Ishga: so much more than water

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Skincare is simple

Be consistent

I find it hard to make time to relax and take good care of my skin. Right now, at the age of 32, I am getting away with it. Only just. I remember my mum banging on at me 10 years ago about the importance of a skincare regime. That was back when I thought I was invincible. Back when I didn’t think I would ever have back pain, wrinkles, or a tendency to talk out loud whilst I write a text message. The soft traces of what will soon become my fully-fledged crow’s feet are a twinkling nod to the many joy-filled hours I have spent over the course of my life laughing with the friends with whom I have been blessed to have had these eye-creasing moments with. Endless laughs and incessant holidays have made less of a dent on my bank account than they have on my skin; I should have listened to mum and started Facial Exercise earlier. Still, it’s never too late, and it’s never too little.

Skincare done well can heal from both the outside and inside. You can use it for both prevent and reverse the signs of ageing. Let me tell you about my 3 most useful ways to relax and feed my skin, even for a girl who’s busy, travels light, and doesn’t like to waste money on products she knows she’ll never use up before their sell by date.

  • hydration

  • facial exercise

  • pick or rotate your desert island product - currently Ishga

HYDRATION

Water is so important for your skin! It helps rid the body of toxins, keep skin clear and can give you a more radiant glow. You can learn more about what water does for your body in my article Effortless improvements in your fitness and body fat composition just by drinking enough WATER.

FACIAL EXERCISE

Facial Yoga, Facial Fitness, it has many different names but all boils down to the same thing: the face has muscles of its own and these can be worked to support healthier complexion and skin. Exercising the muscles of the face gives your skin a firmer foundation (which means less likelihood of wrinkles) and it increases blood flow to skin cells (more nutrients!) and lymphatic drainage. Working the muscles of your face is a vital health and beauty practice that is both preventative and can help reverse the signs of ageing. Our faces are on show far more than anything from the neck down. When we place so much importance on the appearance of our bodies, why not pay some attention to the muscles of the face?

If you’d like to know more about Facial Exercise, join me at The Yoga + Beauty Retreat next weekend 5th-7th April in the Cotswolds.

MY SKINCARE SAVIOURS: seaweed, sea salt and water

Seaweed is one of the world’s most naturally abundant sources of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids. Seaweed extracts and powders deliver many anti-aging, hydrating and skin renewing properties.

Pure natural unrefined sea salt retains over sixty naturally occurring trace elements such as Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc. All of which are essential for good health and well-being. I love swimming in the ocean as the sea water it makes a clear difference to the appearance of both my skin and hair after a dip. Minerals found in seawater and natural anti-oxidants have anti-ageing properties which help nourish, hydrate and protect the skin.

If making sure I’ve drunk 8 glasses of water and doing the odd scrub and face mask makes me feel happier about the prospect of bumping into my ex boyfriend and his new lady in the shops, then that’s a sound reason to make sure I do it.

Ishga is an organic seaweed skincare brand from Scotland. Its name, Ishga, is derived from the Gaelic word for water. Every product is packed with Hebridean seaweed and sea-rich minerals from coastal waters surrounding the Outer Hebrides that are recognised as being amongst the most pristine in the world. They collect seawater from the surf as the waves break on many of the beautiful island beaches, and pure water from the Isle of Lewis’ blue-clay bottomed spring which, according to folklore had healing and therapeutic properties. This is hydration and nutrition on a cellular level (with a nod to its origin and keeping it ethically on fleek).

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The shots I can’t get enough of

Back when I used to spend 10 hours a day at my desk, I wish I had known about these. Making my own healthy drink in the office took too much time, the local “health food” bars and cafes were either not all that healthy at all, overpriced, or tasted awful. At least we got together eventually - Bumblezest have brought something to the market that tastes good, is small enough to travel with on flights, boosts my energy and gets my skin glowing even when I’m tired and overdoing it.

When the body is in a state of inflammation, everything is harder (to say the least). So, how do you reduce inflammation? You can do it with sleep, boosting your immune system, with DIET and watching your stress + activity levels (not enough can be too little, but too much can also be too much). I can’t always control the amount of stress I have to deal with (said the yoga teacher!) but I do manage this using diet. Anti-inflammatory foods (most often plant-based foods) are how I do it.

By the way, when your body is in a lesser state of inflammation, this means it can respond more positively to flexibility and/or strength training - you are able to recover more quickly after training. You know what that means? Less DOMS, you can train a little more, and the more you train the better you become at your chosen practice.

GREAT FOR WHEN YOU’RE BUZZING ABOUT

The last year has been constant travel, moving between countries and then moving between houses, organising "At Home" Cleanses for clients. Getting a pot or pan, let alone my juicer out to make myself a nutritious meal has been tough. It helps working in the wellness industry, but train journeys and flights in between have meant I’ve had to keep life minimalistic. Most of my cooking equipment has been in storage and I don’t remember the last time I went food shopping or was “home” long enough to actually use all of the produce before it walked its own way out of the fridge!

ABOUT BUMBLEZEST

Bumblezest’s founder, Battersea-based Daniel was, like me, living and working in the city juggling numerous things and trying to find his way as he navigated between a stressful job and finding balance with his health- a stress in itself! The drink comes in little 90ml glass bottle (a nod to reducing carbon footprint) which makes it quick to drink (though I do try to make it last as it tastes so good!) and fine to travel with - it would be a very sad day if I had to leave a bottle behind at airport security.

HOW I HAVE MINE

I drink these in the morning (as it feels good knowing that the first thing to hit my digestive system is a food that nourishes). You can have it as a health shot on the go, or dilute with filtered water or even nut/seed milks, if that’s your thing. Sometimes I mix it with something fancier *vodka ahem* to share with friends and trick them into drinking something that’s a little “better" for them; it’s a way to find balance. Besides, there’s no point in being super healthy unless it make you super happy.

WHAT’S IN IT

Gluten, nut, dairy and lactose free, colouring, additives and preservative free. I love the shots that contain Hydrolyzed Marine Collagen (from wild caught fish). Collagen supports healthy skin, bone, hair, joints, muscles, organs and other connective tissue. Did you know that collagen is a protein our bodies already know how to make? Good sources to help boost our body’s production of collagen are: dark green veg, red/orange veg (Vitamin A helps restore collagen that has been damaged), citrus (Vitamin C is required in the process to make collagen, as well as zinc and copper) fish, meat (broths in particular), and eggs.

SWEET STUFF

The ingredients, elixirs such as maca, ginger, turmeric, spirulina, pair up with lemon juice as the main fruit base. Fructose, which is fruit sugar, has been getting a lot of bad press recently (save that for another journal post). Lemon has a very low fructose level so if that is something you’re worried about, you don’t need to. For flavour, the shots are sweetened with natural ingredients- a drop of honey, maple or stevia. Honey, by the way, is full of natural vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients. It has its own microorganisms which make it a powerful natural antibiotic. This is becoming all the more important what with the disappearance of bees on our planet and the increase in antibiotic-resistance. Bumblezest work with British bee keepers and use only ethically sourced honey, ensuring that all their honey comes from hives where honey is left for the bees all year round so that the bees are able to survive the winter.

‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left’ - Albert Einstein

There are lots of flavours you can try, these are the ones I am buzzing about:

REVIVE + RESTORE ginger, turmeric, collagen (hydrolysed Marine Collagen from wild fish)

To lift you if you are ill or feel a cold coming on

NOURISH + NURTURE cacao, maca, collagen (from wild fish)

Your alternative to coffee, sweet treat, and has a sprinkling of cayenne to give your workout or metabolism a kick when you need it

CALM + COMFORT camomile, lavender, spirulina

To calm and comfort you, florals and superfoods to relax and restore if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or having trouble unwinding

If you’re really into juicing, get yourself booked onto a week at Juicy Oasis or Juicy Mountain. Don’t hang around because I’ve spent most of 2018 telling my mates I can’t bump them up the loooooooooooong waiting list- if it’s fully booked, it means fully booked.

www.bumblezest.co.uk

Instagram @bumblezest

Instagram @victoriaadams

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How Rose can literally make your life better

Rose - the scientific reason you deserve a bouquet from your beloved

Rose petals - the scientific reason you deserve a bouquet from your beloved

Rose petals - the scientific reason you deserve a bouquet from your beloved

ROSE PETALS FOR YOUR PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLNESS

I love using Rose! A few drops of rose oil on my yoga mat, to scattering rose petals over my desserts, and occasionally in the bath tub! There is something about using Rose that instantly makes me feel warm, comforted, and content. If I am experiencing any sense of anxiety, insecurity or self-doubt, rose brings me back to my centre, my femininity, my strength. It’s a way of making me feel indulgent without cracking open the Milk Tray!!

STRESS SUPPORT: ROSE HELPS STRESS-FILLED CRAVINGS DISAPPEAR

The aroma of roses can melt away our stress and tension, and is immediately uplifting. Do you think it’s coincidence that the rose is harnessed as a gift to console grief or adorn romantic interests? Traditionally, the aromatic oils from rose petals appeal to all the senses, not just smell: rose is cooling, and ingesting rose cannot only calm those very hot type-A personalities, but also has been proven to increase sexual function in both men and women (Farnia et. al., 2015). How does it do this? Rose has an effect that balances stress and emotional hormones, calming down the nervous system and allowing the rest of your hormones to work in sync. Rose petal tea is great for reducing stress levels after a long day, as well as helping to induce sleep if you struggle to wind down.

ANTIMICROBIAL

You might have heard that bouquets were traditionally used to cover up bad odour. Along with other aromatic plants, rose prevents the spreading of microbes. Try rose water mixed with a saline solution for infected eyewashes. A cup of warm rose tea is packed with Vitamin C that will fight infection, help improve immunity and safeguard you from colds and infections. Drink it as a tea to provide relief from a runny nose and cold. Have it cold to alleviate a sore throat. Rose is also an effective anti-allergen: use your cold rose water home-brew for mild sunburn, rashes and allergies.

YOUR SKIN + BEAUTY

Rose is tightening and toning for the skin, and even proven to help alleviate canker sores and other inflammatory breakouts from head to toe. Rose petals are rich with antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Its antioxidative properties make it an ideal home cure for various skin conditions, including acne. Read on to make a rose water that you can use orally or topically for your skin. Drinking rose water or washing your face with this will help lock in moisture to keep your skin soft ad hydrated. Rose’s antioxidant properties (it’s packed with vitamin A and Vitamin E) help clear blemishes, leaving you with a softer, smoother and more radiant younger-looking skin. Rose’s antioxidant effect reduces the effect of free radicals which damage skin, which will delay ageing. It is effective at reducing dark circles too.

ROSE FOR HORMONAL HEALTH

Rose petals can work in an adaptogenic way as far as our health is concerned - they have been show to both help reverse menorrhagia (abnormally heavy bleeding) as well as act as a styptic. It has been used historically by midwives. So be careful! Rose’s power on the female reproductive system varies from person to person. Two cups of warm tea with black pepper (which acts as a synergen) and honey is said to help decongest blood flow and reduce pain. It’s also a good home remedy for irregular periods.

NUTRITION + DIGESTION

Rose’s bright hue is indicative of the presence of phytonutrients, like antioxidants, carotenoids, anthocyanins, and bioflavonoids. Scatter a few dried rose petals on your desserts, cereals and in tea! Rose contains organic acids such as citric, malic acid and pectin- these are known to boost the digestive power of the body. A stronger digestive system makes for a safer gastrointestinal tract, more equipped to fight against diseases and infections. It also helps to expel waste more efficiently, nourishes gastric mucosa (lining of the gut walls) and sets a stronger foundation for the growth of good bacteria in your gut. As rose is a natural laxative, it is less invasive than over-the-counter drugs or something stronger like Senna. Again, Rose Tea has an adaptogenic response as it can alleviate not only constipation, but also diarrhoea and dysentery.Drinking Rose water regularly is also known to alleviate urinary tract infections.

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

Replace your midday snacks with a hot rose tea twice daily. This zero calorie drink is something akin to green tea, will a lesser stimulative effect. It will calm down hunger pangs and as it helps control cravings you can move forward in your fat loss journey.


ROSE RECIPES

Rose Water - face wash, eye wash or mouthwash, antimicrobial gargle, sunburn soother

Crush rose petals before adding to hot water. Brew for 5-15 minutes.Drink immediately or allow to cool before applying topically to the skin.

Rose + Pistachio Granola

½ cup Tahini, ⅓ cup maple syrup, 1 tsp Vanilla pods or powder, ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp sea salt, 2 cups oats, 1 cup pistachios, Rose petals, 1 tbsp Matcha @omgmatchatea - this is the one I use, took me ages to find a Matcha I actually LIKED!

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a large bowl, combine maple syrup, sea salt, vanilla, cinnamon, matcha and tahini. Stir well.

Stir in oats and pistachios.

Spread out thinly and evenly onto a lined baking sheet, pressing the mixture together.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, then remove from oven to flip.

Bake for another 5-10 minutes.

Shake and stir granola a little in between baking.

Allow granola to cool, then toss with dried rose petals.

If you fancy giving Rose a try, I buy mine from here

Yours always,

Victoria x