With Thanksgiving around the corner, the conversation inevitably turns to “What are you grateful for?”. We all want to feel thankful and be full of gratitude, but in our modern, plugged in, checked out giant world we are constantly striving to find happiness, meaning, and gratitude. The brain controls happiness and a sense of calm and well being with its intricate symphony of hormone balance involving cortisol, endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Not only do a balance in these hormones make you feel better — they also make you look better. With just a few small adjustments we can all look better, feel better and truly feel grateful.

When you feel happy or grateful this is what happens

Blood flow is optimal: This can occur due to the fact you’re not stressed out which can bring on sweating, redness or a dull pale complexion. Even blood flow means a clearer and more even-toned complexion.

Production of endorphins: Endorphins strengthen the skin barrier, have antioxidant properties and may help wounds heal faster.

Production of serotonin:  Serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ hormone, has been shown to help promote immune health-think getting sick less this winter and not feeling down or depressed.

Lower cortisol levels: Cortisol the ‘stress hormone’ can cause excess creation of sebum which can lead to breakouts, high blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, lowered immunity and the inability to burn fat. Cortisol is 23% lower in people who feel gratitude.

Laughing turns off the production of cortisol. Recently a study found that children laughed an average of 300 times per day, while adults averaged around 20 times per day.  Laughing also produces dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the ‘feel-good’ and ‘calming’ hormone. Laughing also relaxes muscles in the body, releases endorphins, decreases stress, increases blood flow and can help with pain reduction.

Of course, all of this sounds easy but let’s get real, it’s not always so easy.  We are busy, stressed, sleep-deprived, hormonally challenged, sometimes depressed. An easy way to jump-start into practicing gratitude is starting small.  Below are a few ideas we find helpful.

How to create gratitude?

Self-love: take the time to do something nice for yourself, your body and your brain. Be grateful for all the parts of you. This could be taking a bath, working out, stretching, telling yourself something positive in the mirror, taking a walk.

Express gratitude: Express your gratefulness to a friend, work partner, or family member. Do something nice for a stranger on the street, volunteer at a homeless shelter during the holidays or anytime, all these good deeds are considered gratitude.

Keep a gratitude diary: make a list of all the things you are grateful for, this can be as simple as ‘waking up in the morning’ to as detailed as your family, children, job, etc. Thanks to Oprah this became a worldwide trend.

We are grateful for you, our reader and loyal brand enthusiasts.  The Happiest of Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

 

For those of you who are not familiar with Liv on Labs, you’re in for such a treat. Liv on Labs is changing the game in the Vitamin world and we have been fans for a long time (all the Goldfaden MD team members use these!). We had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Kaili Carpenter, Executive Director, to learn more about her and her daily rituals. 

Kaili Carpenter, the Executive Director of LivOn Labs, was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. After finishing her undergrad at UGA, she worked in events management at two firms then established her own events business with a focus on continuing education in the medical field.

Kaili always helped with the family business, LivOn Labs, which was founded by her Uncle Les and Aunt Cindy Nachman in Las Vegas. She worked the LivOn booth at trade shows across the country for a few years explaining the science of LivOn products to attendees while continuously sampling product with the uninitiated.

An interest in exercise, health and wellness has been something Kaili has embraced since middle school. From horse back riding to competitive high school cheerleading, Kaili then evolved her interests into yoga, dance and Pilates. Currently Kaili keeps a regimen of exercise along with keeping her food intake healthy. She also has a specific interest in skin care, and skin health after years ago learning the key attributes of LivOn Vitamin C, B and Glutathione (I.e. some of our favorite Vitamins from their collection). 

What does good food mean to you?

Good food is whatever makes you feel good. For me, that’s feeding my body what it needs to run efficiently. You can’t put diesel fuel in an engine that requires gasoline and expect that engine to function. I feel my best when I’m eating real, whole foods: veggies, proteins, healthy fats, and lots of water.  

That being said, there is a place for a yellow cupcake with white buttercream icing on my “feel good food” scale. It’s many of my favorite childhood memories on a plate. It doesn’t fall in with veggies, proteins, or healthy fats, but when I occasionally indulge, I get that sugar-spike, giddy, nostalgic rush (almost always followed by a sugar crash — didn’t say I’d feel “good” for long). No guilt, though. That cupcake is a craving no avocado is going to sate. 

How do you start your mornings? 

First thing: I make my bed. It’s a quick, silent task that gets my brain and body slowly acclimated to the day. I am an ardent bed maker. Even in hotels. 

What’s your go-to am beverage? 

I have an AM beverage line up: Lots of water with a little bit of lemon, a shot of grapefruit juice with my Lypo-Spheric®supplements (VitaminC, Glutathione, and Acetyl L-Carnitine) then, a Fab Four Smoothie with Moon Juice Adaptogenic Protein. I met with holistic nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque (creator of the Fab 4 smoothies) at a goop function, and her smoothie approach reinvigorated my mornings. Also, you can’t beat Moon Juice protein powder.

What are your must use daily beauty products? 

I swear by the Goldfaden eyecream, De Mamiel’s Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar, Dr. Nigma’s Crème No. 1 and Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic Serum and lip balm. Between the dry air and intense sun in Vegas, these products have made a world of difference. There’s a theme here: Moisture.

How do you de-stress?

I take a cardio dance class three days a week. The instructor/studio owner is a professional choreographer and former Broadway performer. She’s always coming up with new dances to current songs. I have to leave any stress thoughts at the door of the studio; I need to be completely present if I’m going to get through her choreography!

Favorite mood-boosting meal? 

Avocado with a runny egg, hot sauce, and a side of sliced cucumber. 

What’s a dinner recipe you currently have on repeat? 

It’s summer, and it’s crazy hot here in Vegas. My recipes this time of year involve minimal heat in the kitchen. Lately, I’m making a quinoa /salad bowl combo. I make a large batch of quinoa to keep in the fridge to use throughout the week, chop up various veggies that look good at the moment, then combine. You can also add in some chicken, tuna, an egg, or whatever you have on hand. It’s the perfect no-cook dinner.  I found the recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Clean Platecookbook and was like, “Why didn’t I think of this meal earlier?”  Her miso ginger dressing is super simple and really makes the dish feel special. 

What is your daily mantra?

Pay attention to intention.

Dr. G is a pioneer in the beauty and wellness community, who practices what he preaches. We sat down to ask him about the most crucial vitamin for the body and the skin. The answer may surprise you as its been around forever.

We talk about this time and time again – the importance of both internal and external health is what leads to optimal skin health because our skin is our largest organ (60% of our body). That being said, Dr. Goldfaden recommends ingesting Vitamin C through foods or supplements and also applying Vitamin C  for optimal health and exterior glow – arguably the most important Vitamin for glowing + radiant skin.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radicals, supports the immune system and helps make collagen in the body. Vitamin C has also been shown to lower LDL (the bad cholesterol), ward off heart disease and absorb iron in the body. However, tricky humanslack the ability to produce their own vitamin C. Oral supplementation is important for optimum health, 65-90mg per day should do the trick. Don’t take too much as it can interfere with the absorption of other crucial vitamins and upset the digestive system. Eating foods rich in Vitamin C is also beneficial, like red peppers, bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, kale and fermented foods (like kimchi or sauerkraut) all rank super high in Vitamin C.

Why is ingesting Vitamin C not enough?

Just eating foods high in Vitamin C is not necessarily going to deliver all the incredible benefits to the skin. Due to the fact that the absorption of vitamin C is drastically limited by active transport mechanisms in your intestines, very little of what you eat or take orally ever makes it to your skin cells. Essentially, the only effective method for replenishing the vitamin C in your skin is to go straight to the source and apply it topically. In fact, it’s been shown that applying vitamin C to the skin is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion. Another advantage to applying vitamin C topically is the fact that once it s absorbed into your skin, it can’t be washed or rubbed off. Significant amounts of it continue to remain active in your skin for up to three days.

What role does Vitamin C play in our body?

The ability of Vitamin C to revitalize aging skin is largely due to its beneficial effects on collagen. Collagen is a tough, fibrous protein that is relatively inelastic and very strong. It supplies the basic framework that gives your skin its form, firmness, and strength, while elastin provides flexibility. Overall, the amount of new collagen that your skin produces declines with age, while the rate of its destruction increases. Fortunately, topical vitamin C has been scientifically proven to help stimulate collagen synthesis. It also helps block the production of enzymes that break down collagen, making it one of nature’s most effective anti-aging nutrients. Vitamin C is not only essential for collagen production and maintenance, it’s also a very powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in your the skin.

His challenge to us this fall, is to up our diets with foods high in Vitamin C as well as apply a daily serum containing Vitamin C. Our Brightening Elixir serum was created for this purposes. Loaded with 10% Vitamin C (gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin), Vitamin B3 + B5, Ferulic acid and Vitamin E, this serum will keep you even, glowing and healthy all year long.