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Springtime is for Lovers

04/20/2009

Beautiful Readers,

The minute the temperatures start rising there's a certain nervousness and excitement in the air which can make that first cup of coffee almost unneeded, but like anything that feels like newness, there can be a sort of springtime emotional unevenness that needs some balancing . In the past month I have received several little notes and calls from exes–more than I have for a very long time, and normally the flurry would seem strange, but then – it is spring, so nothing seems very strange, and certainly not a little rush of sexual interest and daring. (The boyfriend didn't like it very much though.)

Ayurvedic medicine has an answer to all this flightiness. For those of you who don't know, Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of wellness that divides the human condition (and beyond) into three essential states Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. In brief (and this is very brief-there are many years of thought describing how these three qualities make up most of existance) Vata is the state of thinness, dryness and airiness, think thin clouds drifting through the sky, Pitta is the state of transformation usually involving heat, or combining of things to create a third product. Pitta also encompasses the passion that comes with creation or drive, think chemicals being combined. Last, Kapha is the state of heaviness, slowness, accumulation and holding on, think, the way you may feel at the end of the winter at the beginning of spring.

Now, according to Ayurveda, the trick to getting peaceably through the spring, enjoying a sense of renewal without getting depressed or being too manic is to gradually shed any excess Kapha (fatness, slowness) that we have accumulated in the wintertime and to get up to speed with the season of transformation, movement, and growth through increasing our level of activity, losing a bit of winter weight, getting to a lighter, faster, place mentally– gradually enough so that it happens without feeling like a failure for not being in fighting shape already, or overdoing it, thus causing a sudden overabundance of Vata, and making us feel all top heavy and nervous. I tend to be quite Vata. I know nervous.

So here are some classic Ayurvedic suggestions for moving sweetly into the Spring without agita, plus a suggestion or two of my own

1. Begin to eat lighter foods and eat less frequently. For those of you who snack a great deal, try to decrease the number of snacks to once every three hours or so.

2. Do some twisting exercises, they will get you body moving in a gradual way and will offer a kind of internal massage to organs and muscles that may have been sluggish throughout the winter.

3. Try to enjoy some foods that are bitter or sour. Lemonade. Grapefruit. Orange peel.

now my advice:

4. Exercise more frequently, though possibly for a shorter duration. Little sprints. Not to total fatigue. (to ensure you'll want to exercise again soon)

5. Stay hydrated by sipping water throughout the day–you may find at this time of year that you can not down the same volume of liquid all at once that you can in other seasons.

6. Feel free to give into that crazed spring feeling, but be sure to balance it with even breathing and rest. Resist the temptation to thoroughly exhaust yourself with the feeling of spring rush.  Moderate your energy. Exciting spring mania can be followed by a not-so-good-feeling crash afterward.

7. Have more sex. We're kind of designed to do that at this time of year (but then– isn't that always my advice?)

Thanks for reading and enjoy the warmer weather!,

Alix Florio        President        

Beautiful Fitness

Clarisonic Skin Brush works great.

04/05/2009

Beautiful Readers,

As you may have gathered from the title of today's post– I think that the year old Clarisonic Skin Brush, an electric razor-sized device that uses a vibrating brush-head that resembles a toothbrush, is the bees knees. I have no idea why it works so well to smooth out my ordinarily pretty good but occasionally pimple-marred complexion–but it does.

 I spend a fair bit of time thinking about my skin, and while I consider myself kind of an expert at all the different laser/filler/injectible things you can do to your face (tried a few, read about others),  I resent spending the big bucks that are required to stay on a steady diet of that stuff, and I love to try things out at home. I think there's something so charming about the long history of women at home in hot rollers with cold cream on their faces, doing things that terrify their husbands and make themselves look so un-beautiful, just so they can have fewer visible pores the next day. It seems sweetly nonsensical and human to me and I love that kind of thing.

Now about the brush. About six months ago I got acne, like real acne. It was a nightmare. It was a classic case of acne in adults. It appears mostly on my chin and the sides of my face, it gets better and worse relative to my menstrual cycle, it can be brought on by stress (oh, gee, what stress?), and it sometimes leaves red marks that can last for months, while the outbreaks themselves tend to last for 2 to 3 weeks. Great. Radiant skin meets 40-something zits.

I would love to say that this brush is the cure for acne, but I'm not sure that's true (though it might be–I just started using it) but I must admit that after a week of cleaning my skin with it twice a day (and this has been quite a week too) my skin is looking better. In fact,  just now, my boyfriend walked in to ask if I was wearing makeup, because he said, my skin is looking great (how's that for a convenient testimonial!)

I know this reads like an infomercial, and at first I found the clams about this thing too good to be true too. I always presume that someone is paying someone to write good things about a product, but then after the acne debacle, I was desperate and started buying up everything that Blisssells in their Acne category. And this was one of the things they sell. It kind of made sense–brushes tend to clean things pretty well, vibration can give a decent massage, massage plus cleaning could theoretically release more dirt from pores, and Voila! Clarisonic skin brush.

And so far so good. The acne's not totally gone, but I'm not getting it at the same rate (believe me, after you have had acne for awhile, you quickly become familiar with the whole, which one was there yesterday, which one was not, thing), and overall (including fine lines ((part of Clairisonic's claim is that they can "improve the appearance of fine lines", and frankly the fact that my wrinkles are improved by this big shaky toothbrush, is really spooking me))), my skin is looking damn good, with not a cent spent at the dermatologists office. Bravo!

Thanks for reading!

Alix Florio    President    Beautiful Fitness    www.beautifulfitness.com