When we were in our teens, twenties and maybe even our thirties, few of us really paid attention to warnings from our moms and others about things that could make us look, “old before our time.” We were young, invincible and new beauty products were coming out daily that promised to, “turn back the hands of time,” so we threw caution to the wind and did exactly as we pleased, went out without sunscreen (gasp), ate and drank with abandon and if we missed a workout or ten, we’d “make them up later.” Well, we’re in our 40’s now, and, NEWSFLASH, later has arrived.
Some of the things I was warned against were:
- Smoking cigarettes: Not just for the obvious reason that it’s bad for your lungs, but the tar/nicotine stains your fingertips, fingernails, yellows your teeth, gives you horrible breath, the odor sticks to your hair, the heat dries your lips & skin round your mouth and pursing your lips around the end of the cigarette to hold it in your mouth causes wrinkles to form.
- Always drinking through a straw: Similar to the cigarette argument, pursing your lips around a straw to hold it in your mouth causes wrinkles to form.
- Going outside without sunglasses: Squinting to read street signs or focus on anything in the bright glare of daylight causes the thin skin around your eyes to wrinkle. It also causes the skin between your eyebrows to wrinkle which causes your nose to lose it’s perkiness and appear bulbous!
- Not getting enough sleep: Turns out Mom wasn’t just riding our asses on this one. When you don’t average at least 7 hours of sleep it can cause big-time negative effects on your health, such as weight gain, lowered immune system, decreased focus, pale skin, and memory issues. NOTE REGARDING SLEEP: Sleeping on your side can cause wrinkles too – to help avoid this, sleep on your back or buy the softest pillow cases you can afford (high thread count or silk) so that the fabric doesn’t wrinkle under your skin.
As if those warnings, added to the one we all got scolded with about needing to wear Sunscreen #SPF1000 (as if any of us listened to that one…), weren’t enough, apparently what we eat matters too.
These foods will age you faster than you will like:
- Margarine: When I was growing up my Mom & Grandma called it Oleo. All I know is the brand they used was Parkay, my husband’s Mom only cooked with real butter and once I started cooking for him, so did I. Both contain fats, but Butter comes from nature while Margarine is full of artificial ingredients, wrinkle producing and artery clogging trans-fats. I just use it sparingly and exercise to move butter’s naturally occurring saturated fats. Trans-fats are also hidden in things like baked goods (DONUTS).
- Microwave Meals: Microwave meals contain high levels of sodium and other preservatives that increase water retention, add water weight and a puffy appearance.
- Energy Drinks (Red Bull, etc.): Instead of giving you a shot of energy, these temporary energy boosters are full of sugar, sodium, caffeine, and are highly acidic. This combines to cause long term damage to the enamel of your teeth, can dehydrate you and add to wrinkles and make all of your skin look older.
- Pre-packaged Baked Goods: The added sugars, preservatives and fat contribute to weight gain, poor dental health and accelerated aging process.
- Bacon, Ham & Sausage: NO! NO! NO! I don’t care what the justification for this one is, I refuse to live without a vice or three! 😉 For anyone who cares, blah, blah, nitrites, preservatives, free radicals, cell oxidation, can lead to cancer in lab rats, blah, blah. NO! NO! NO!
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: You can have this one. I’m keeping my Easter Ham and Occasional Bacon! Sugar (especially this one) is the worst thing for your skin because it damages your collagen and elastin which are the components needed to keep skin looking youthful and firm. This includes candy and high sugar cocktails like Piña Cóladas too… You don’t have to avoid all sugars though – Dark Chocolate (SUPERSTAR!) is a great and safe indulgence.
- Alcohol: Drinking sugary cocktails hurts collagen & elastin production, and alcohol also robs the body of vitamin A, an antioxidant that’s essential for cell renewal and turnover. Drinks without added sugars, like wine, champagne, or a vodka/soda with lime are your best alternatives if you like to imbibe. WHEW! I’m saved! Also, stay hydrated and have some water between cocktails. 😉
- Deep Fried Foods: Exposing oil and fat to high temperatures lets the bad guy free radicals loose to wreck havoc on our internal organs and skin. #JustSayNo
- Charred Meats: Another bad guy that lets loose the free radicals out to storm our pristine cells and makes our skin look old and wrinkly. #Boo!
- Flambé: NOOOOO! Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubilee are two of my favorite table side treats. Now they are bad for me too. The USDA warns that ‘foods flamed with alcohol appear to have all the added alcohol burned off, but the food actually still retains 75 percent of the added alcohol.’ And alcohol dries out the skin making us look OLD, AARGH!
The good news is it’s never too late to remember to hydrate (inside and out), there ARE some great cosmetic products and procedures that have been developed to lessen the effects of time, and there are even some pharmaceutical products like SeroVital that help the body restore it’s youth naturally by boosting production of HGH (Human Growth Hormone). HGH has been shown to help:
- Stimulate the production of lean muscle
- Reduce body fat
- Stimulate production of collagen
- Increases Energy
- Improves Mood
- Heightens Sex Drive
Whatever the answer, I know that it’s well beyond time to treat my body like less of a playground and more of a “temple.” At least while it’s recovering a bit of it’s youthful glow…Hmmm!
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