Why Avocados are Amazing

By Shannon Morehouse MA, CHHC

Avocados are high in oleic acid (also known as Omega-9), a mono-unsaturated fat that research indicates may help prevent heart disease and even cancer! As if that isn’t enough good news, avocados can actually help increase the absorption of nutrients from other vegetables! This is a concept known as nutrient fusion. For instance, a salad with lettuce, carrots, some spinach, and salsa is rich in carotenoids such as beta carotene, which are extremely health-promoting. Add an avocado in your salad, and you automatically increase your body’s ability to absorb those nutrients! Why? Because these carotenoids are lipophilic (which means they are soluble in fat, not water); if you eat them along with a healthy fat, like avocados, you enhance their bioavailability!

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Nutrition proves this point. Adding avocado to a salad increased absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed when an avocado-free salad was eaten. Amazing, isn’t it!?

If you are not a big fan of the avocado texture, try avocado in other forms. Avocado oil is great to use in cooking. If you haven’t the time to cook, try some healthy snacks made with avocado oil. All of the following are available at Natur-Tyme.  I love good health’s Avocado Oil kettle chips! And when I watch a movie at home, it is usually with a bowl of Lesser Evil’s Buddha Bowl Avocado Oil popcorn. Sandwiches are so delicious with a thin spread of Chosen Foods’ Avocado Oil Mayo.

If you are a dessert lover like me, you must try Avocadough cookies. You would never guess that avocado was hiding in these treats! Made locally in Central New York, the cookies are amazing. They are all-natural with a mixture of whole grains, sugar (or cane juice), egg, butter (or healthy oil)…and avocado, of course. In the mood for Oatmeal Raisin, try “Raisin the Bar.” Looking for a chocolate fix, try “Peanut Butter Me Up” or “Choc it Up.”

How will you incorporate avocados into your diet?Avocado_group_shopt



Alexis’s Journey into the World of Natural Health & Beauty–Entry #4

By Alexis Capers
 – Alexis Capers is our Enhanced Beauty Salon and Enhanced Beauty Area manager. Join her every other Wednesday for a blog about her journey into natural health & beauty products.

Do you ever feel like a juggler in a circus? Or how about looking back at your day and asking, “How did I get through all that?” It’s difficult sometimes to balance life, home, work, kids, and chaos and still FEEL like you have it all under control. One thing I like to do is small, but gives me a boost every time. When I want to feel good, I give myself a manicure!

Silly as it sounds, a little bottle of color can bring about a big change.  It gives you permission to evoke an attitude!  When it’s dreary out, I reach for a bright hue.  When I’m feeling plain Jane, a sparkly French fits the bill.  And of course glitter polish is a quick nail art any skill level can perform. I even post pics of my nails on FB so my friends can weigh in on the look.

Now I know what you’re saying, “Alexis, you’re a nail tech, of course it’s easy for you to play with nails!” I promise it’s just like make-up. If you don’t like it, take it off and start again. Try something out of the box. Don’t listen to those old wives tails of red being TOO BOLD or that TOES MUST MATCH FINGERS.  Heck, toes are where you can really go wild! Wear bright blue or yellow!  Make them into a colorful French!  Both are this season’s top shades.  You can also never go wrong with a punchy coral.

AlexisNailsOf course you want to keep your cuticles in shape and hands can tell a woman’s true age.  So keep your hands and cuticles conditioned with a rich moisturizing lotion or essential oils.  If you wear nail enhancements, pick a product without lanolin, petroleum, or minerals. These are additives that will only coat the skin, with no beneficial properties.  It will also cause your enhancements to lift.  Proper hydrators will fortify your skin and keep cutiles healthy so nails can grow long and strong!

Steps to a brighter you!

  1. Remove any polish or nail treatments.
  2. Gently shape the free-edge of your nails filing from left to right only.  Never back and forth.
  3. Wash hands with a sugar scrub product to remove dead skin. Pat dry thoroughly.
  4. Massage hands with a nice oil or rich lotion.  Wrap with saran wrap and put on gloves or wrap again in a towel to hold in heat.
  5. Let moisturizer sit on hands for 5-10 minutes. Or as long as your favorite show!
  6. Remove wrappings and gently push back cuticles. NEVER trim off cuticles, only hang nails.  (My rule is, if it’s waving at me, I can cut it!!!)
  7. Use polish remover or rubbing alcohol to cleanse nail plate so polish will adhere.
  8. Always use one coat of base coat, two coats of color, and finish with a top coat to seal in the shine!
  9. Refresh as needed throughout the week with another coat of Top Coat.
  10. In a week to ten days, do it again!

So when you feel the weight of all that juggling and want to just be someone else, grab a bottle of affordable luxury and escape into a new you!  I know I’m feeling better already!

Products I’m falling for this week:  SpaRitual lacquers, rich vegan formula with high shine and many colors to choose from.  Argan or Advocado oil, rich and moisturizing with the nourishment needed to keep hands soft.  For a less greasy feel, I also love the Natur-Tyme Hydrating Lotion with co-enzyme Q10 and Alpha Lipoic Acid.  Jason Tea Tree cuticle oil is fantastic for pumping life back into dry winter-ravaged cuticles.  And Hydra-me Tipz repair balm or Baby Balm by Essential 8 will handle deeper skin cracks in hands and feet.  My fave scrub is the Ginger-Lemongrass Sugar Scrub by Les Savon de LouLou. Heaven at your fingertips!Blog042314-Products

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