Blissful Beauty: 7 Ways to Look Younger

Blissful Beauty: 7 Ways to Look Younger

Tina-Arena-2012Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.  ~Caryn Leschen

Humans are, by nature, a bit obsessed with beauty.

Part of it has nothing to do with our personal beliefs or convictions–some of our obsession is coded into our DNA, an evolutionary urge to create with and be with beautiful people.

That’s because beauty is an evolutionary cue that a person is healthy.

But what happens when beauty begins to fade as we get older?

The truth is we begin the aging process just as soon as we pop out of the womb. Every day of our lives our bodies slough off and regenerate new cells. The speed at which that process takes place when we are children is vastly different as we get older.

Every day you are bombarded daily with commercial messages and beauty tips that attempt to lure you into believing that the most recent miracle drug is just what you need to fight off the ravages of Mother Nature.

And these days, humans are, on average, living longer. Of course, that can be a curse or a blessing, depending on your perspective.

So what’s the best way to stay younger and healthier looking? Start with prevention.

The best route to natural beauty and healthy skin is to take care of what you have. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The truth is that your skin takes a beating from the environment every single day. Here are some of our favorite beauty tips for keeping your skin fresh and healthy:

1: Stay hydrated and do it with plenty of water! That does not mean soda, caffeine or any other type of liquid, even if it is low cal. Soda (even diet soda) has a high concentration of sodium. Sodium retains fluids. You need fluid that will hydrate and flush your body free of toxins. Make sure you are drinking at least 8 glasses a day!

2: Protect your skin from harmful ultra violet (UV) rays. We all love the sun. We love being in it and we love having a beautiful tan. The truth is you can poison yourself with too much sunshine. UV rays cause skin cancer and if that isn’t bad enough it causes your skin to age faster than it should, contributing to unsightly wrinkles. If you must play in the sun, make certain you are using an adequate sun screen. Don’t leave home without it!

3: Keep your skin clean. Use a soft warm cloth. Skin does not require scrubbing. You will do more harm than good if you do.

4: The best cure for wrinkles is to never have them in the first place! If you are like most of us, you didn’t listen to your Mom when she tried to tell you to stay in the shade, stand up straight and stop squinting!

5: Eat healthy. Knowing how and what to eat, can make a huge difference in how you feel. Improper eating habits can cause depression, weight gain, illness and an overall lethargy.

Check out Project Blissful for plenty of tips on losing weight and getting healthier.

Weight gain causes your skin to stretch. As you get older, it loses it’s elasticity and you’re left with sagging skin.

The best solution to this is to maintain a proper weight.

A rule of thumb for eating habits are…don’t eat more calories than you consume. Don’t go one single day without doing something extra and physical for at least 30 minutes per day. This can be three ten minute walks. Or 30 minutes of vigorous aerobics, or 12 minutes of weight lifting and 18 minutes of walking.

Need help gaining energy and losing weight? I used MTM Body’s BTRIM Max, an all-natural weight loss supplement, to go from a size 8 to a size 6- in a month-and that was after a LONG plateau at size 8.

6: Don’t worry, be happy. A happy outlook appears to trigger the release of endorphins. Endorphins relax the cardiovascular system and cytokines which alert the immune system to pay attention in detecting abnormalities like cancer cells. Listen carefully to yourself. If you have put yourself down since childhood, over a lifetime, negative subliminal messages can take their toll by turning you into a pessimist. Spend one week writing down the phrases you use in your “self talk.” Chances are you will find that you repeat a dozen or so phrases over and over again that reinforce that negative image. If you know about them, you can change them. Outer beauty and inner joy go hand in hand.

Here are a few quick tips for increasing joy, hope and optimism that will work no matter what your age:

  • Make a list of at least 50 great things that happen to you every day.
  • Laugh a lot. You’ll heal your body and your mind.
  • Discover a new challenge each month.
  • Try meditating for just five minutes each day.

7: Sex After 50 – Ha! How many of you jumped ahead to this section?

Ok, so I’m not quite 40, let alone 50, yet. But the importance of physical intimacy as a relationship matures actually depends on the couple. An alarming number of men used to give up on sex after 60 and many women used to feel that their sex life ended with menopause. Thankfully, that is no longer the case.

Sex at middle age can actually become better and more satisfying than ever before. Maturity gives a couple more experience in lovemaking. The children are usually grown and left home. The pressures of building a career and day to day life are usually less stressful than in younger years.

Is beauty really skin deep?

The answer is yes and no.  It’s a paradox, isn’t it? True beauty begins from the inside out. Don’t you wish there was some way to “wriggle your nose” and regain that soft skin you had as a child? Well, until someone comes up with the true “Fountain of Youth” we are stuck with what we have.

Just remember that getting older doesn’t have to mean getting old. What are your best beauty tips for looking younger?

De-Stress and De-Compress: 9 Ways to Simplify Your Life

De-Stress and De-Compress: 9 Ways to Simplify Your Life

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” ― E.F. Schumacher

Yoga-imagesOur days seem to fill up quickly, leaving us distracted and stressed. It’s challenging to be happy and healthy when chronically stressed. One solution is to simplify your day.

By following a few easy rules, you can simplify your day and remove a lot of the stress that you may be experiencing.

Change can be easier when implemented in steps. For best results, take some time to put these techniques into action. Get used to using one strategy and then move on to another to seamlessly incorporate these changes into your life.

Follow these steps, and your days will be more enjoyable:

1. Consider what’s most important. Simplifying anything always starts with determining what is most important and figuring out how to eliminate the rest.

* What are the 4 or 5 most important things in your life? Make a list.

* Now, think about your activities, tasks, and commitments that are congruent with your list.

* Start eliminating the items that fail to support your priorities.

2. Know what your perfect day looks like. It’s hard to achieve something if you’re lacking a target. So, visualize your perfect day. Everyone’s perfect day is different, but try to understand what yours looks like.

3. It’s okay to say “no.” When faced with opportunities to add activities to your life, consider your priorities list. If a new activity doesn’t fit with your list, just say “no.”

* If you’re afraid you might disappoint others by turning down their request, remember that when you do too much, the quality of your contribution is minimized. You’re letting yourself and your family down more when you take on too much.

4. Prioritize your tasks. Before you go to bed each night, make a list of the three top things you want to accomplish the next day. Make a second list of things you’d like to accomplish, but they aren’t critical.

* Avoid doing items on the second list until the first list is complete.

5. Schedule time to do the most important items. If it’s important to complete a certain task, decide exactly when to do it. These appointments should be bordering on sacred. Nothing should get in the way. Turn off your phone and stay off the internet!

6. Slow down. Going a little slower won’t decrease the amount you accomplish. Rushing is just wallowing in nervous energy that makes you tired, less effective, and prone to mistakes. Smile and breathe. Everything is easier if you simply slow down.

7. Try single-tasking. Multi-tasking has been shown to be a less efficient way to work. Focus on one task at a time. Complete it and then move on.

* This is a great opportunity to hone your ability to focus.

8. Batch the smaller tasks. When possible, have time scheduled to do all of your phone calls at once. The same goes for dealing with e-mails or any other similar task. These are great to do at the end of the day when your energy is low.

9. Leave some space in between. It sounds counter intuitive, but you can get more done if you take a short break between tasks. Have a drink of water and move around a little bit. Breaks are important. Relax.

* It’s not necessary to cram one task right on top of another.

Making your day as simple as possible is almost magical. By focusing on the most important items each day, you eliminate a lot of clutter in your life and your mind. You’ll feel much more peaceful and get more of the important tasks accomplished. Get started today and your days will become more simple and more enjoyable.

How do you simplify your life? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!

Blissful Beauty: 7 Ways to Look Younger

It’s OK to Be Awesome: How to Step Into Your Greatness

How To Step Into Your Greatness
By Lissa Rankin,

Lissa Rankin

It’s so freakin’ easy to play it small. And no wonder! From the time we’re children, we’re encouraged to let the guy win so we don’t make him feel bad, to minimize our beauty so our friends won’t get jealous, to tone down our genius so others won’t feel threatened, to dim our light so no one feels dark in our shadow.

My 5 Year Old Daughter Is Adorably Confident

My five year old daughter thinks she’s brilliant, innovative, artistic, gorgeous, popular, and wildly lovable. And all of those things are true. At this age, she gets lots of support for being confident. People agree with her when she tells them how awesome she is.  But the sad truth is that sometime in the next few years, no matter what I do to try to counterbalance the pressures she’ll be subjected to from all sides, my superstar child will start dialing it down. She’ll shade her sparkle. She’ll get socialized to fade.

She won’t be alone, of course. Her friends will all be trained to do the same. They learn playing small in school, right along with the reading, writing, and arithmetic. And we tend to reinforce what they learn.

Humility Vs. Narcissism

We dress up the tendency to play small with words like “humble,” “modest,” and “unpretentious.” Those who don’t play small get labeled with supercharged words of criticism like “arrogant,” “cocky,” “full of herself,” “conceited,” “egotistical,” and “narcissistic.”

Sheesh. None of us want to get saddled with that kind of baggage, so we dial it down and then wind up middle-aged, having lost touch with our pizzazz.

What nobody tells you when you’re twelve, learning how to be humble and unpretentious, is that we’re giving up one of our greatest gifts when we agree to dim our light for the sake of being accepted into the world of unremarkable people.  I’m not suggesting you can’t be simultaneously humble and sparkly – just look at Jesus! But when we step away from our greatness in order to fit in, we dig our own coffins, especially when it comes to our professional lives.

I’ve learned the hard way how to navigate the loneliness of being a bright, shiny light (you can read about how I felt as a child here). But the older I get, the more fearless I am about stepping into my own greatness and embracing my light.

Others have reinforced that lately. Nia founder Debbie Rosas encouraged us to all step into our brilliance as we danced at the Nia White Belt Intensive. Mama Gena in her School of Womanly Arts encourages us to brag. In both programs, I got to practice – in tandem with hundreds of other women – stepping into my own greatness and being held in loving arms, rather than being rejected.  It felt liberating, like unhooking that too-tight bra and flinging it to the high heavens. When you step into your greatness, you finally feel the lightness of flight, rather than the burden of the weight of diminishing your brilliance.

With all the lessons I’ve learned from others that are stepping into their greatness, I’ve learned a few things I’ll share here.

10 Tips For Stepping Into Your Greatness
  1. Nobody can dim your light but you.
  2. Dialing it down doesn’t really make anyone else feel better. It just makes you feel worse.
  3. Confidence and narcissism are not the same thing. Narcissists lack true confidence and overcompensate to make up for the lack.
  4. When you step into your greatness, you attract more people than you repel.
  5. The confident know they will always land butter side up. Those people take more risks, fall down more often, and wind up shining the brightest.
  6.  All you have to do is your best.  Stepping into your greatness doesn’t mean achieving some unattainable benchmark. When you do your best, you let your light shine.
  7. Being confident means managing your fear.  When your fears outpower your confidence, you dim your light. Stepping into your greatness requires facing your fears head on and making the choice not to let them rule your decisions any longer.
  8. Within your vulnerability lies your strength. Stepping into your greatness doesn’t mean tooting your own horn. Sometimes your greatest strength lies in your flaws, frailties, and foibles.
  9. It’s okay to brag. Yes, your vulnerabilities can be your strengths, but it’s also okay to shout your triumphs from the rooftops. Imagine if we all gave ourselves permission to say “I rocked it today!” What if we started every conversation by asking “What’s awesome in your life?Wouldn’t life be grand?
  10. You can’t claim credit for your greatness. Within this wisdom lies your humility. We are all vessels for the Divine to shine through us when we get our egos out of the way. Why would you want to dim your light when it’s merely Divine light shining through you?
Do You Consider Yourself Confident?

Or do you dim your light so nobody will think you shine too bright? Do you frown upon confident people or label them arrogant? Have you figured out how to step into your greatness without cutting yourself off from the brilliance of Divine light? Share your stories here!

If you’d like to feel more confident in your life, sign up for my friend Dr. Susan Bernstein’s program Kick-A** Confidence:  Discovering the Power of Your Personal Preferences.

Dialing it up,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.comPink Medicine Revolutionarymotivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

This post originally published by and reprinted with permission from

Beautifully You: How to Love Yourself, Inside and Out

Beautifully You: How to Love Yourself, Inside and Out

English: Drew Barrymore at the premiere for He...

“I personally battled with my own body image for years. I used to tell myself, You can’t wear anything sleeveless or strapless. And all of a sudden I was like, What if I just didn’t send such negative messages to my brain and said, wear it and enjoy it? And now I’m more comfortable in clothes than ever.” ~Drew Barrymore

Do you struggle with your body image? If you do, you’re far from alone. In fact, about 91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies, according to a study published at, a non-profit that describes itself as “the country’s largest not-for-profit for young people and social change.”

Listen, I can relate. I have been there–and being human, I’m kinda still there sometimes. And according to researchers, only 5 percent of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media. So what’s a girl to do? How can you learn how to improve your body image?
The fact is that how you feel about your body affects your confidence, overall self-concept and personal value. It is, whether we admit it out loud or not, a HUGE part of how we define ourselves, right?

It can be hard to feel okay about what you look like when you’re constantly bombarded by insanely perfect images on TV, the internet, and magazines that depict people who are too thin or even (gasp!) digitally enhanced to mask flaws. It’s just unrealistic!

But here’s the deal. While we can’t make that pressure go away, we can certainly decide how to respond to it. Stand up and recognize that you will be your most beautiful when you are your true self–not some random copy of the average Hollywood starlet/streetwalker/whateveritisthatmakesyouhateyourbody.

It’s not just you–I know exactly how it feels. My body type has never been and never will be the Hollywood ideal. I am too short and my boobs are too small. Don’t laugh! It’s true. OH! And now, I’m too old (38). But I’m ok with it because I understand that no matter how much I worry and stress over the fact that I don’t look awesome in most skinny jeans or that I have to buy a lot of my clothes in the juniors section (including sometimes bras!)–well then I wouldn’t have noticed all these awesome things about me.

See how I lost 100 pounds, including before and after weight loss pics, right here.

Yeah, I know it sounds vain. But it’s true–there are plenty of awesome things about me. But don’t worry–I’m not going to list them. This post isn’t really about me–it’s about you!

So let’s go there and talk about you. I’d lay money on the fact that there are probably lots of awesome things about YOU too.

So step outside of your head with me for a moment, won’t you? Take a look at yourself from a whole new perspective. What are the beautiful things about you–inside and out?

How to Improve Your Body Image: Start With Perspective


You ARE Beautiful: Let Us Count the Ways

“I think beauty can’t simply be described as physical, but it’s your entire package. In the long run, physical beauty fades, and then what will you be left with? Your true beauty is what shines from within: your confidence, attitude, outlook, intellect, and love. These are the qualities you should nurture; they are what make you unique, and will ultimately enhance your own personal outlook, which is the most important. ” ~Cindy Busby

You already know that it’s important to love yourself for the person that you are. Everyone is made differently, but beautifully, in their own way. Sure, your beauty may be different than that of a fashion model, but you’re still beautiful! Once you accept yourself, you’ll be a happier person.

Focus On Yourself First

When you’re learning to love who you are inside and out, you first need to start with the inside. This simply means that you need to work on changing the way you think about beauty.

No one’s absolutely perfect–and yet each of us is perfectly ourselves–we are the living embodiment of the perfect version of ourselves, right now in this very moment.

There may always be something that you don’t particularly like about yourself, but it doesn’t negate your beauty, and it’s certainly no reason to have an unhappy life over it. Shift your focus onto the things that you do like about yourself–seriously.

Try having a little faith in humanity. If you people watch in a public place, are you constantly pointing out everyone’s flaws? Chances are that you’re not. You probably don’t judge your friends about their imperfections, so why should you be so hard on yourself?

Beautifully You: How to Love Yourself, Inside and Out

Once you’ve worked on your inner feelings, you can then move on to loving yourself on the outside. Unfortunately, in today’s society, people feel ashamed of what they look like to the point of having all sorts of procedures and surgeries. Don’t be fooled! You don’t need this in order to feel good about yourself–in fact, it might make you feel worse.

Read more: Beauty Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

You can attempt to make changes if you have a problem like acne or weight gain, but there are also things that you can’t change, like having wide hips or freckles. The best thing you can do is embrace yourself for the unique individual that you are. After all, there’s no one else on this planet quite like you–not a single person. Not even a twin, if you’ve got one–you’re still 100 percent yourself, and no one else can claim that.

Beautifully Healthy: Making Changes in a Healthy Way

If you wish to make changes in your appearance, you can certainly do so. You just need to be doing it for the right reasons. You might need to lose weight in order to get back into a healthy weight range. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change your hair color every now and then either. Variety is the spice of life.

But some people are tempted to go too far and do things like losing too much weight. They convince themselves that even a healthy weight is “fat” and they strive to be underweight. And listen, ladies.

While our skinny sisters definitely have their fans out there, so do those of us who have a few more curves–trust me!

Even though I’ve lost more than 100 pounds, I still have some (pretty bangin’) curves–and while it sometimes frustrates me (especially when it comes to fashion!), I have learned to love it. Like I said–we’ve all got our fans.

It’s important for your health to avoid these types of problems. If you’re stuck in a situation like this, you need to explore the reasons why you feel this way. You also might want to discuss your concerns with a professional.

Pay it Forward: Pass On a Healthy Body Image

One thing you can do for the world is to help pass on a healthy body image to others. The way the media portrays beauty truly is outrageous, and everyone should be doing their part to promote health and beauty in an undistorted form.

If you have children, teach them that they’re beautiful just the way they are. Since children learn by example, ensure that you never put yourself down in front of them. Avoid complaining about your own body because they might overhear and you might inadvertently teach them something you never intended to teach.

A healthy body image is something we can all strive toward. You’ll make yourself and others feel better by complimenting your friends and family. Everyone likes to get a compliment every now and then (and remember that you get back what you put out there!). You just might make someone’s day, and your own in the process.

So what do you think? How do you feel about the way you look today? What can you do to feel better? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!



Blissful Beauty: 7 Ways to Look Younger

Stay Motivated: Top 10 Food and Nutrition Affirmations

CutestFood_com_tumblr_kq97h4tqtx1qzpe8uo1_500_largeWhen you have “convenience” food bombarding you from every direction, it can be difficult to choose options that give your body the nourishment it needs.

However, if you have daily reminders and effective tools at your disposal, you just may find that eating the right foods and feeding your body the best fuels becomes a lot easier.

Of course, there will always be temptation, but when you equip yourself with anti-temptation tools, you will be able to quickly re-focus your mind on your greater goal of getting healthy!

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Using Affirmations to Make the Healthy Food and Nutrition Choices

When everyone around you at the office is indulging in burgers, fries, and sugary drinks, it’s awfully tempting to join in, isn’t it?

But what if you could stop that temptation in its tracks and actually choose to make a healthy choice? You don’t need me to tell you that fatty and sugary choices are not the kinds of food that your body needs – you need to tell yourself!

It can be hard in moments of temptation to make the right choice, but with the help of positive affirmations, you can re-train your brain to replace the desire for junk food with healthy choices.

Affirmations can help you stick to your diet, say no to temptation, and eat nourishing and satisfying foods. How? By replacing the negative spiral of thoughts in your mind with powerful, positive ones.

But first you have to believe that it is possible to gain control over your thirsts, desires, and cravings. The first step in making a lasting change in your life is to make the commitment to success. Are you committed? Do you believe that you can overcome your cravings?

Once you’ve set your commitment in stone, you’re ready to learn the top 10 affirmations to get you through moments of weakness.

Top 10 Food and Nutrition Affirmations

Before reading the list below, you should know that affirmations are most successful when you internalize the saying and repeat it frequently. Whether you’re having a good or bad day, you need to be constantly repeating these positive statements in your mind. Temptation will strike when you least expect it, so it’s better to be prepared!

1. I can neutralize bad habits with good food, exercise, and healthy living.

2. I am proud to reach out to my support network instead of leaning on food for comfort.

3. I am losing weight for me because I love me.

4. I set aside time just for me.

5. My good health and productivity are the rewards for the nourishing foods I eat.

6. Weight gain happens over time, so my weight loss equally requires time, patience, and lifestyle changes.

7. I use self-care, not self-control.

8. The more I take care of myself, the better I feel.

9. I am firmly committed to staying active and healthy.

10. I deserve a healthy body and mind.

When you look at these food and nutrition affirmations, they may seem like ideals – behaviors and thoughts that you only wish you could have – but each time you reaffirm them by saying them aloud, you’re slowly changing your mindset. Over time, these ideals will become a reality through your thoughts and actions.

But remember, you must first believe you can change. Once you make the commitment to your success, you will change your attitudes about food and you’ll be thankful you did!

What are your best ways to stay motivated on your fitness and weight loss plan? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below!

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