free Radicals
What do anti-oxidants do? Anti-oxidants fight free radical. One of the great ironies of life is that the oxygen we need to exist also has detrimental effects on the body at the molecular level. Without getting scientific, I’ll cut to the chase: Free radicals cause all the stuff we don’t want in life; diseases being at the top of the list. As we age, our body finds it harder to fight free radicals. Free radicals also affect the skin. NanoTechThey break down skin cells.

Hooray for Free Radicals
Antioxidants, hence the name, combat free radicals. So, it why it’s so important to regularly get as many as these nutrients (ACE) as possible. Vitamin A, by the way, is made by eating foods with beta carotene, but we’re using the shorthand of vitamin A to make it easy to remember the antioxidant nutrients.

Antioxidants by fighting free radicals help the skin with collagen building, moisturizing, signs of aging (wrinkles, sagging, age spots, reducing necessary fat), improving skin texture, healing skin problems, etc. You can see why it’s important to remember ACE and include as many foods as you can in your diet.  Watch out for taking ACE supplements. For example, Vitamin A supplements have no antioxidant benefits and taking too much can have detrimental effects.* Vitamin E and C can also have adverse effect if you take too much.

ACE High Foods

A: (beta carotene)
Sweet Potatoes
Winter Squash
Peppers
Lettuce
Kale
Spinach  Carrots
Mustard Greens
Turnip Greens
Cabbage
Pumpkin
Swiss Chard
Water Cress
Sweet Potatoes
Peas
Onions
Basil
Paprika
Squash
For more extensive list and information of benefits Vitamin A foods head over to The World’s Healthiest Foods  or  Nutritional Data Website.

Vitamin C

Papaya
Broccoli
Bell Peppers
Guavas
Lychees
Currants
Oranges
Lemons
Grapefruit
Peaches
Kiwi
Pineapple
Strawberries
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
For more extensive list and information on Vitamin C foods, head over to World’s Healthy Foods  or Nutritional Data Website.

Vitamin E:

Wheat germ
Sunflower oil
Almonds
Peanut Butter
Spinach
Swiss ChardAvocados
Peanuts
Turnip Greens
Beet Greens
Mustard Greens
Kale
Bell Peppers
Tomatoes
Olive Oil
For more details on other foods and the benefits of vitamin E head over to The World’s Healthiest Foods.

SpinachRind  of orange cutaway in spiral shapeSummer Squash and Gourds

Shop: Yum Scrub Organics at Abe’s

References:
NCBI: 
http://1.usa.gov/1HQzkK
Nutritional Data Center: http://nutritiondata.self.com/
Rice University: http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/antiox.html
World’s Healthiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/index.php

Beat the Summer Skin Oily Blues

3 Jul

Do you dread summer because you feel like your skin becomes its own oil manufacturing plant? Is it much worse than other times of the year? You scrub your face and apply drying agents, but it doesn’t help or gets worse? If you have oily skin or acne prone skin, summer can be tough.

Beach biker

Summer Fun Affects Skin
The heat, the humidity, the sunscreen, the sun, and exercising with all those elements in play can wreck havoc on  your challenged skin issues. It’s true; the fun of summer can make skin more oily and breakouts worse. On top of that, summer is also a time when you may also relax your healthy diet regimen, eating and drinking foods that acerbate your skin condition.

Over-Cleansed Skin Effect 
When skin is oily, the oil worsens, or pimple breakouts increase, there is a tendency for many people to try to fix it by washing the face more or using drying products and soaps. However, the opposite happens. Over cleansing your face and using drying products, such as toners, pimple treatments (especially those heavy with chemicals), and harsh soaps/face washes makes the skin worse. Your body responds when your skin is over dried by making more oil to compensate. But, it overcompensates and makes too much oil. A vicious cycle begins of washing, applying skin treatments/ointments and skin cells registering dryness and vamps up oil production. You need to break the cycle to get your skin in balance. soap

Two Things To Firmly Hold in Mind
Before I get into the specifics of making oily and acne skin better during summer, you need to firmly put two things in your mind and hold to them. One is you need to keep to a regimen, not matter what. Secondly, you need to work on the problem from the inside out as well as topically. It’s the inside out that most people have trouble with and balk at. For one thing, it may require some diet changes (for the better). We’ve been mentally conditioned for years from the medical community that diet doesn’t affect the skin. This is bad information. Makes me crazy to even think that this was the propaganda from doctors for generations. Yes, let’s be clear, diet does affect the skin. Hello! Scurvy! This is just one disease doctors should have used to put two and two together: If you don’t get vitamin C, you get scurvy and one of the effects is hemorrhagic skin papules, not a pretty sight.

Enjoy Summer Fun and Keep Pimples and Oil under Control

Have A Regular Cleansing Regimen and Stick to It. Wash your face twice a day with mild cleanser, especially in the evening. DO NOT GO TO BED WITH MAKEUP ON! Never, ever. I prefer you use an organic cleanser. Use warm/lukewarm water. Do not use hot water on your face. Only time you would wash your face more than twice a day is after exercising. If you swim, rinse the chlorination off with lukewarm water, but don’t wash, and apply a proper moisturizer. If you use a sunscreen, remove it as soon as you come indoors by gently cleansing. Regularly use a very mild exfoliator. You can use a mild one daily. Don’t use a toner; they are of no benefit to the skin. And for oily skin and acne prone skin, they are too drying. They can cause the vicious cycle mentioned earlier.

DSC_0602_4_2

Take Ice and Rub Over Your Face. You want to calm and cool your skin. I take an ice cube to my face twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening before going to bed. I do it for other reasons that oily skin, mature skin…. It’s great for sending to fresh oxygenated blood to the skin. Fresh blood contains nutrients. I hold the ice in a washcloth or hand towel, and travel it over my face and neck. You can also put ice water in a basin and dunk your face it. I think that’s more work. Just don’t hold the ice too long on one spot. If you have a pimple though, you can leave the ice on it for a few seconds to help calm it, and help reduce its size.

Use a Moisturizer. I know this can make some of you cringe at the idea. Moisturizer/oil on oily, acne skin?? But, a really good moisturizer balances the oils on oily and acne prone skin. We, of course, love argan oil for this. Our Argan Serum is our top seller, five years out (it also has effective essential oil). Whatever, moisturizer you use, make sure it doesn’t block pores or have unnecessary ingredients, such as preservatives or bactericidals. Lotions often have these. Again, that’s one of the reasons we created our acne line, so as not to have unnecessary ingredients that can make acne worse.

SpinachEat as Many Fresh Fruits and Vegetables as Possible. Everyday single day eat your veggies and fruits, especially include dark green leafy vegetables. Some of them are kale, spinach, dandelion greens, and lettuces other than iceberg. But, anything fresh is good. Eat them raw, steamed, or roasted to change it up, and keep your palate interested. If you eat something bad, i.e, not good for skin, cleanse your body by eating fresh fruits and vegetables as soon as you can. For example, you go to baseball game and eat hot dogs, nachos, etc. and drink beer or soda. For next few days, stick with a fresh fruit and vegetable diet. Buy or make green health drinks.

water-2.jpgDrink Water. Everyday day drink water. Researchers say you need to drink half your body weight in ounces everyday. So, if you weight 150 pounds you need 75 ounces of water every day. This is if you are not doing anything. So, if you exercise you will need more. And I think it’s good for acne prone skin to drink more, to make it healthy again. If you are dehydrated, your skin will suffer. The body will want to protect vital organs first when dehydrated, so will pull hydration from those parts of the body that it deems as not as important, such as the skin. Don’t include other beverages in this, especially alcohol.

Change Your Pillowcase Daily. If you don’t have that many pillowcases, cover your case with a soft towel. Oil that is produced overnight get transferred to your pillow either from your face or hair. Bacteria begins to grow. At night the bacteria can make it’s way to your face.

Exercise. Exercise helps in many ways. Nutrients get distributed throughout the body more efficiently. It helps to control stress; stress makes acne worse and overstimulates oil glands. Exercise removes toxins and stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps the body fight “invaders.” Exercise also keeps your weight in control; studies have shown link between being overweight and acne. Just remember to gently cleanse face afterwards and rinse face in cold water or use ice cube treatment.

Limit Sun Exposure. The thought used to be that the sun helped acne and oily skin. But, that’s not so. The sun is not good for these to conditions. The other thing is if you also use a sunscreen you compound the problem. Sunscreen can create oils or attract dirt. And then, there’s the detrimental effects of direct sun on problem skin. Sun blocking hats are the best; those with UVB ratings. However, you may want to enjoy some sun activities. So, be reasonable and create a balance. sunTake every effort to limit sun exposure on your face. But, also enjoy those sun activities you enjoy. Maybe you have an activity, such as playing kickball that you can switch to doing in the evening. Just remember to gently cleanse your face afterwards and follow with cold water splashes or ice cube treatment.

There you  have it, a cleansing regimen, a super healthy diet, water, exercise, and keeping a balance between enjoying the things of summer you love with the realistically maintaining healthy skin. Yes, sometimes it does come down to what is more important your skin or forgoing something that will make it worse. Oh, one other thing: Don’t squeeze those pimples.

Click to: Get Your Acne Under Control, Shop Our All-Organic Clear Skin Line

Easy Holiday Skincare Tips

22 Nov

‘Tis the time of season where the “to do list” seems to stretch beyond time. It can make your skin pucker and crinkle with wrinkles at the mere thought.

You don’t want your skin to age or breakout because of a few weeks of stress cheer; do you? We don’t either, so we’ve come up with a few suggestions. And since, we don’t want to add to your holiday burdens…um…fun, you can easily incorporate them into your busy schedule.

christmas girlStay Hydrated.

Water hydrates cells, reduces fluid retention, and flushes out toxins.  Alcohol dehydrates and is hard on the skin, so flush it. Coconut water is good for this.

Take a Supplement.

Stress depletes levels of nutrients. The B vitamins and magnesium are good for stress; vitamin C is a skin healer, and vitamin D helps with lack of sunshine in winter. A multivitamin will cover all the basics.

Eat More Fresh Vegetables and Fruit.

They will help to balance the effects of holiday foods and drinks that may not be so good for you.

Put Down the Salt Shaker.

Salt draws moisture from the cells and leads to water retention that results in puffiness around the eyes and to drier skin.

Do This Yoga Pose: Legs Up the Wall.

Ten minutes lying on the floor with legs resting up against a wall rejuvenates skin and you. Place a cool cloth or eye mask over eyes while in the pose.

Breathe.

People tend to breathe shallowly when stressed. Breathe deeply and slowly; expand the belly on the inhale and deflate it on the exhale.

Just Say “No.”

Say “no” to some of the sugary treats and to people. Sugar affects collagen production. Stress from doing too much negatively affects skin.

Exfoliate Regularly.

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, and makes it ready for regeneration of new skin cells.

Moisturize.

Hydrate your skin more than normal. Organic or natural facial mists are great for on-the-go hydrating and is refreshing for the spirit. Moisturizing will keep your skin looking refreshed, reduce appearance of wrinkles, and keep skin from becoming dehydrated.

Laugh.

Laugh, sing, dance, or find things to appreciate in everyday this holiday season.  It will make you glow and when you glow, your skin will show it.

 REMEMBER: The holidays come every year like clockwork; there’s always next year…. HoHoHo!

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Two Loves: Argan Oil and Abe’s Natural Market

18 Jul

Obviously, we are fans of Argan oil and its benefits. It is a star ingredient in several of our products. So, we were happy to see when it got some star treatment on Abe’s Market online magazine: “5×5: 5 Reasons to Love Argan Oil.”  http://bit.ly/W8p8qN.

And we were very proud to have one of our serums chosen to be featured.  Thanks Abe’s!

Head over to Abe’s for all your natural products and pick up some Yum Scrub Organics while you are there. :)  http://www.abesmarket.com/.  Also, in coming months check out their online magazine as we contribute to it with skincare articles.

DSC_0602_4_2Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:

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Food as Medicine: A Prescription for Clearing Acne

5 Jun

We have become so focused on satiating the tastes buds with fast, salty, sweet, and processed foods that we have forgotten the purpose of food: Food is medicine for the body. This concept seems to have become lost in both modern medicine and in our culture.

Rind  of orange cutaway in spiral shape

It is not just that we have forgotten the purpose of food. Our minds have become conditioned and in some ways addicted to eating foods low in nutrients, but high in satiating the taste buds and giving us emotional comfort. Eating like this when you have acne or any disease impedes the body’s ability to heal because you choose low nutrient-filled foods.

Low nutrient-filled foods do not have what it takes for the body to heal acne. As a result, maintaining clear skin is a constant battle as you yo-yo from one remedy to another with perhaps temporary results, but with no lasting results. Poor nutrition can also acerbate and contribute to the cause of acne.

Coconut Milk Fruit ShakeBy the way, nutrient rich foods also satiate the taste buds and emotions. It is a matter of becoming aware of your diet and adapting your mind to a different way of eating. Once you do, you will wonder how you ever ate any other way.

When the body is diseased in some way (acne is a disease), it needs all the nutrients it can get to heal. The current western diet that most people eat is for the most part nutritiously poor. The other problem with our misdirected perception of food and its purpose comes from the medical establishment. Many dermatologists and other doctors say there is no connection between acne and diet. They are wrong…period.Spinach

Their heads are in the sand. Hello! Scurvy is from a lack of vitamin C; rickets is from a deficiency in vitamin D, and some cases of blindness are caused by vitamin A defieiciencyy. So, logic dictates that if these diseases are cured or prevented when the body is supplied with them then food is medicine for the body and will help with other diseases.

The food, however, has to be nutrient rich. Food is not created equal when it comes to nutrients. The long-held misconception is that if we are eating then we must be getting the nutrients we need. Wrong thinking.

If your diet consists of food from fast food chains, out of boxes, foods processed with chemicals, pizza, pasta, soda (including diet), sugary drinks and food, then you are not getting enough nutrients need to clear your skin of acne. You need whole foods in your diet; foods that are fresh.

DSC_0044For way too long, the role of nutrition in clearing skin has been sorely neglected or ignored. However, there is a growing number of enlightened doctors who are teaching their patients that food is medicine. Nutrient rich food helps to prevent disease and aids in the body in maintaining homeostasis. Food as medicine for acne is very important because the body not only needs nutrients to maintain its balance; it also needs them to heal the skin at the same time. The nutrients are doing double duty.

It really is impossible to have great looking skin without proper nutrition. Besides individual choices when choosing what to eat, there are contributing elements that are creating detrimental consequences to the nutritional health of the country. More on this in the next post. For now, if you have acne take a hard look at your diet.

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In the News: Strange Phenomenon in Yoga Studios

1 Apr

Yes we are a bath and body company, yumscrub.com, and our blogs usually focus on those things related to it.  But, Yum Scrub Organics’ founder, Denise, is also a yoga teacher.  She found this article in the San Jose Post so alarming she thought we should share it in case you or anyone you know practices yoga – just to be prepared.

A new unexplainable phenomenon is happening to yoga students in yoga classes in California and apparently spreading eastward.

It began a couple of weeks ago in a class at the Mudhatama Yoga Studio in San Jose, California while students were doing cat and cow pose.  Cat/cow is a movement done on the hands and knees. Students flex their spine by moving from rounding it to extending it. It is called cat/cow because the rounding of the spine resembles a frightened cat, and the extending of the spine where the belly drops down looks like a cow. This time though the poses took on a life of their own. Students involuntarily began to meow and moo spontaneously.

The teacher, Josh Riddel, sensed right away that something was wrong–that this was no game.  He said he felt chills go up and down his spine at the sound because they were so realistic.  Riddel could see by the bewilderment and fright on the students’ faces that something strange was going on.  The sounds stopped when the class of about 24 students moved from cat/cow to sitting.

After the students calmed down, Riddel asked if they could explain what happened. The students could not explain.  They all reported the same experience: Something uncontrollable came over them, and the meows and moos emanated from their mouths on their own volition.  Several of the students were so frightened they began to sob while others laughed it off as part of the yoga experience.

Riddel asked for student volunteers to go back into cat/cow to see if the sounds would emanate from them again.  Several students did volunteer, and once again they all meowed and mooed.  He had no explanation to give his students.  It didn’t end there.  Other teachers at the yoga studio reported the same sensations were happening in their classes.  And soon, posts on social media showed that the meowing and mooing were not limited to this one studio.  Like a virus, it had spread to other yoga studios all over California.

Some gurus are saying that this is merely students embodying the essence of the pose.  “I know that yoga is to transform me.  But I don’t know if I’m ready to be transformed into a cat or cow even if cows are sacred in India.  Well…besides we aren’t in India, and I’d probably get eaten here in the U.S.  This is what has become of me since that day; I make no sense at all when I speak.  This whole experience has ungrounded me,” said Flo Hardy, a yoga student in Riddel’s class.

Since the San Jose Post broke the story, many students are staying away from yoga classes while other people who have never done yoga are flocking to them.  They want to have what they see as a once in a lifetime experience.  During the full moon in March, many yoga classes were held outside so students could meow/moo at the moon…a yoga version of howling at the moon.

The SJP interviewed medical personnel in various fields to see if they could offer any insights or explanations, but no one as been able to identify a cause.  Strangely, it is only happening in yoga classes and only with the cat/cow movement. Students are not barking in downward facing dog………not yet.  Also, teachers are not affected, and individuals practicing at home do not report the same experience.

Some speculate that maybe a mass Kundalini awakening or enlightenment is happening, and others say it is a sign that points to the birth of the aquarius age.  The aquarius age, which humanity is in the beginning stages, is said to cause consciousness rising. Unsettling consequences can happen to those not prepared for higher levels of consciousness in this new age, Dr. Shaman Mee, director of Spirit Rising explains. Whether it is related no one knows for sure–all is speculation.  What is known, however, is that the phenomenon is not just isolated to California.

It is moving east.  Reports of the Meow Moo Mantra, as it is now being called, are coming in from Oregon, Washington State, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.  Since it seems to be spreading like a virus, it’s only a matter of time that yoga studios nationwide may be affected.

If you or someone you know practices yoga, all that we can tell you to do is:

 

 Have a Happy April Fool’s Day!

Love and Light to All~

Denise & Mackenzie

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Yum Friday Recipe: Roasted Vegetables

15 Mar
Roasted Carrots, Beets & Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Carrots, Beets & Sweet Potatoes

We tell you over and over, eat your veggies for healthy, beautiful skin. So, maybe you have been including more of them, but have become bored with raw or steamed vegetables.  We’ve got good news for you.  Roasting vegetables livens their taste; it is very easy to do, and it is a great way to maintain their nutrient value. Roasting is also a good for trying vegetables you may have not liked in the past.  It is also easy to add herbs/seasonings to the vegetables for even more and varied flavors.  We have a few flavorful suggestions at the end of the recipe.

Yum Roasted Vegetables – serves 4        Oven: 425 degrees

4 cups of vegetables–cut into about 2 inch pieces (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, beets, parsnips, onions – you get the idea.)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or any quality oil, such as coconut or peanut)
1 minced garlic clove or 1 tsp organic garlic powder
Salt/pepper to taste

Clean and cut vegetables.  Put oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Add vegetables and toss vegetables in the bowl to coat with oil.
Place vegetables on a baking sheet.  Bake until soft/crisp and slightly brown – about 10-12 min.

Suggestions:
You may need to experiment with the time and oven temperature because ovens vary.

Roast vegetables at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  This is a way to have roasted vegetables without the browning.

A mixture of different vegetables can be roasted at the same time.  Just make sure they are similar in texture so they are done at the same time.  For example, roast carrots, potatoes, brussel sprouts on the same baking sheet, but asparagus and scallions will need to be baked separately.

Try seasoning with different herbs.  Try these herbs: thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, fennel, sage, curry, or freshly grated ginger or nutmeg, etc.  Mix herbs in with olive oil mixture.  Combine different herbs together.

Add a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice or lime juice to the olive oil mixture.  The juice can also be tossed on vegetables after cooking.

Balsamic or champagne vinegar added to the olive oil mixture or tossed with baked vegetables adds a nice dimension to the flavor.

Grate a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top of roasted vegetables immediately after they come out of the oven.  Or top roasted vegetables with a couple tablespoons of feta or goat cheese.

Allow vegetables to come to room temperature and mix with greens for a salad.

Grill vegetables on an outdoor grill.  May need to cut vegetables larger if grilling directly on grill, or place in a grill pan.

 About the Recipe’s Nutrients

Without going into detail about all the different vegetables, suffice to say that fresh vegetables are incredibly healthy.  Roasting or grilling them also helps to maintain their highest nutrient value as compared to cooking them in water.  We say this over and over, and we will say it again: To have healthy, beautiful skin you need to eat fresh vegetables on a daily basis.

ENJOY!!

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Yum Friday Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato and Cilantro Hummus

15 Jun

Yum Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus

This hummus was inspired by one served at a friend’s barbeque on Memorial Day.  I raved about it so much my friend gave me some to take home with me.  The next morning I made one of my favorite breakfasts with it.  I take a rice cake, spread on some hummus, add a couple slices of avocado, tomato, and onion. Mmmmmm.  And it’s so skin helpful.  My friend served the sweet potato hummus as a dip with some crackers.

Yum Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus on Rice Cake

I changed out the copper-skinned sweet potatoes she used for golden (pale-skinned) sweet potatoes.  They aren’t as sweet.  Also, they absorb the color of the other ingredients more readily.  So, when the cilantro is added to the hummus it turns a nice green. 

Yum Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus

What I had most fun with in making this recipe was  serving it.  While looking for something different to serve it in, I remembered the old China tea and dessert set I bought at a garage sale a few months ago.  I haven’t had a chance to put them to much use.  So, I decided to serve the hummus in the teacups with the vegetables and crackers surrounding it on the saucers and dessert plates. 

Yum Recipe: Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus

Yum Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato and Cilantro Hummus

1 ½ pound pale sweet potato
½ cup packed fresh cilantro minus coarse stems
1 ½ Tablespoon tahini (sesame oil paste)
1 ½ cloves garlic coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 teaspoon pepper sauce (optional) i.e. Franks Red Hot Sauce
1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Olive oil for drizzling.

Wash sweet potatoes.  Pierce with knife or fork.  Bake 350 degrees 45 – 60 min., depending on the size.  Allow them to cool to touch.  Peel off skin of sweet potatoes.  They can also be cut in half and the flesh scooped out.  Place the sweet potatoes in a food processor.  Process sweet potatoes for a few seconds until they start to become mashed.  Stop the food processor.  Add cilantro, tahini, garlic, lime juice, pepper sauce, salt and process again.  Pour olive oil in a stream through the lid opening.  Use enough olive oil to make a creamy hummus.  Continue to process until hummus is smooth and ingredients are well blended.  After moving to serving container, drizzle some olive oil over the hummus and garnish with some cilantro or chopped scallion.  Best served room temperature or chilled.

Serve with vegetables or crackers.  I served them with sesame rice and a cheese rice cracker.

Yum Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus

Sweet Potatoes Benefits for the Skin
Sweet potatoes are great for the skin because they are loaded with beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.  Vitamin A is essential to keep skin healthy.  Because of its high anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant properties, it also helps the skin to heal, slows wrinkle formation, and helps with acne.  One cup of cooked sweet potato has over 400% of the daily value for vitamin A! 

Sweet potatoes are also high in another skin loving nutrient, vitamin C.  Collagen helps with prevention of wrinkles and helps maintain healthy skin.  It is synthesized by vitamin C.  Scurvy while extreme shows the importance of collagen for the skin–the skin breaks down with sores appearing.

Sweet Potatoes also have other skin friendly nutrients, such as some B’s and copper.

Cilantro Benefits for the Skin
Cilantro is high in phytonutrients that helps with anti-aging and fight free radicals.  Also, cilantro also contains anti-bacterial properties, which is good for fighting skin issues such as acne or eczema.

So, while this hummus is choked full of skin loving nutrients, it’s the taste of it that will have you making it again and again.

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“Beauty Should Enrich Us, Not Enslave Us.”

11 Jun

I’ve been reading Unbinding the Heart, A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love by Agapi Stassinopoulos.  It is a wonderful little book.  While little in size, it is large in sharing wisdom on how we can open our hearts to live an authentic and fulfilling life.  Ms. Stassinopoulos teaches with learning moments from her own life and her mother’s.  Examples that we can relate to.  There are many passages/ideas that I love and intend to write down for my own reference, such as couple coming from “Change the Channel” and “Finding Your Voice.”  However, I want to share with you a passage on beauty that I think we all can apply individually, and thereby unbind our collective hearts from the marketing hype of perfection in beauty. 

From The Chapter: “You’re Just Pretty, You’re Not Beautiful

At the heart of our obsession with glamour lies the need to feel important.  But important to whom?  How important are we to ourselves? When the lights go out and the music stops and the glitter fades, it’s us alone with ourselves, just our own light and our own shadow.  How do we feel then about the beauty that’s in us?

Beauty should enrich us, not enslave us.  If we feel unattractive, imperfect, or simply insecure, then beautifying ourselves is an act of masking and covering up.  But when we know the beauty of our real self and choose to reflect it in  the way we wear makeup or jewelry or clothes, then it’s an act of creativity and self-expression to amplify an inner radiance–not disguising what we are, but adorning it for all to see.  The archetype of Aphrodite, the goddess of glamour if ever there was one exudes a quintessential beauty that’s not bound by size, age, or fashion, and you always know this beauty when you see it.  I don’t know if you’ve ever seen ancient statues of Aphrodite, but they don’t fit our 21st-century ideal!  She had a rounded belly and voluptuous hips; she was real.

Unbinding the Heart, A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love  Agapi Stassinopoulos.  http://unbindingtheheart.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/agapisays

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