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Top 5 Benefits of Taking Collagen Supplements

Collagen is a protein that acts as a building block for healthy skin, bones, joints and connective tissues.

This is something our body makes on its own, but unfortunately production starts to slow down as early as in our 20’s. There’s also a loss of collagen with expose to smoking and UV light. Obviously we all want to remain strong and healthy for a lot longer than that, not to mention we all want glowing skin – so what can we do to help ourselves?

This is where the supplements come in handy. We can get collagen via foods, but it needs to be broken down by digestive enzymes, while the collagen in supplements has already been broken down, or hydrolyzed. That’s why it’s thought to be absorbed more efficiently than the collagen in foods.

 

What are the health benefits of collagen supplements?

 

  1. Healthy Skin – Collagen supplements help slow down the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness and increasing skin elasticity.
  2. Promote heart health – Collagen provides structure to your arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body.
  3. Prevents bone loss – Did you know that your bones are made up mostly of collagen? As we age, bone mass deteriorates, and may lead to conditions which puts us at a higher risk of bone fractures. Taking collagen supplements can help prevent this.
  4. Can increase muscle mass – it’s believed that collagen help stimulate the production of the proteins responsible for muscle growth.
  5. Promote joint health –  It’s rich in amino acids that play an important role in the building of joint cartilage, and it may have anti-inflammatory effects.

 

Soon available from my shop – Supermood Collagen Chocolate

 

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Don’t Let Stress Make You Sick

For those of you who know me well knows that my pursuit of balance and wellbeing is always a priority, and stress is usually the main culprit when I can’t find any other explanation to what I’m feeling (usually anxiety or some form of pain).

If I’m out of balance I look at the very basics; am I eating properly, sleeping enough, spending time outdoors, exercising enough? If I can tick off those basic daily needs, then I check my stress levels.

 

I’m not often stressed, I always make it a point to put time aside in between everything I do, just so I know that there’s time to recharge. But sometimes stress comes from worrying, and that’s another type of stress compared to busy weekdays, work and chores – but stress nonetheless.

In whatever way stress is present, it’s so important to understand that it needs to be taken care of – it needs to be taken seriously. Prolonged negative stress leads to disease, there’s no other way of looking at it.

Small amounts of stress is normal, it’s our innate instinct to go into fight-or-flight mode whenever we sense fear. That particular state of being actually protects us from dangerous situations because the body becomes more alert, with cortisol and adrenalin kicking in. The body is physically and mentally prepared to defend itself from any form of danger. Once we are out of danger, the body and mind should go back to ‘rest mode’ (our normal relaxed state of being).

How much stress can we handle?

The problem nowadays however, is that we put our body in fight-or-flight mode too often. More than we can actually handle. I’ll give you an example. You drive your car to work in the morning. The car in front of you suddenly breaks. Your body reacts with cortisol and adrenalin, and you slam the breaks just in time to stop your car before hitting the one in front of you. As soon as you realise you’re safe, the body slowly goes back in rest mode, and your heart stops pounding. The problem is that once you arrive at work, you open your email just to find a nasty email from a colleague. This is not a dangerous situation per se, but your body will react as if you’re face to face with a hungry tiger – just by thought alone.

The way our mind and body is designed to react when faced with danger is not really in tune with today’s busy lifestyle. We have very few actual fight-or-flight situations on a daily basis, if any. But since we are able (unlike animals) to switch on the stress mode by thought alone, we allow our body to produce the stress hormones day after day. Basically, what used to be a stress situation before, like being chased by a wild animal, now comes in the shape of a fight with your spouse, unpaid bills or angry people in traffic.

Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. The more you allow stress, the easier the body turns on the stress hormones and it becomes a vicious circle.

Health problems caused by stress:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Pain of any kind
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema
  • Reproductive issues
  • Thinking and memory problems

 

Try to distinguish Actual danger from situations where you Create the danger in your mind. Not easy, but worth thinking about, because you can become better at controlling it, and remain calm in upsetting situations.Thankfully there are ways to tackle some of our stress. Tell yourself that you are in charge, and not your thoughts or people around you.

 

Proven techniques to improve your general wellbeing:

 

 

“It makes sense that we should concentrate not merely on avoiding negative emotions, like fear and anger, but also on consciously cultivating heartfelt, positive emotions, such as gratitude, joy, excitement, enthusiasm, fascination, awe, inspiration, wonder, trust, appreciation, kindness, compassion, and empowerment, to give us every advantage in maximizing our health.”
Joe Dispenza, You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter

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Guide to Skin Care Routine

This is a guide to a Daily, Weekly, and Monthly skincare routine. Whatever your skin type is – following through with these points in mind will surely bring out the best version of YOU. I know we all have moments of ‘Ok, this is me at my best’, or the somewhat familiar, ‘This is me at a low point’, so just keep in mind there’s no such thing as Perfect, but you can always strive to be your best version of yourself.

Please note that these are general guidelines; simply a little reminder of when and in which order to use your products.

DAILY

Morning

  • Cleanser – Double cleanse. Start with an oil-based product to remove the night products and oil/sweat/dirt build-up, and follow up with a water-based cleanser to get rid of residues.
  • Toner – To balance your skin’s pH, which is at its best at 5.5. Once pH is at its most optimal level, it will prepare the skin for the other products.
  • Treatment/Serum – This is where you should prep your skin for the day ahead with a powerful antioxidant. The free radicals trying to attack the skin cells from left, right and center should not stand a chance when your skin is guarded by an antioxidant treatment. Chaga is a good example of this.
  • Eye cream – Pick a cream based on your skin type
  • Moisturizer – Pick a cream based on your skin type. Ideally one that contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate.
  • SPF – It’s important to use a specific, separate SPF cream and not a combined day cream / SPF. A day cream moisturizer is there to sink into the skin and hydrate, while the SPF is supposed to remain on the surface to act as a shield.

Evening

  • Cleanser – Just like in the morning, a double cleanse is always a good idea. Even if you don’t wear make-up. Start with an oil-based cleanser and follow up with a water-based. If you have sensitive skin around your eyes, use a specific make-up remover for eyes and do not rub too much.
  • Toner – See above
  • Treatment/Serum – This is where you put aside the antioxidant, its job is done for today. Now it’s time for a Retinol product. Find one suitable for your skin type, or the issue you wish to tackle. There are retinol products available for all skin types – from oily to dry. If however you find that Retinol products are too strong or irritates your skin, consider trying a Peptide product. Peptides support naturally occurring peptides in your skin like collagen, elastin and keratin, and such products can be used both AM and PM.
  • Eye cream – See above
  • Moisturizer – See above

 

WEEKLY

  • Once or twice weekly use a good quality peel. Exfoliating helps shed old skin cells and promote a healthy, brighter complexion. It’s a great way to tackle uneven skin tone, blocked pores and wrinkles. If you’re not used to the acid peels, start off with a thin layer and leave on for a maximum of 1 minute. Once skin becomes more tolerant, leave it on for a bit longer.
  • Face mask – Again, once or twice weekly use a mask to cleanse and hydrate. A calming mask after a peel is a great way to combine the two treatments.
  • Wash all your brushes and tools, your bed linen, mobile phone (cover). Basically, anything that comes in direct contact with your face on a daily basis.

MONTHLY

  • Deep cleansing and hydrating facial treatment. Tell your beautician about any skin concerns, and keep in mind that your skin is changing with the seasons, so you may change the facial according to how you feel your skin at the time.
  • Check expiry date on all your make-up and skin care products and bin whatever is outdated. Usually most products are good for 12 months after opening.

Remember – it all sounds like a lot of time and products, and yes, maybe it will take longer than a few minutes, but it’s really a matter of deciding to take this moment for yourself. Even if you have to set the alarm 5 minutes earlier than planned. I like to light a scented candle and just allow some me time.

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Packing for a Weekend Trip

Next month we are once again going to Rome for a couple of days, and packing for a weekend trip is always a head-scratcher. You stand there, suitcase open, and no idea what or how to pack. Every time.

I honestly have this issue every place and every time I go, so I googled my way to some ideas. I’ve put together a list of what I thought of as good tips (also based on my own experience :))

  • Pack by Outfit. Sounds obvious, but this is something I actually thought of doing lately, and it is helpful. If you pick a top, make sure you can picture the full outfit to go with it; pants, shoes, bag and accessories. If you can’t pack the full outfit – don’t pack the top. Keep your itinerary in mind, and plan your outfits according to what you will be doing (and of course, check the weather forecast).
  • Lay everything out on the bed. Create a moodboard of every outfit, before putting it all in the luggage. That way you can create a better picture of what actually seem like a pointless item or what is missing.
  • Shoes. This is where I often fail. I tend to pack too many heels or shoes that are generally not very suitable for a full day of walking (like light, pointy ballerinas). Thankfully, finding trendy and comfortable sneakers and dressy sandals is not very hard nowadays. They go with pretty much everything (jeans, leggings, skirts, dresses), they are kind to your feet, and can easily be worn with an evening dinner outfit.
  • Toiletry bag. Stick to the same rule as with the outfits; list your morning and evening skincare routine and stick to those products only. For someone like myself, having a million creams and whatnot in my bathroom, this part is often time consuming. If possible, go for travel size bottles when it comes to haircare and body care, and if you can replace any of your skincare products with samples, pack those instead of the full size. I save every sample I get for travel purposes :). Make sure you also leave some space for a small ‘Emergency Kit’ such as Panadols, plasters (in case the new sneaks are misbehaving), eye drops (to avoid redness from early morning flight) and antihistamines (in case of an allergic reaction. Mine is usually from attacking cute dogs)
  • Throw in some empty plastic bags too, so that separating your laundry from clean clothes is easy.
  • Once everything is packed, add some Drier Sheets between your stuff, that way everything will smell fresh 🙂

  • Additional check-list would include: mobile charger, laptop+charger, sunglasses, extra lenses/contact solution (something I tend to forget), adapter plug, toothpaste, travel pillow, meds/vitamins.

 

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Chaga Mushroom

What is Chaga mushroom and what are the benefits?

Funnily enough, it is a fungus (doesn’t sound too appealing right?) which can be found growing on birch trees in cold climates such as Northern Europe, Siberia, Russia, Korea, Northern Canada and Alaska.

It has actually been used for centuries in some of the above mentioned countries. Mainly to boost immunity and treat diabetes, prevent chronic inflammation, fight cancer and generally improve overall health.

Nowadays, as we have become more familiar with this rather unattractive charcoal-looking piece, we’ve added skincare to the list of beneficial use. Traditionally it’s been, and still is, enjoyed in the form of a fine powder; either as a nice cup of tea, or as a capsuled supplement, with a taste similar to vanilla and nut.

 Chaga is low in calories, very high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants.

It really works wonders with the entire body, inside and out. In terms of skincare, Chaga, with its antioxidant properties, helps to slow down the ageing process by protecting our cells from free radicals. That’s why we find a variety of creams containing Chaga as the benefits are endless.

To sum it up, Chaga helps us stay strong when stress in its many forms tries to get us down, so in a way, it really is a Magic Mushroom 😉

Find in Shop Section

 

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Those Little Details

Inspiration. I believe it is all down to the details, when a person has paid attention to small things and may think that no one will notice, but it is there, and you find inspiration from something like a candle in the bathroom, a bracelet that only shows a bit, or someone passing by with a particular scent.

What’s your take on inspiration?

 

 

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Benefits of Glutathione

What is glutathione? In short, it’s a very powerful antioxidant that the body (the liver) makes and uses every day, and can be found in every cell in the body. It’s made up of three types of molecules known as amino acids and benefits the skin by boosting overall health. Since it is an antioxidant, it neutralizes and eliminates the free radicals (unstable atoms) that damage the skin at the cellular level to cause ageing and discolouration. (therefor often used as as skin whitening).

Glutathione has many important health functions and benefits, for example:

  • supporting immune function
  • helping the liver and gallbladder deal with fats
  • regenerating vitamins C and E
  • anti-aging properties
  • detoxifies the body

When we expose ourselves to certain factors such as stress, environmental toxins, poor nutrition and, well, age (kind of hard to escape) the level of glutathione is reduced. Which we simply don’t want.

If you want to add glutathione as a daily supplement you can always go for the capsules, however, there’s a more pleasant way to go about this. Supermood is providing us with the beauty of Dark Chocolate with Glutathione. Voila’! I think this is a brilliant idea, as this is way more exciting than capsules 🙂

Get yours from my shop or pop by my office in San Gwann if you happen to be in Malta!

 

 

 

 

 

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Glammed Up or Down

 

Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress in their days off that are the most intriguing. …” – Alexander Wang

 

One thing that always fascinates me, always have and always will, is when people make a daily effort to look their best; full blown make-up and heels even if it’s just a Tuesday at the office. In fact, when they attend a wedding or event, you don’t see much of a difference, they basically just look like themselves, all glammed up. Then we have the other type who show up at the office, the airport or at the supermarket in the middle of the week and wear nothing but tights, sneaks and no make-up, hair is up in a bun and casual is written all over them. Once they go out for a party or dinner though –  they totally transform, and in your head you’re like, Oh. Ok.

I think I have to place myself somewhere in the middle 🙂 I rarely go out with no make-up at all, whatever occasion or day of the week – there’s always mascara and lipgloss, if nothing else. Then again I don’t wear a lot more when going out for dinners either. I guess the difference lies in the heels and accessories.

What’s your daily style? Do you dress differently if you have a day off, or office vs dinner party?

Hoops, heels and clutch any day of the week maybe.