What’s Up Sunday – 9.12.10

This week’s “What’s Up Saturday” edition coming to you on Sunday.  Yesterday was a day for remembering, so the blog stayed silent. I was also away from the computer all day (!). I was helping out at meeting’s annual fall flea market and eating my mom’s amazing food. Driving back into the city late last night we saw this:

(Source.)

I do like that memorial. It is strange to be living in this city; 9 years ago I was in New Jersey in my third period math class (I was a sophomore in high school) when everything started. But on a happier note…

Salad News:

For some reason I don’t have as many starred articles this week. (I star my articles in Google Reader to save them for this post.)

Food & Blogs

  • Really want to make Erica’s Gluten-Free Challah (I am not Jewish nor am I allergic to gluten)
  • Coco had a great quote about LIFE
  • Katie had a really great post on being scared of hunger. Felt like the words could have come right out of my mouth!
  • And when I was having a rough day yesterday, I woke up to read this post and felt a little better.
  • Only one third of Americans consume 2+ servings of fruit a day… and juice counts as fruit. Only one fourth consume 3+ servings of veggies… and the most popular veggie is a potato (potato = GMO’d fries). Read more at Fooducate.

Music & Writing

  • Top 10 Alternative Albums You Should Own (from Listverse) – I already have Vampire Weekend, Mumford and Sons (who we are seeing in November), and Postal Service. I really like those 3 so I will have to check out the rest! (I do not like Passion Pit, but oh well.)
  • Even if you don’t want to do something, if you can make yourself do it for just 20 minutes, you will probably keep doing it. This is exactly why I’m doing the 30 Days of Yoga – I know I love yoga, and every time I do it for 20 minutes I am so happy afterwards. It just takes a little bit of oomph to get started.
  • The Arcade Fire teamed up with Google for this awesome reminiscing video. My coworkers and I enjoyed watching this this week! Put in the address where you grew up and enjoy. (P.S. It’s completely coded in HTML5. Who needs flash anyway?)

Dealy Deals

Enjoy, and as usual, let me know your favorites from the week. If you haven’t entered already, you have until Wednesday to enter the stevia giveaway. There will be 4 winners and there are 3 ways to enter so get all your entries in!

Also, if you want to update me about your yoga routines, please do so on the 30 Days of Yoga page. I am keeping up with it! (So is Gaby.) You do not have to do yoga every day to update! It’s a whenever-you-want kind of thing.

Have a lovely peaceful Sunday 🙂

NuNaturals Giveaway (Free Stevia!)

**UPDATE: This contest is now closed. See winners here.**

Did you like the stevia coupon from yesterday? I hope you get a chance to use it.

What is Stevia?

Stevia (in case you are not familiar with it) is a completely natural zero-calorie sweetener that has been used around the world (Japan, Brazil and South America, Korea, Europe, etc…). It comes from the leaf of the Stevia Rebaudiana plant. It is many times sweeter than sugar, yet sometimes it can taste bitter… But not NuNaturals. NuNaturals stevia is not bitter at all from what I can tell. What stevia is not: aspartame, splenda, or any of those other awful sweeteners. (Not that I never have those awful sweeteners; I am guilty of my weekly diet soda. But maybe stevia will wean me off of them.)

Stevia Giveaway

In addition to the stevia coupon, NuNaturals is letting me host a NuNaturals stevia giveaway. They will award four (4) of you guys one (1) box of their NuStevia Packets (50 count box), and one (1) bottle of their NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia Liquid (2 ounce bottle). The contest is only open to U.S. residents (this is to avoid costly shipping & International custom regulations!).

**This contest is closed.**

How to enter (3 ways):

  1. Leave a comment telling me what sweetener you use in your coffee or tea, and if you have ever tried stevia! (Worth 1 entry.)
  2. Follow me and tweet this: “Check out @TheSaladGirl’s free @NuNaturals stevia giveaway! http://bit.ly/c0Qy3S”, and leave a comment here telling me you did (include your Twitter name). (Worth 1 entry.)
  3. Blog about this giveaway, and leave a comment telling me you did. (Worth 3 entries.)
  4. **NEW** Go to my recipes page and leave a comment here telling me what recipe you want to try. (Worth 1 entry.)

That’s it! You can also browse the NuNaturals website – they have stevia recipes and lots of other great products. I really liked what Ron (from NuNaturals) said in his email to me:

“Life is too short to eat dessert only on special occasions, therefore we hope consumers will consider trying some of our low, or NO sugar, nutritious recipes and enjoy life!!”

Now that is a motto that was made for me.

I will pick a winner at 10:30pm (EDT) on *my birthday*, September 15th (next Wednesday). So get your entries in before 10:30pm (EDT) on Wednesday. (I am going to be 24 by the way.)

I did my yoga yesterday… did you? Tell me about it!

NuNaturals Coupon & Thursday Wrapup!

I am so excited to announce that I’m working with NuNaturals to bring you a great discount and a giveaway (the giveaway will go up tomorrow)!

**Update: Giveaway is now over. Click here to see who won.**

15% off of your order (through the NuNaturals website) with my code: BLG930

(Enter code at checkout page; offer ends 9/30/2010)

Also, if you order $35 or more (after the discount), you get free shipping to the continental U.S.… So go get some! (Note – I don’t get any commissions or anything if you buy; I just like promoting cool companies like NuNaturals.)

Wrapup of this week…

Tomorrow will be the NuNaturals giveaway…

Have you tried NuNaturals? I finally got to try it at Coco’s this weekend, and I fell quickly in love. Can’t wait to start coming up with some recipes with the samples that are coming to me.

Did you do yoga today? Tell me about it @ 30 days of yoga. Gaby and Eden are already doing it with me 🙂

How to Get Glowing Skin – My Make Your Skin Glow Post!

I want to preface this by saying my skin is not perfect, but it is getting there! I’ve struggled with skin issues since I was about 18. Oddly enough, I had great skin in high school:

(Do you know who you are, people with cropped arms? I know at least one of you is reading…)

But in college it began to deteriorate. I don’t have a single picture that illustrates how bad my skin was at its worst because I deleted them all! I just couldn’t make skin glow. You can see a bit of acne here, even after a round of photoshopping, wedding day makeup, and strict use of the AcneFree skincare line leading up to the big day (this is from July of this year at my wedding):

I could never figure it out, and all the medications from my dermatologist did not work. I have tried a bunch of different ones – the only one I didn’t try was Accutane (my mom wouldn’t let me, thank goodness). I have also gotten facials (I’ve done them monthly, semi-monthly, or as little as once or twice a year) but they haven’t had any lasting results.

How to Get Glowing Skin

BUT – This is my skin now (not the best picture, but the lighting shows that my skin really is clear; photo courtesy of Coco) – definitely making progress towards glowing:

Finally, about 2 weeks ago (the day of the eat like a kid post) I got a facial from this lady. (More of my recommendations from that week here.) She actually explained to me how my skin works! Which was fantastic. For me to listen to someone and do what they say, I have to understand completely what is going on. (This is why I hate when doctors don’t explain anything!) I will break what she said down into one major issue: blackheads v. whiteheads (there are also enflamed red things, but those are just more advanced black- or white-heads).

  • Blackheads: these are clogged (open) pores. They’re also called open comedones. They’re filled with sebum and dead skin, and the reason they are black is because they’re exposed to the air and they have oxidized.
  • Whiteheads: these are not pores! They are (closed) follicles. They’re also called closed comedones. They’re filled with sebum and dead skin, but they are completely under the skin. So no oxidizing, which is why they stay white.

You can extract blackheads yourself, but don’t try to extract the whiteheads. Some people might say you can get them out with a hypodermic needle, but I wouldn’t trust anyone but a facialist to do that for me! Unfortunately, until 2 weeks ago, I thought that whiteheads *did* have an opening and that it was possible to get them out by squeezing. Bad idea! Don’t do it! Leave them alone. You should probably leave the blackheads alone too, because in general, my new rule of thumb is:

Don’t Touch Your Skin

Just don’t touch it. If you try to “help” speed up the process of getting rid of pimples (blackheads, whiteheads, or those mean and nasty red guys), you will undoubtedly spread germs and bacteria from your hands and from the pimples all over your face. Just don’t touch them. Please. They will heal on their own and you just have to trust that your skin knows how to fix itself. I know it’s hard to trust your skin, because it seems like it doesn’t know what it’s doing, but I’m going to hazard a guess and say that you probably touch your skin often (even if you don’t realize it) – which is not helping matters.

Don’t Dry Out Your Skin

Even if you have oily skin you should not try to dry it out! If you try to dry out oily skin, it will just make more oil which will make lots more of those fun whiteheads I talked about. This was another major problem I was having. I tried to dry my oily skin, which made it get whiteheads, and then I would try to get them out because I thought they had an opening. Instead, use an oil-free moisturizer 2-3 times a day. Your skin will learn that it doesn’t have to make so much oil and it will eventually start to chill out. (This may take a week or so because it was so used to over-producing.)

Things that should not go anywhere near your skin in any situation include (but are not limited to):

  • glycolic acid
  • salicylic acid
  • benzoyl peroxide

If you dry out your skin you’re going to piss it off – and maybe it will be clear for a little while, but it will definitely not be clear forever. Drying out your skin is not getting to the root of the problem.

Have a Skincare Routine

My skincare routine now is:

  • Morning: rub my face with a lemon slice then rinse with water, moisturize with oil-free moisturizer, makeup, and go
  • Mid-day and / or After work: splash face with water if I’m feeling icky and pat with a paper towel
  • Night: rinse with water; if I’m wearing makeup I will wash it with a plain old face soap that doesn’t have any sorts of weird chemicals
  • Weekly: a basic mask
  • **Never touch my face**

My Current Products:

(The only reason I have 2 moisturizers is because I thought I lost one, but then I found it. I like both of them; the Garnier feels less oily even though both are oil-free. I will buy more Garnier when I run out but probably won’t buy Mario Badescu again.)

Reader Questions (and here):

Agnes asks, “I would love to hear your opinion on breaking-out on a very clean vegan diet. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!”

My response: This could be a variety of things. First, make sure you’re doing the things I talked about above for how to get glowing skin. Next, make sure that:

  1. You are getting enough fat (I say 40% of calories should come from fat, but this can be different for different people). I notice my skin is bad when I don’t eat enough butter/nut butter/avocado. (Since you’re vegan I guess you can’t have butter though.) I honestly do have better skin when I’m eating meat and animal fat, which could be because the animal protein is easily converted into the protein that our body uses to repair itself, or it could be because my body likes animal fat. That is just me though.
  2. You are not too stressed. This is another huge factor. Stress can also lead to touching your face which leads to breaking out. If you know you’re going to be stressed, drink extra water and try doing something every single day that relaxes you (like yoga or listening to your favorite music).
  3. You might have a food allergy. This is iffy. 15% of the population thinks they have a food allergy when in reality only 5% actually do. I might experiment with a gluten-free week to see if that helps things.

Mimi asks, “I used to have perfect skin. Now, I have mild acne. A facialist said it was probably my birth control. However, this one works better for me in all other areas than previous ones I’ve been on. And skin recommendations, or should I just switch?”

My response: Hm. I have been on and off the pill and I eventually opted to go off of it for a number of reasons. It probably is your birth control, but try all the things I talked about above if you really like the one you’re on! Another option for birth control is the hormone-free IUD, which I have heard great reviews of. And since it doesn’t have hormones it shouldn’t affect your skin.

Coco asks, “How to deal with stress-caused acne? I’ve been breaking out a lot lately because of work stress.”

My response: There isn’t much you can do about this aside from making sure you drink water and making sure that you do something every single day to relax. You have to take care of yourself. Stress shows up in your skin, but it’s also damaging to your health in ways that aren’t quite so visible. Drink water, don’t touch your face, moisturize, and do something like yoga or meditation daily.

Pearl asks, “I have oily skin so i can’t get away with [not washing my face often]… what did the facialist say about the scrubs?”

My response: Be wary of scrubs. Read the labels. If they have the ingredients I listed above, don’t use them. You should probably only exfoliate 1-2 times a week. If your skin is oily, try just rinsing it by rubbing your face (gently) with a slice of lemon and rinsing. You can use a plain old regular (not an acne product) soap if you really want to. If you don’t try to dry your oily skin, it’ll definitely start to realize that it doesn’t have to be so oily!

Make Skin Glow Resources:

  • High on Health (she’s a raw foodist from Australia! Wicked accent)
  • Stop Picking on Me! (picking / touching your face is more than just a habit – it can be due to stress or anxiety or other underlying issues, and it’s majorly hard to stop. This also goes into much more detail about how your skin is structured and what happens when you try to pop things, and how your skin works.)
  • Update: Gena posted about skincare today too!

I hope this helped! If you have more questions please ask below and I will either post about them or reply to you directly.

Stay tuned – later today I have a promotion I’m going to post, and tomorrow I’ll post a great giveaway! I’d post them now but I want skincare to be the star of the show this morning 🙂

P.S. I updated my 30 Days of Yoga challenge.

Eden says: How to Be a Yoga Superstar

I have an awesome guest for you today: Eden! She is sarcastic and funny and I laugh every time I read her blog. She’s writing about one of my (many) passions – yoga. I haven’t been in a yoga mood lately, but with these tips I’m sure I’ll get back in the swing of things. Enjoy 🙂

Eden eating chocolate!

***

Hi!

My name is Eden (pronounced “Eh-den”, not Eeee-den”). I’m a yoga instructor and a chef living in Los Angeles. I love that Maggie has embraced yoga so much, but I know a lot of people don’t know how to get on the bandwagon. So I thought I’d share my secrets to become an ultimate yoga superstar! Here are my easy steps: (Note: if you aren’t familiar with my blog, sarcasm and cynicism are my BFF’s so don’t take my advice too literally; I’m not responsible for any head, neck, or genital area injuries!)

Step 1 – Start by seeking out trendy yoga studios in gentrified areas in either LA or NYC (sorry, but you’ll need to move if you are anywhere else. It’s just not going to happen in Iowa or Kansas). This is where all the rich and beautiful yogis are who will become your yoga allies. They are the yogis you must befriend and socialize with as you start your ascent to yoga stardom. Of these, you’ll need to figure out who the power yogis are (look for the ones wearing high-end yoga clothes and sporting a black Manduka yoga mat) and who are new to the game (they are the ones wearing K-Mart crap and practice on pastel colored mats). It is also very important that you figure out who the yoga nut-jobs are (i.e. they’re the ones spouting crackpot yoga theories and think yoga is all spiritual and everything). Unfortunately there are vast amounts of them in the yoga world. Befriend the former, unless one of the latter can get you introduced to one of the former. Remember that the yoga whack-jobs will always lead you astray in your rise to yoga fame.

Step 2 – You will now need to actually learn something about yoga. Have no fear though, as all yoga studios will have books and magazines that you can spy while waiting for a class to begin. No need to invest money for this (in fact, your first few classes at most yoga studios will usually be free or nominal in their quest to ‘hook’ you on yoga). Concentrate on books and articles about Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga in particular. The reason for this will become clear in step 3!

Step 3 – With a bit of yoga knowledge under your belt it is now time to chat up the other yogis around you. Always mention Iyengar or Ashtanga in your conversations with them. Don’t ask me why, just do it! Use a tired tone when doing this to suggest you know all about these styles and have practiced them for much longer than you care to remember. Almost all yogis you encounter can relate to one of these as they are the bases of all the other styles out there. Look for their knowing nods of acceptance.

Important Note: Don’t try and add your own opinion of which style is better at this stage; you’ll only confuse things. The important thing to remember for now is that you are trying to win friends, not influence people.

Step 4 – What if you get bored? I hear this often from virgin yogis, but you know what’s even more boring? Pretending you’re skiing on some machine for an hour at a gym filled with meat-heads and botoxed women with the words “juicy” plastered on their sweats. Yoga classes can be boring, but it’s not the yoga – it’s usually the teacher. They give poor instructions and can be dull and unstimulating. Some people think sex is boring, but they are usually with the wrong partner!

Step 5 – You are now in low yoga star orbit and need to cultivate one additional trait to solidify your yoga image to those around you. Your goal now is to learn to act ‘yogic’ (that dreamy far away look that will give you an air of authenticity as it will show that you have transcended your ties to ordinary daily living). Ideally, you will act this way around yoga students, yoga magazine publishers, and sport clothing manufacturers who you will be vying to get endorsements from (you are trying to get endorsements at this point, aren’t you?). Eat vegan publicly (because devout yogis believe in “Ahimsa”, meaning no harm to humans as well as animals, and I’m guessing especially cows too). Gorge on all the steak and processed twinkies in secret. Be assured that after a while you’ll become so yogic that you’ll forget where or who you are most of the time.

Step 6 – Create your own special “thing”. Be assured that there is always a new yoga style to be invented. As much as yoga people like to think they are practicing ancient yoga methods tied to past yoga gurus, a cult of yoga newness flourishes among them (they are all suckers for the latest yoga trend). Be inventive. Hey, if Jillian Michaels (who I call a drill Sargent with a vagina) can have a yoga dvd and make it trendy, anyone can. (But the last thing we need is Jillian yelling out instructions for “happy baby”.)

Step 7 – That’s it! You did it!! Good work!!! You are a yoga star. You can now om comfortably in your Malibu beach home or Park Avenue apartment. Forget about you pilgrimage to India. Any true yogi knows only 1% of the population does yoga there; your better bet is to move to Santa Monica, CA: the certified yoga Mecca.

Hope that helped you! Now get on your mat already, and get down, dawg!

***

I am so ready to be a yoga superstar. Anyone care to join me?

I’m kicking off 30 days of yoga – 20 minutes of yoga, every day. I started last night. Update me if you want to do it too! You can post your yogic activities on the 30 Days of Yoga Page. (You definitely don’t have to do yoga every single day, but it would be awesome if you left comments on that page with whatever yoga you did that day when you do do yoga– maybe it’ll be a great way to get lots of new recommendations!) We can chat about what we’ve learned with the 30 days as well. Now go join me! (Eden’s on the bandwagon already – she’s going to write a yoga routine for y’all to do.)

Also, I finally made my email more blog-friendly: maggie@thesaladgirl.com. Email me for fun 😀