Three Steps to Luscious Locks

luscious locksI’ll be honest; hair care is not my subject of expertise.

I could talk to you for hours about your skin and give you all sorts of advice to help you reach skin health, but hair… I’m not that great with.

And to get really honest with you, my hair and I have a challenging relationship which is based on the idea that if neither of us does anything to upset the other then we’ll get through the day just fine.

This could be the reason why my hair is in its current state of dishevelment

We’re just starting to slowly break out of winter here in the UK, and boy has it been a stinking winter.

I’m sure it goes without saying that cold temps, what seemed like weekly wind and rain storms, lack of sunshine, heated styling tools, and indoor central heating is not a recipe for lustrous locks. My usually blonde hair is dull, dry, has fly-aways, and dare I say it… looks grey! My hair is feeling neglected and is showing the signs.

It’s time to be pro-active. It’s time to take matters into my own hands. It’s time to stop hiding and step up. My hair is screaming out for help and I’m answering that call.

Here’s my three-step plan to get the hair of your dreams…

1. Ditch the yucky stuff

I’m sure you all know by now that there are some nasty chemicals in commercial skincare products (I mean, I say it often enough!), and the same goes for your hair care products.

Mass-produced shampoos which you buy in shops are just detergents full of chemicals to strip your hair and scalp of dirt and oil – the most well-known being Sodium Laureth Sulphate, or SLS. You may have already heard some bad things about SLS… It was originally created for industrial use. When rinsed from the skin or hair, the product will have cleaned the area, but will also have taken moisture from the top layers of the skin or from the hair.

Another group of ingredients we hear about are silicones. These ingredients have no long-term benefits for your hair at all. Silicones simply coat the hair strands to make them appear smoother, less frizzy and shinier in the short term. Silicone build-up can cause your hair to look greasy.

I’ve looked at the harsh chemicals and ingredients lurking in beauty products before, so for more information, take a look at What’s really lurking in your toiletries cupboard.

So, what to do? You could go No-Poo (cleaning your hair without shampoo), or you could go low-poo – finding natural and organic shampoo and conditioner.

2. Leave the heat behind

I love warm sunny days where I can wash my hair and leave it to dry naturally. It just feels so much softer, and looks brighter and blonder.

So many of us use heated styling tools these days. Did you know, a third of all women — and even one in five men — own hair straighteners, and more than a quarter of us refuse to leave the house without first ironing our hair. And that’s not taking into account the hair dryers and curling tongs.

Hair is very tough, but any heat over 180C (which most straighteners and curling tongs reach easily) will damage the cuticle of the hair — the hard outer protective coating on each strand. Under the microscope, the cuticle looks like overlapping slates or scales. These should lie flat to provide a smooth, protective coating over the ‘cortex’; a twisted bundle of protein fibres which make up over 80 per cent of the hair and give it its internal strength and flexibility.

Repeated straightening causes a breakdown in the cuticle. The ‘slates’ start to lift and the rough, uneven surface exposes the cortex, allowing the fibres to unravel. This starts as split ends, but can reach all the way up the hair, causing it to break off.

What should you do? Reduce the heat and embrace your natural self! Start by giving your hair a “day off” from heated styling once a week, then try two days a week, then three…

3. Feed it!

hair maskWhen your hair is looking and feeling neglected and under-nourished, then it’s time to give something back. I love the results of a good hair mask but, sadly, rarely remember to indulge.

There are absolutely LOADS of recipes you could use to make a hair mask. Or you could just whip up something from ingredients you’ve got in your kitchen cupboard… which is what I did the other day.

Here’s what I used…

I mashed half a banana and then mixed it with 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp aloe vera gel, a splash of olive oil, and a few drops of chamomile essential oil. When all the ingredients were blending together well, I simply massaged it into my hair from root to tip and left it for an hour or so, with my hair wrapped in clingfilm (you could use a shower cap) and then a towel.

Afterwards, I rinsed the mask out as much as possible, then washed my hair as normal with low-poo products (note: if you’re using the no-poo cleaning method, leave out the olive oil – or any oil – as this is difficult to remove when using no-poo), and left it to dry naturally. Note: it helps if you gently comb your hair while wet, to get the bulk of the mask out.

It was quite amazing how instantly revived my hair looked and felt – so soft and shiny! Must remember to do this more often!

As I said, there are loads of other ingredients you could use… how about mashed avocado, coconut oil, raw egg, plain yoghurt, ground almonds, ground oatmeal… or if you want to get a bit more exotic, how about rhassoul mud, cosmetic clay, or even henna powder if you want to brighten your colour even more… the list goes on.

I’d love to hear if you have any other tips or tricks for keeping your hair healthy, especially if you have a secret recipe of a hair mask that you’d like to share! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time,

Much love from Sami x

 

 

P.S. Exciting news! The Retreat is coming soon! Can’t wait to share more with you when I can!

the retreat - coming soon

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Say It With Roses

I’m sure there are not many who would argue if I were to say that the rose is the ultimate feminine flower. You only have to think about St. Valentine’s Day when it is customary for a man to gift his partner with a bouquet of roses, yet if a woman were to do the same for her man, it would be seen as rather odd. The scent of rose will also be found in many perfumes, soaps, and body care products.

There is a saying that roses are good for “the skin and the soul”, and they have a long tradition of medicinal use.

Rose was possibly the first plant to be distilled (i.e. to extract the essential oil), by the 10th-century Arab physician, Avicenna.

Roses have been used through the centuries to treat many ailments, they are a symbol of love and purity and are traditionally scattered at weddings to ensure a happy marriage, the fragrance is used to aid prayer, and, as I’ve already mentioned, in recent years rose fragrance has been added to perfumes, cosmetics and toiletries galore.

So why is rose a feminine flower?

I think it has to do with its healing properties.

You see, every plant has its own unique medicinal or healing properties, and the properties of rose are very useful to the fairer sex.

Here’s a quick look at those effect…

    • the fragrance of rose has a soothing effect on the emotions, particularly depression. It is said to “lift” the heart and ease stress
    • the scent of roses is also said to give a woman positive feelings about herself (and we could all use some of that from time to time!)
    • in skincare, rose is useful for all skin types, but is particularly good for those with mature, dry or sensitive skin
    • rose’s tonic and soothing qualities are helpful for inflammation, and is thought to be a good treatment for broken thread veins

I’m sure you’ll agree that those are all great benefits for women, but it’s when we look at rose’s actions within the body that we start to really see how it got its reputation as a feminine flower

    • rose is an excellent tonic for the womb – it can ease PMT and help to regulate the menstrual cycle
    • rose is also said to be helpful with sexual difficulties by soothing underlying tension or stress by triggering your body to release the “happy” hormone dopamine

Say it with roses… treat your Mum this Mother’s Day!

Mother's day 2014

Mother’s Day – Sunday 30th March – is fast approaching (in the UK, USA and Australia, don’t panic! Your Mother’s Day isn’t for a little while yet).

My Mum is ace! She’s always there for me when I need her – from the small stuff to the really big stuff.

This year, I’m going to treat her to all the benefits the rose has to offer – soothing and caring, stress-relief, and positive feelings about herself.

Our Mums do SO much for us!

So I want to help you to do the same for your Mum (or yourself!)…

In our Mother’s Day special, we’re offering 20% off our Stop & Smell the Roses bath and body range (click the image opposite to see the range).

You don’t need any codes, the price will automatically be reduced on our website.

This offer is open to absolutely anyone, and ends at midnight on 31st March.

Enjoy!

Much love from Sami x

 

 

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Should “Alternative” Become Mainstream?

alternative medicineThe UK is a nation of pill-poppers.

One billion prescriptions were written in 2012.

That’s 2.7 million prescriptions every day.

That’s a 62% rise in the last decade.

That’s a lot of prescriptions.

That’s a lot of manufactured, synthetic drugs.

Drugs for heart disease top the bill. But others, like anti-depressants and diabetes medication are rising fast.

That’s good, right? I meant, people are getting the medication they need to make them feel better.

Well, yes and no…

It’s true that people are becoming more aware of, and more concerned about their health – previous generations had to rely on their GP to tell them what they need, but now we live in an internet age and anyone can “google” their symptoms and diagnose themselves. 

But all too often, drugs are seen as a quick-fix get-out.

Rather than making lifestyle changes, we take drugs to combat the effects of that lifestyle. Popping a pill is easier than taking the effort to eat healthily, exercise regularly, or reduce stress. And, perhaps, many of us simply aren’t aware of how to take care of our wellbeing.

Anti-depressant alternatives

Let’s take a look at the rise in anti-depression prescriptions – over 50 million prescriptions were issued in 2012; a rise of over 7%.

This rise could be seen as a result of the economic situation, rising unemployment, and all the other stressful effects of the recession we have been living through over the past five years.

But aren’t there better way to help those with depression and anxiety?

Yes.

There has been massive government investment into psychotherapy and other treatments. 

From a personal perspective

When I was diagnosed with depression about nine years ago, the first thing my GP did was hand me a prescription. In fact, that was the only thing he did – there was no talk of alternative treatments, or lifestyle changes I could make.

I was not prepared to feed my body synthetic chemical drugs for the foreseeable future, so I declined the prescription and committed to finding a better way to heal my mind and body.

And I did. It wasn’t easy, by any stretch of the imagination, but I did it without the use of drugs.

How?

I’ll start by giving you an idea of what my depression looked like… everything felt like such hard work; I was tired all the time and had no energy; I didn’t leave the house unless I really had to; I’d arrange meet-ups with friends, but as the date drew closer I’d start to panic and, in the end, I’d cancel; sometimes I’d go for as much as a week without even washing my hair, and getting dressed just seemed pointless; I just felt flat, I’d lost my fizz and joy of life.

Coming out of this depression started with little steps – getting out of the house was really important. Going for a walk in the countryside, and arranging to meet friends for lunch and actually keeping the date were two of the major turning points.

Why?

As well as being good for our physical health, in recent years, studies have shown that regular physical activity also has benefits for mental health.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.” That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life, thus combating depression.

Laughing works in a similar way. You’ve heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine”… Well it’s true.

Laughing can lower blood pressure for some by inducing relaxation and preventing the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. Some describe laughter as “internal jogging” as you inhale oxygen which stimulates heart and blood circulation. Laughter can also trigger the release of endorphins which give you a sense of well being. Laughing can reduce stress and anxiety because it naturally relaxes you. Laughter induces your heart rate to slow down and your blood pressure to decrease.

Side-effects and addiction

It’s not just that manufactured prescription drugs are unnecessary in some cases – such as mine, above – but they can actually add to the problems.

More and more Britons are becoming addicted to medications – including anti-depressants, and strong painkillers such as tramadol and fentanyl. 

And then there are all of the unwanted side-effects of prescription drugs.

Medication labels can warn of anything from drowsiness, nausea, skin irritation, and allergic reactions, to and increase or decrease in blood pressure, internal bleeding, and I’m sure somewhere I saw “death” listed as a possible side-effect.

One of the most pressing side-effects for society as a whole, is the threat of antibiotics resistance. Recent NHS figures show a “notable increase” (of 2.5 million!) in antibiotic prescriptions in a year. Over-use and miss-use of antibiotics means bacteria are becoming resistant to their affect. 

Don’t get me wrong, some complimentary herbal “medicines” can have side-effects, too. But therapists tend to work much more closely with clients, take a full history, and consider the person as a whole (rather than just looking at the symptom – the illness) to ensure the treatment is right for them.

What about our skin?

Ok, this is a skincare website, so I guess I should talk about our skin, too…

If you’ve been following my work for a while (or even if you’ve only had a quick snoop around my website), you probably know by now that I know how embarrassing and emotionally crippling a skin condition such as acne, eczema or psoriasis can be.

I’ve pretty much battled with acne for most of my life since puberty. I lost count of the number of off-the-shelf products I tried. Nothing seemed to work. A lot of the products just dried my skin out, which may have helped with the spots, but the dry and flaky patches looked just as bad.

In the end, I went to my doctor for help and he prescribed a topical lotion. Not only did this lotion leave my skin extremely dry, but it would actually sting my skin when I applied it.

If somebody could have just told me that there was another way… a way that wouldn’t sting my skin or leave it dry… a way that took into account the health of my whole body and not just the “symptom” of my acne…

That is when my journey to healthy skin began. There were no man-made drugs, mass-produced products or other harsh treatments along the way. Instead, there was LOTS of natural gorgeous-ness in the form of natural skincare products and ingredients, healthy fresh food, herbal teas, and natural supplements, as well as a holistic approach to my health.

What’s the answer?

I don’t claim to have all the answers. And some medication can be vital. But I think we need to wake up to the state of our health and the state of our health system. 

Taking responsibility for our own health is crucial.

I urge you to take a different approach to your health and wellbeing. Taking an holistic look at your health – which means looking at your diet, losing weight (if need-be), exercising, reducing stress, and assessing your lifestyle – can prevent many conditions, from heartburn to heart disease.

I honestly believe that my story can be replicated for anyone who’s ready to make real in order to get the healthy skin of their dreams.

Here’s to good health!

Much love from Sami x

 

 

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Are You SAD?

We all get the winter blues from time to time.

Here in North Wales, it’s cold, grey and raining, it gets dark early, and it feels like we haven’t seen the sun for months. We’re into February now, but spring still seems a LONG way off. 

Winter blues are understandable. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to hide under the duvet on these cold winter mornings. I often think humans should take a note from animals and hibernate until warmer weather returns.

SAD

But what if you’re experiencing something more than just “feeling blue”?

An estimated two million people in the UK suffer with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) at this time of year. SAD is a form of depression which can be completely debilitating and leave a person barely able to function until the clocks go forward, the days get longer, and the weather gets brighter.

A further ten million Britons are affected by a milder form of SAD, and experience symptoms such as feeling tired all the time, sleeping longer, feeling low, craving sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods, and the resulting weight-gain.

What causes SAD?

The main factor, when it comes to SAD, is daylight… or rather, the lack of enough daylight due to heavy cloud and shorter days.

Hold on to your hats, we’re about to get scientific about it…

It’s the visible light in the blue-green part of the spectrum which affects SAD. When light hits the retina at the back of your eye, it sends a message to your hypothalamus (a part of your brain which regulates the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin).

It’s this hormone which regulate our 24-hour body clock and signals when we should go to sleep (when it’s dark) and when we should wake up (when it gets light).

One theory is that people affected by SAD are unable to “switch off” this hormone at the start of each day because of a heightened sensitivity to the lack of light during winter. This creates an hormonal imbalance in the hypothalamus and results in unusual sleep patterns, lack of sex drive, low mood, and food cravings.

Another theory is that lower levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter which gives the feel-good factor) in winter may also be involved. Some experts suggest that the cravings for carbs seen in those with SAD, is your body’s way of trying to boost serotonin levels. However, there are also lower levels of serotonin in people with non-seasonal depression as well, though usually no carb cravings.

SAD has been observed to affect families, so there may also be a genetic factor to the disorder.

What are the symptoms?

In non-seasonal depression, common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, and disturbed sleep. With SAD, these symptoms are reversed…

  • Sleep – usually over-sleeping and unable to get up in the morning
  • Increased appetite – particularly craving carbohydrates and sugary foods – this can result in weight gain
  • Low mood
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impaired immune system – more coughs, colds and infections
  • Low sex drive
  • Keeping yourself to yourself – avoiding social occasions and situations – taking no pleasure from socialising

So what’s the treatment?

Doctors say there is no cure, but there are ways to manage the disorder successfully. One of these ways is, of course, medication in the form of anti-depressants.

But what about natural treatments?

  • Light therapy – since it is the lack of light which causes SAD, it stands to reason that light therapy can be the answer. Get out in the fresh air as much as possible. Even on a cloudy day, there is more natural light than that emitted from the average domestic light bulb. The other option is to use a light box – choose either white of blue light. A sun lamp won’t have the same effect because the light isn’t from the right part of the spectrum (plus they can emit harmful UV rays).
  • Diet – if you’re feeling “down” it’s best not to exacerbate the problem by giving in to those carbohydrate cravings. Excessive amounts of refined grains and sugars will only contribute to your sluggish state, leaving you drained and emotionally dulled. Instead, opt for a healthy diet of fresh foods and whole grains. If you’re getting cravings, try eating a handful of nuts, or up your intake of meat, fatty fish, beans, and other protein-rich foods.
  • Exercise – as well as all of these positive physical effects, exercise also has positive effects on the mind and spirit. It helps to relax your mind and put you back in the present moment (instead of all those wildly wandering thoughts!). Yes, exercise burns calories, but it also (and not least) releases endorphins, which are the feel-good hormones that are nature’s antidote to stress and worry.
  • Laugh – they say laughter is the best medicine… and they are SO right! Laughing can lower blood pressure by inducing relaxation and preventing the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. Laughter can also trigger the release of endorphins which give you a sense of well being. Laughing can also reduce stress and anxiety because it naturally relaxes you. The best form of laughter (in my opinion) is laughing with friends. But you could try watching your favourite sitcom or funny film to get yourself laughing.
  • Scents – some essential oils have been found to have mood-boosting properties. Neroli is the most famous of these – its fragrance is said to induce a feeling of euphoria (our Smile! Bath & Body Oil uses a blend of neroli, chamomile and ylang-ylang to ease tension and lift the spirits). Rose is said to give a woman positive feelings about herself (find it in our Rose Lotion). Our two Body Butter Bars have been designed to harness the mental and emotional benefits of essential oils as well as the skincare benefits – they smell amazing! And citrus oils have uplifting effects on the mind and body.

Hold on in there, spring is on its way, the day’s are getting longer, and (hopefully) we’ll being seeing the sun again soon.

Until next time,

Much love from Sami x

 

 

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Just How Do I Learn To Love Myself?

As you can see, our motto is “love yourself naturally”. This was our motto when I first founded the Freyaluna natural skincare range, and then, when our company evolved into an online sanctuary of holistic skincare advice and information, it felt right that we should call it Love Yourself Naturally.

So what does “love yourself naturally” mean?

Well, we not only mean to love yourself by using natural products and not adding unnecessary chemicals to your skin and your life, but we also mean to love yourself as you are, naturally, in the here and now.

If you’ve been following us for a while (through our weekly “love letters”, our facebook page, or twitter) you’ll know that I’m always encouraging women to love themselves as they are right now (that’s why you’ll never see us use terms like “anti-ageing”!). All too many of us believe we’re not “something” enough – not thin enough, not pretty enough, not rich enough, not loved enough, or whatever it might be.

Let me state, categorically, right now… you are enough.

Did you get that? I said… YOU ARE ENOUGH!

In fact, never mind “enough”, you’re goddam amazing! There is quite literally no-one else in this whole world like you, or who can offer the world what you can.

Think about that for a minute. I mean, REALLY think about it. No matter how hard this universe tries, it will never be able to make another you. You are one of a kind, my lovely!

But how do I learn to love myself?

learn to love yourselfTime for a personal story…

I hold may hands up and say, I have been struggling with this very thing for the last month or so. The thing is, it took me a while to realise it.

You see, though I had the odd “I want to change this or that” phase while I was younger, for the past few years I’ve been happy with myself and my life – my body, my personality, my work, my friends. And I’ve never taken that for granted, because I know there are people in this world who don’t think of themselves in the way I think of myself (did I mention, I’m amazingly awesome?!).

Side note: that’s partly why I founded Love Yourself Naturally – to help women to love and accept themselves.

And then, near the end of last year, something happened which turned my world upside-down.

I won’t go into too much detail (mostly because I haven’t fully come to terms with it myself just yet), but let me just say that there was a man involved (isn’t there always?!). This man meant A LOT to me and had done for a few years; pretty much since we first met back in 2010.

Anyway… to cut a long story short, I ended-up broken-hearted. I’m sure I’m not alone in having experienced what it feels like to give yourself – body, heart and soul – to someone and have them throw it away for whatever reason.

Being a woman (isn’t this what we always do?!), I thought it was my fault. I thought it was something I’d done wrong, or hadn’t done right. I thought it was because I wasn’t “something” enough. I thought that if only I was a little more “this” or a little more “that” then he wouldn’t have treated me the way he did.

I tell you what, for an intelligent woman, I can be pretty stupid sometimes!

Of course it wasn’t really anything to do with me. He had his own problems. I’m not making excuses for him, but I honestly believe he didn’t mean to treat me badly. We all make mistakes.

But that feeling of confusion and worthlessness is not shaken easily.

I had lost my love of myself.

Baby steps…

I think I’m just about on the mend. My heart is starting to heal. I don’t think about him quite as much as I did. After a month of near sleepless nights, I’ve started to sleep well again. I’ve still got a way to go, but I’m slowly getting there.

How? 

My journal is my best friend. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I recommend journalling for just about everything. I “tell” my journal everything. Simply writing down everything that had happened and all of the confused questions I had in my mind, really helped to get it all out of my head.

But what about getting the good thoughts and feelings back? How do I do that?

I started a simple journalling technique to re-build my self-love…

  • Each evening, think about the day which is coming to an end
  • Think of three ways in which you value yourself, or three ways in which you have added value to someone else’s life that day
  • Write these three things in your journal
  • Do this for at least 21 days (studies show that 21 days is the length of time it takes to change a habit)

What do you value about yourself? It could be anything from having great style, to being a genius with all things technological, it could be your ability to show love even when your heart is broken… absolutely anything, no matter how small.

How do you add value to some else’s life? It could be cooking a delicious meal for your family, it could be helping a friend move house, it could be complimenting a colleague’s new haircut, it could be telling a funny story and making people laugh, it could be as simple as smiling at someone.

I have only been doing this for a week or so, but already I can feel my love of self building. I’m slowly working my way back to “I’m awesome!”

What if there are things I want to change about myself?

That’s great, too! 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t want to improve yourself at all – self-improvement is a brilliant aspect of life. If you’ve got a goal, then go for it with your heart and soul. But please don’t do it just for the love and acceptance of someone else, do it for yourself. 

As Lucille Ball (of I Love Lucy fame) said…

“Love yourself first and everything else will fall into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

We all have the power to change.

If you start from a place of happiness and peace within yourself, reaching your goals will be so much easier.

I am a natural optimist. I don’t know if this is from nature or nurture, but I always try to see the good in people (even if they’ve hurt me), and in life’s situations. I honestly feel that seeing the world from a “glass half full” perspective is the best starting point on our journey to reaching our goals.

I’m going to end with this thought, because I absolutely love it…

Much love,

Much love from Sami x

 

 

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Healthy Skin is a Jigsaw Puzzle

healthy skin is a jigsaw puzzleYou may have noticed by now that I’m a bit of geek when it comes to our skin and our bodies and how they work together to keep us healthy.

Honestly, I could go on about this stuff for hours – I could talk about it late into the night to anyone who’d listen!

So today I want to give you a sneaky peek inside The Clear Skin Plan and tell you a bit about how we work with you to clear your skin for good and get the healthy skin you’re longing for…

Our skin is a major channel of elimination.

When all is working well, the skin carries out this elimination through sweating. But when we experience a skin problem such as acne, it is our body’s way of telling us that it’s struggling; something inside isn’t working as well as it could be.

This usually means that the digestive and detoxification systems aren’t working at full power, so our bodies are enlisting the skin to take some of the burden, the skin then helps to remove harmful toxins which have built-up within the body through the skin, and this is when we get skin problems.

You know what; our bodies are amazing at what they do, but the constant toxin attack brought on by today’s world sometimes becomes overwhelming.

So to heal our skin, we must clean out our internal systems of the toxic build-up which results from our modern Western lifestyle, and enable our bodies to do the work it was created to do.

The liver’s role

When the detox signal is triggered eight hours after your last meal, toxins and mucus are released into circulation and must be neutralised and eliminated because these toxins contain free radicals – electrically-charged molecules which corrode tissues and damage cells on contact.

The main player in this part of the detox story is the liver. Its cells contain a group of enzymes (the cytochrome P450 system) which are designed to produce the chemical reactions needed for this critical process of neutralisation. These reactions are performed in two phases.

Phase 1 – the actual structure of the toxin to be neutralised is altered and it’s turned into an “intermediate metabolite” (a sort of mid-way state). In some cases, these intermediate products can be more toxin than the original toxins they came from.
The rush is now on to push it through to the second phase.

Phase 2 – the liver works to neutralise the toxic property and turn it into a water-soluble product which can then be passed back into the blood and carried to the kidneys.
The kidneys will then recognise it and capture it out of the blood then, finally, release it into the urethra as urine. When you pee it out, the detoxification journey is completed.

How does The Clear Skin Plan help?

Let’s take a look at the main functions of The Clear Skin Plan:

  • Reduce the workload of the digestive system – even though you may not overtly feel it, some foods cause allergic responses within the body, which means the body uses-up energy trying to deal with them, and this leads to the “dullness” we feel day to day. Consuming less solid food and excluding irritants means this energy can be reallocated to the process of detoxification.
  • Restore the 12-hour window – the signal to enter detox mode starts about 8 hours after your last meal, and the average body needs around four hours to do a deep clean. Few of us get this time today because we eat and snack late into the night.
  • Rebuild the inner environment – acidity is lowered (our inner environment is naturally slightly alkali), the good bacteria in our intestines is rebalanced, and the intestinal wall gets a chance to heal. Creating this balanced and stable environment means cravings for the foods which cause this toxicity are reduced, which supports long-term maintenance of this clean state.
  • Support the liver – a balanced intake of nutrients is supplied to ensure that the liver can perform phase 1 and phase 2 functions efficiently.
  • Enhance elimination – once toxins are neutralised and released by the liver, they must be discarded. This programme helps to ensure this happens effectively.

It’s not just food and diet…

Obviously, the skincare products you use will have a huge effect on the health of your skin, and we take an in-depth look at that topic.

But have you ever considered that what’s hanging in your wardrobe could be affecting the health of your skin?

What about the relationship with your partner?

Or that impending work deadline?

You may well be surprised at what can actually contribute to your toxic state. I like to think of it as a jigsaw – a puzzle of many pieces which, when fitted together in the correct way, can result in your healthy glowing skin and a vibrancy for life.

Over the six weeks of The Clear Skin Plan, we look at all the necessary aspects and options for you to consider in your quest to achieve and maintain clear, healthy, glowing skin.

We take an holistic approach to skincare (looking at your body, mind and lifestyle as a whole), and some aspects of the programme may seem a bit out-of-place when we’re talking about skincare and getting glowing skin, but trust me, it all has a place and each step of this plan has been added for a reason. 

This approach can work for everyone whether you have a severe case of acne, eczema, or psoriasis, or if you simply want your skin to exude an inner glow ready for your wedding day.

Most importantly, if you maintain the strategies I outline in this programme, the results will be permanent.

With all the information I pack into the first week of this programme, I arm you with some great tools to keep your skin (and your whole body) healthy and looking great for life!

So what does The Clear Skin Plan look like?

Clear Skin Plan button

Week One – Education Week. In the first week we start off gently by taking a look at our skin and body health, how different aspects of your life and your environment can impact your health, and great ways to improve your overall health, and so the health of your skin. I think it’s important for you to know all of this information because it will help you to see what has been affecting your health, and how you can make changes and improvements to alter this. At the end of each day’s programme materials I give you a few action points – steps you can take to get ready for your body detox.

Week Two - This week we’re preparing for the detox. It’s time to prepare your mind and body, so that you are really ready for the detox ahead. This is an important step because it can make the whole detox process easier for both your body and your mind. Instead of jumping in feet first, this preparation week helps to ease you in a bit more gently.

Weeks Three, Four & Five - Detox! Many detox programmes available today will give you set meal plans and shopping lists for during your body detox. I’m don’t do that. We’re all different, so we all like different foods. I feel it would be wrong of me to say what you must eat. I will provide you with healthy “clean” recipe ideas, and you can choose which you like the look of, or find some yourself and experiment.

Week Six - I’ve added a sixth week to this detox programme to help you finish the detox, and decide what to do next. This week we will look at how we can ease ourselves (and our bodies) out of detox, and consider what goals we want to make for the weeks, months and years ahead.

Throughout the six weeks, we will also be taking a more in-depth look at the different skin types and the most common skin problems.

Is The Clear Skin Plan for me?

Is your skin looking less-than-healthy and you want to glow from the inside-out?

Do you have a big event coming up – maybe a holiday, big presentation, your wedding day – and want your skin to exude an inner wellbeing?

Are you thoroughly fed up with the acne, eczema, psoriasis, or other skin problem you’ve been living with for years, and want to clear your skin for good?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then yes, The Clear Skin Plan is most definitely for you!

If you want more information, you can find it all – a bit of my personal story, what The Clear Skin Plan can do for you, your bonuses, testimonials from past clients, and some frequently asked questions – you can find it all on The Clear Skin Plan page of our website. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.

Until next time,

Much love from Sami x

 

 

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Natural Steps to Better Sleep

better sleepUntil recently, for a few months, I’d not been sleeping well at all, and I wasn’t getting more than five hours a night(usually less), when I’m usually a 8 or 9-hour sleeper. I can happily handle the odd sleepless night, but when it’s been going on for three months, it starts to take its toll.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my insomnia, so today I want to share some of the tips and tricks which helped me out the other side.

One of our biggest health challenges today, is the lack of enough time to rest and restore. We Brits tend to be sleep-deprived – we work all week, often late into the night, party all weekend, have other commitments like caring for children and loved-ones – no wonder there’s not enough time to get a proper night’s sleep. 

How lack of sleep affects your body

I’m sure we’ve all experienced the negative effects of a sleepless night – a day of grogginess, irritability, lack of concentration, and all sorts of other unpleasant feelings. All of this is amplified if the one sleepless night becomes weeks or months of sleep deprivation, but there are many other negative effects as well.

The long-term consequences of sleep deprivation can be fairly devastating to your overall health, ranging from the obvious (impaired cognition) to the surprising (higher risk of breast cancer). Here are a few of them…

  • impaired memory and brain function
  • lack-lustre skin, perhaps with increased skin problems
  • impaired immunity
  • higher anxiety levels
  • higher levels of depression
  • unhealthy cravings
  • higher risk of stroke
  • higher risk of hypertension
  • higher risk of heart disease
  • increased risk of breast cancer
  • increased risk of diabetes

Why are you still awake?

It helps to figure out what’s keeping you up at night.

I think my sleep deprivation probably had something to do with having a LOT on my mind and I was a bit stressed. My mind was constantly whirring, trying to make sense of certain situations and events, and work out what to do about things. Then there was all the stress of getting ready for Christmas. And, of course, the extra pressures at work at that busy time of work.

But it could be something a lot simpler which is keeping you awake. Here are some of the common causes…

  • drinking caffeine (coffee, energy drinks, etc) from late afternoon onwards
  • exercising late at night
  • watching TV (or working at a laptop, using your smartphone, iPad, etc) before bed
  • working late into the night

Getting back to sleep

If, like me, you’ve got problems and worries on your mind, it will be a huge help if you take steps to deal with those issues. You don’t have to solve the whole thing in one day, but even just taking the first small step can be enough to ease your mind. For me, all it took was a phone conversation to start to make sense of things and help put my mind at rest.

Here are some other tips which have helped me back to sleep…

  • Keep your bedroom for sleep and sex only – Make it a no-go area for TVs, computers, laptops, and any other electronic gizmos. To get a bit scientific about it, the light waves and energy waves emitted by this sort of equipment can interfere with our brains and interrupt sleep patterns.
  • Develop a going-to-bed routine – It doesn’t really matter what the routine is (as long as it’s not sleep easy bath & body oiloverly stimulating), but if you do the same things, carry-out the same tasks, every evening before getting into bed, your body will learn to recognise the routine and realise that you’ll be going to bed and to sleep soon, and so will start to wind itself down in readiness. 
  • Have a hot drink before bed – My favourite is a cup of chamomile, honey and vanilla tea, but it’s personal choice so find one that works for you. I especially like this tea because the chamomile is soothing and calming, and aids sleep. Whatever you do, steer clear of caffeine.
  • Have a warm bath – This helps to really relax the body (and mind) after a long day of hectic activity. If you add some essential oils or soothing bath oils, then the sedative effects will be greater. I love Freyaluna’s Sleep Easy Bath & Body Oil, which uses a blend of lavender, chamomile and sandalwood, which are all well-known for their relaxing and sedative properties.

Sleep well,

Much love from Sami x

 

 

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2014 – Let’s Make It A Good One!

We all know new year resolutions are a bit of a cliché; a bit of a running joke – you make them, and then in the first week of the new year, you break them.

You know the sort of thing I’m talking about… lose the extra weight you gained over Christmas, give up smoking, give up drinking, eat healthily, do an hour of exercise every day, find your dream job, be more loving in your relationships, and just generally sort your life out…

While those are all really good goals to have, if you’re not committed to them, then there’s not really much hope of them becoming reality.

I always feel that the first week of a new year is mostly spent in panic mode – after all the celebrations and partying of the festive season, we hit the new year with a certain amount of regret and guilt that we “really must do better this year”.

So today I want to talk about REAL new year resolutions (or dreams/goals/passions) and how we can bring them to reality in the coming year.

What are your dreams and goals?

Do you even know them yourself? 

I don’t mean the ones which society and the media say you should make – i.e. lose weight, give up smoking, eat healthily. Again, these are really good goals to have, but only if they are truly YOUR goals.

Perhaps you have a vague idea or feeling of what your goals are, but it helps to get really specific. I mean, what does “lose weight” really mean? Do you want to lose half a stone, do you want to reach a certain dress size, or do you want to get fit and toned and improve your overall health?

If you’re not specific, you won’t know what you’re working towards, and so you won’t be able to attract it or create it into your life. 

If you haven’t already, take some time now to search deep within yourself – allow yourself to dream and visualise what it is that you truly want to achieve. Don’t let your imagination be dulled by limitations or boundaries.

Once you know what your dreams and goals are, write them down. If you keep a diary or journal, you could write them there, or you could stick them on your fridge or by your desk so that you see them everyday. If you want to keep your goals private, that’s absolutely fine, you don’t have to share them with anyone.

Got a feeling?

Perhaps you can’t come up with any specific goals, maybe your “vague feeling” is all you’ve got at the moment. Well that’s great, too. Some people like to create a theme for their new year – choosing one word to describe what they want more of. A theme is a great way to focus on something important, and to help bring it into being. My word for 2014 is LOVE. I can’t really say where the word came from or how it came to be “my word”, it just appeared in my mind and my whole body and soul lit up in agreement. 

So what does LOVE mean to me…? Well it means love for myself (even though my company is called Love Yourself Naturally and everyday I encourage women to love themselves, sometimes, with all of the commitments I have to keep up with, I tend to forget about lil ol’ me), for friends, for family, for my work and clients (I love you guys!), for life… and any other love which may show up in my life over the coming year.

It DOES NOT mean that I’m going to spend my year chasing and searching for a romantic relationship. But if I were to meet someone with whom I would want a relationship, well then I’m open the possibility.

Positive things happen to positive people

Trust me, I know it can be difficult to stay positive, especially when you’re working to improve yourself or your life.

But it’s true what they say – there is power in positivity.

You have to remove doubt, worry and uncertainty from your mind. Even if you tried and failed in the past… the past is gone! 

Your goals or dreams may seem impossible and unreachable, and it’s ok to not know exactly how you’re going to get there. You don’t need to know all the details right now. In fact, it’s better to be definite in what you want and allow your deeper intelligence to work on figuring out solutions that your conscious mind perhaps haven’t figured out yet.

Negativity breeds negativity. so if you send out doubt and uncertainty into the world, it will cancel-out any positive energy you have for realising your goals.

Do something for others

Your goals and dreams will be much more powerful if you make other people’s’ happiness a part of them.

For example, when I wanted to set-up my company and grow it into a viable business, yes I wanted to be my own boss and create a business which could support me financially, but I also had the strong goal of wanting to help women to clear their skin naturally and holistically because I had been there and suffered the torment of not liking what I saw in the mirror, and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that.

The pull of this goal of wanting to help others is what kept me going (and still keeps me going) through difficult times when it looked like my business would never be what I wanted it to be.

Supporting the happiness of others can take on many different forms – there are infinite possibilities. Feel how it will fit into your own goals and dreams.

Support yourself on your journey

When we’re trying to reach our dreams, it’s important that we support our minds and our bodies as we work to get there.

We need to live a lifestyle which is in support of all aspects of ourselves – mind, body and soul – as we pursue our goals.

it starts with a healthy diet. If your body if full of toxins (from unhealthy processed and refined foods) then your mind will be dulled and your energy won’t be what it could be. You’ll find lots of resources on our website to support you with that, including many articles, recipes, and The Clear Skin Plan (healing your skin from the inside-out).

Besides diet, there are many other ways you can support yourself along your journey. You could try meditation, yoga, long walks in the countryside, cutting down on alcohol, spending less time with negative people (we all have them in our lives)… the list is endless.

Sometimes you just have to be honest with yourself and admit that certain things, people, places or situations just aren’t benefitting you any more. Only YOU know what you need to adjust in your lifestyle.

Here’s to a fabulous 2014!

Until next time,

Much love from Sami x

 

 

P.S. If one of your goals for 2014 is to FINALLY get to grips with your skin problems and heal your skin for good, I would LOVE to help you on your journey. Take a look at what The Clear Skin Plan can do for you. It is a culmination of the many years and many £££ it took me to find the answer to healing my skin for life. I want to save you the time and the expense I went through, and help you get your gorgeous skin in just six weeks!

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New Year, New You?

Okay, okay, I’m sorry… If you’re anything like me, you absolutely hate that phrase in the title to this article. 

I hate the idea that just because you maybe ate a little too much or partied and little too much over the festive season that as soon as New Year is over, you must automatically want to change anything and everything about yourself.

As I’m sure you know by now, here at Love Yourself Naturally we like to do things a little differently – we want you to love yourself as you are in the here and now!

Having said that, the turn of the year is a great time to reflect on the year coming to an end and start looking to the year ahead. Perhaps you got a few things wrong in 2013 – trust me, you’re not alone on that one! And maybe there are some goals you want to set yourself for 2014.

clear skin plan

If one of your goals is to heal yourself – body, mind, soul and skin – then I’d like to tell you about our Clear Skin Plan running from the end of January. The Clear Skin Plan is a six-week journey of discovery – I’ll challenge you to take a good hard look at every aspect of your diet and lifestyle, and to make changes for the better.

For 2014, however, I’ve made a few changes.

Don’t worry, the programme is still as awesome as ever!

You see, I received an email from a new member of our Love Yourself Naturally family the other day and it read…

“I’m excited to begin a journey to detoxify my body and accept my body skin and hair the way it is naturally…  I’m hoping this is more than a scheme to make money , I hate to be skeptical but hey it’s the internet, we’re all entitled to be a little wary!”

Well, dear reader, firstly let me put your mind at rest and tell you that this is NOT just a money-making scheme. This is the approach which helped me to clear my skin after many years of heartache and trial and error whilst trying to heal my acne. 

This is the result of my own personal journey, so I know for sure that it works.

And I’ve guided many women through The Clear Skin Plan since launching at the beginning of this year, and many have seen amazing transformations in their skin and their general health.

Secondly, the phrase “scheme to make money” really hit home. 

I completely believe in The Clear Skin Plan and all that it (and I) can offer… But perhaps I have lost sight of why I created the programme in the first place – to help as many women as possible to heal their skin and be rid of their skin problems for good.

I decided that the price of £297.00 was, perhaps, a bit out-of-reach for many.

So (drum-roll, please!)…

For 2014, I’m reducing the price of The Clear Skin Plan to just £99.00!

And that’s not all, oh no!

I’m also introducing a sort of scholarship – each time we run The Clear Skin Plan, one lucky applicant will join for FREE! 

If you would like to be in with a chance to join our journey to healthy skin for free, all you have to do is fill-in our About Me application form, and we’ll choose the person who we feel will benefit most from a free place on The Clear Skin Plan.

I know we’re still in 2013 and in the thick of festive preparations, and perhaps you haven’t even thought of what’s going to happen once the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. But if you have, then we’d love to welcome you onto our first Clear Skin Plan of 2014.

Running from January 31st, we’ll help you to get over the excesses of the holiday season and look ahead to the year to come with a new-found state of health and glowing skin to match.

We’re now taking applications for our Clear Skin Plan scholarship, and applications will close at the end of 2013, so act quickly if you want to be in with the chance of joining us for FREE!

I am so excited about what 2014 has in store!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Much love from Sami x

 

 

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Overwhelmed by Christmas Preparations?

Overwhelmed by Christmas preparations?How are you getting on with your preparations for Christmas and New Year?

Are the presents bought and wrapped? And are you sure you remembered all of your nieces and nephews? Have you stocked-up on all the food you’ll need – all healthy, I hope (well, maybe we can sneak in a few treats… it is Christmas after all)? Have you remembered to invite the family for Christmas dinner? Have you even managed to untangle the Christmas lights yet?!

What about that New Year’s Eve party you were thinking of throwing – drinks ordered, nibbles planned, guests invited (make sure you don’t leave anyone off the guest list!)… maybe some entertainment?

Will the budget stretch far enough?

In all of this planning and thinking of other people, it’s easy to lose sight of number 1 – YOU!

You can’t look after everyone else if you don’t look after yourself.

So I’ve got a great idea…

What if you did something, just for you, to feel light and happy today?

It doesn’t have to be anything life-changing (though that’s good too!), but just something simple like watching your favourite movie or sitcom, going to a yoga class, getting a massage, giving yourself a facial, taking a walk in the countryside, clearing-out your wardrobe, or even just buying yourself a bunch of flowers.

It’s amazing what a little “me time” can do for you – mind, body and soul.

We women are terrible at taking time out to take care of ourselves – we always put others’ needs first. So I’m giving you the permission to take a time-out and recharge your batteries. 

Until next time,

Much love from Sami x

 

 

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