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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.

 

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.

Meet Aliza J. Sokolow. Photographer, food stylist, crudités creator extraordinaire and one that’s always on our inspiration radar.

She worked as a stylist on Emmy winning and nominated Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Her work has been featured extensively in commercials for top brands, in the consumer product goods market and across publications in the USA. Her images are displayed at restaurants from coast to coast. 

She completed food styling for her first book past summer Evan Funke’s American Sfoglino: A Master Class in Handmade Pastawhich which will be published by Chronicle Books in 2019.

Her passion is traveling the globe as much as possible and photographing the fruits and vegetables that she finds. *PSSSTT: she turns her insane photographs into some of our favorite cards.

Find out more about how she connects with food and how it plays into her life.


Here are  Aliza Sokolow’s answers awaiting on some images to go along with her feature.

What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me means locally grown and fresh. I mostly eat vegetables and knowing where my food comes from and is grown is important to me.

How to you start your mornings?

I wake up before the sun comes out and go work out.

What are your must use daily beauty products?

I use Supergoop Sunscreen, RMS under eye concealer and Lily and Lolo underage concealer. Sometimes Rituel De Fille cheek color. That’s the extent of my makeup routine. I always curl my lashes and brush up my brows.

How do you de-stress?

Spending time with friends, making cookie dough, doing the NY Times crossword puzzle and listening to music. Then eating cookie dough raw or baked. I like to cozy up to a movie or a TV show too.

Favorite mood-boosting meal?

I love to eat watermelon. It’s super hydrating and sweet.

Whats a dinner recipe you currently have on repeat?

I make a slow roasted salmon with dill, smashed potatoes and a big salad. My people haven’t gotten sick of it yet.:)

What is your daily mantra?

Gratitude is the best attitude.