3 Tips to Beat Dry, Winter Skin by E.Maynor

Winter weather can take a toll on our skin, leaving it feeling dry and lackluster. Winter weather increases what Ayurveda Medicine calls Vata energy. Vata is one of 3 main doshas. Basically, these 3 doshas constitute what your body is experiencing as it relates to your internal and external world. Winter weather raises vata, which means we tend to experience a cold, dry, airy feeling in our skin, hair or even our joints. No. Fun. 

To balance vata and your skin during the winter, you need to nourish yourself from the inside out. It doesn't matter how many magical lotions or potions you use, your skin won't glow with our proper nourishment. So, how do you accomplish moisturizing from the inside out? FOOD. Oily, warm or water dense food. Think avocados, nut butters, leafy greens.  

1. Drink Water - If you're like me, you may have noticed it's much easier to remember to drink water during the summer. It's hot, so you get thirsty...duh... The winter is a different story. It's cold, we're less active and it's easy to "forget" to hydrate. There are a few great apps out there for all of us forgetful lucys, like Waterlogged that will remind you to drink water throughout the day. They even have fancy charts to give you a visual of how much you are drinking. I challenge you to try it for one week - I guarantee you will notice an improvement in your energy level and complexion! There are plenty of hydrating foods available too: melons, bell peppers, dark leafy greens...etc. You can read more benefits here



2. Get Fat - In your diet, that is. Healthy fats, like avocados, are delicious and nourishing to your skin. Essential Fatty Acids (like Omega 3 & 6) are the foundation of healthy cell membranes. Glowing skin comes from a balance of nutrients in the body, and most of us are very short on EFA's. To increase them, choose foods like:

  • Wild Caught Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Avocado
  • Ground Flax Seeds (Seeds must be ground for our body to break down) 
  • Ghee
  • Pure Olive Oil

3. Limit Sugar (especially artificial sweeteners!) - Highly processed sugar and artificial sweeteners are highly addictive and drain the body of energy. They provide little to no nutritional benefit. In fact, most stimulants like refined sugar, actually deplete our body, drawing out vital minerals and nutrients. Without these nutrients, our skin looks dull and dry. Try to keep your sugar intake between 6-9grams per day to maintain healthy skin. Pay attention to soft drinks, fruit juice and even your condiments to bring awareness to your daily sugar consumption.

These 3 tips are sure to help balance vata and combat the cold! Remember to be mindful and listen to your body as you make dietary and lifestyle changes. 

Wishing you warmth & glowing skin!


Smoothie Making 101

Green Smoothie 
Highway 30a

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably noticed I really like green smoothies. 99% of my days start out with a green smoothie. Not to sound like a total cliche, but I believe they changed my life. It started about three and a half years ago. After feeling really sluggish at work for a few months, I decided something had to change and embarked on a personal nutrition challenge: seven days of green smoothies.  Before the challenge, most mornings started with a "healthy" cereal. I thought cereal was a pretty good choice - boy was I wrong! Once I dropped the box of Kashi, I realized it was the reason I was having digestive problems, feeling overly full, bloated, and constant sugar cravings. Ew. Who wants to feel like that all the time? ....not me.  

That seven day challenge turned into a nearly 4 year love affair with greens. Smoothies are super refreshing and provide a blast of nutrients first thing in the morning. The changes I felt were so profound, it became a lifestyle. Some of the changes I noticed after the first month were, increased energy, mental clarity, healthier food cravings and weight management. The best part? You can really pack a ton of nutrients into 1 drink! AND - they are super low maintenance. You just need a blender and 3-5 minutes. Of course, you can find tons of recipes online, so I'm not going to give you one today. Instead, I'll share my Smoothie 101 tips, so you can figure out your own delicious concoctions! 

Smoothie Building Blocks
1. Choose a creamy base: banana, mango, peach
2. Choose a complimentary flavored fruit: apple, pear, berries, citrus
3. Add 1-2 handfuls of greens *if you are worried about it tasting green, start with a small handful and work your way up!
4. Choose an unsweet liquid: water, coconut water, almond milk, coconut milk
5. Blend your HEART out!

Pro Tips:

  • Less is more. The best smoothies are the simple ones. You don't need 10 different fruits and veggies to have a nutrient dense and flavorful smoothies. My favorite recipes usually include 3-5 ingredients. 
  • Consider your nutrients. Greens + Protein + Healthy Fats
    • Greens: spinach & chard have a mild flavor = beginner friendly! Start there. 
    • Protein: hemp seeds, chia seeds, whole food nut butters, full fat greek yogurt
    • Healthy Fats: avocado or coconut oil are great to start with. 
  • Don't make a sugar BOMB
    •  30%-40% greens + 60%-70% low glycemic fruits is a good starting place.
    • Added sweeteners should be natural (raw honey, maple syrup) and used sparingly. 

You can follow me @emiliemaynorliving for weekly inspirations or sign up for the next Blend Your Heart Out Smoothie Challenge!  Feel free to comment with any smoothie questions or share your favorite recipe!