Vitamin See

About eight years ago, one of my most thoughtful clients gave me a book called The Program for Better Vision, How to See Better in Minutes a Day without Glasses or Contacts! by Martin Sussman. At the time, I was about 30 years old, which made it the most appropriate gift since she had corrected her vision using this very book when she was around thirty. It did take her a year and a half (not the eight weeks mentioned in the book), but a year and a half of doing a few eye exercises each day seemed like a small sacrifice for perfect vision (I was a habitual contact lens wearer). That was until the book strongly suggested not wearing contacts or even eyeglasses for much of the day! My client warned me that she felt threatened initially, afraid she would get mugged while commuting everyday through NYC. The forewarning did not help my cause. I hardly gave the book a chance after my first evening walking down Fifth Ave after work (I worked in NYC at the time) when all of the dizzying Christmas lights in the trees started blurring together. It felt like I was drunk and I could not imagine a year and a half of this! My will failed me, but above all, I failed to appreciate the importance of the nonphysical exercises in the book: affirmations, visualizations, staying present and less daydreaming.

What we choose to believe about our bodies ability (or inability) is so powerful that most clinical trials use a placebo (sugar pill) to test the efficacy of different medical therapies because many times, medications only work because the patient believed it would! So by the same token, our inner dialogue has the power to affect all areas of our health and well being. If you think your’e going to get the Corona Virus….guess what? Just kidding.

But seriously, I’ve been using this quarantine to pick back up on my eye exercises that I had actually resolved to start again last spring. I had already committed to not wearing my contact lens because the book stresses the importance of getting at least 30 minutes of natural sunlight directly on your eyeballs everyday and I also received an under-corrected prescription from a behavioral optometrist last year so that I can wear my eyeglasses when needed (mostly in the evening) while I improved my vision through these exercises. However, my eye exercise routine fell off pretty quickly last summer, which suddenly turned into fall/winter and here we are a year later. But I still made progress this past year acclimating to life legally blind without worry (about getting lost, not recognizing people, etc) or getting dizzy. Now, I am committed to practicing the actual exercises, which not only include physical exercises (self massage techniques to increase blood flow to the eyes, eye rolls, a fusion string to strengthen eye convergence, eye charts, “palming” etc), but also affirmations and visualizations/meditations designed to strengthen my outlook and acceptance of my vision.

According to the book that influenced Sussman, The Bates Method for Better Eyesight Without Glasses, Dr. William Bates writes “Some patients are so responsive to mental suggestion that you can relieve their discomfort or improve their sight with almost any glasses you like to put on them.” Not telling myself “I’m so blind” all the live long day and appreciating what I actually can see, which is surprisingly a lot especially in broad daylight is a powerful tool in relaxation. According to Dr. Bates, “the fact must be stressed that perfect sight can be obtained only by relaxation.”

I was only able to truly relax after visiting the behavioral optometrists because I was always a little worried that I could potentially worsen my vision if I was unintentionally straining versus accepting my vision. But when I visited the behavioral optometrist in NJ last year (and a second behavioral optometrist in NYC in the New Year because recommitting to bettering my vision naturally was supposed to be my 2020 New Years Resolution), I was shocked to see how well I could see through the under-corrected prescription (-1.75/-1.25). That prescription is almost as light as my very first prescription when I was about 14 years old! In fact, both doctors said they wouldn’t have prescribed the stronger prescription (-3.25) that I’d worn for years in the first place! It was so refreshing to work with optometrists that not only told me my eyesight wasn’t deteriorating, but performed a thorough eye exam involving exercises that demonstrate how well (or poorly) my eyes worked together and alone.

The Program for Better Vision debunks a lot of myths especially the widely accepted notion that eyes inevitably deteriorate with age. Sussman states, “The visual system – just like any other part of your body – can deteriorate with age. This is certainly true if nothing is done to retain its inherit youthfulness and flexibility, and if years of accumulated tension and rigidity are not released. But this decline is not inevitable and it is not irreversible. In fact, nothing is further from the truth.” Sussman explains throughout the book that we have programmed our eyes to unnaturally fixate on objects (television, book, computer, etc) without breaks, which changes the dynamic of our eye muscles. The comprehensive exercises in the book are designed to release both mental and physical tension from our overused eye muscles while increasing blood flow (nutrients, oxygen) to the eyes.

When I was little, my grandmother used to always try to get me to eat the cooked carrots in her cooking by telling me they are good for my eyes. I always thought that was a funny way to try and convince me to eat anything because what 10 year old gives a shit about their eyes? Now, of course, I look at nutrition differently especially with respect to my eyes. Sussman explains, “More than 25% of the nutrition your body absorbs goes to feed the visual system. The visual system consumes one third of all the oxygen that you take in. Metabolism in the eyes is faster than anywhere else in the body.” Many of the exercises in the book focus on relieving tension in the neck through self massage and neck rolls so that nutrition carried by the blood can flow without obstruction to the eyes. Sussman touches on the most important nutrients for the eyes such as Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant well known for its immune boosting properties, but did you know that it is critical for eye health and that our eyes have the heaviest concentration of vitamin C in the body? In fact, sufficient Vitamin C can help prevent cataracts (which “may require the intake of vitamin C at a level 15 times greater than the minimum daily requirement), strengthen the eyes and prevent pressure that results in visual fatigue. As long as you’re eating a balanced (mostly plant-based) diet complete with fruits and vegetables, you’re most likely getting your fill. And vitamin C is water soluble, so your body will shit out any excess as a bonus!

There are other vitamins and supplements recommended in the book as well, but in order for proper delivery to the eyes, there must be adequate blood flow. “Ginkgo biloba increases the blood flow to the brain. European studies demonstrate impressive results in the treatment of macular degeneration and this herb has also been shown to prevent free radical damage to the retina and macula.” In general, ginkgo biloba has been used for centuries especially in Asian countries for improved cognitive function, memory enhancement and performance. Metagenics carries a quality Ginkgo Biloba supplement I take regularly.

metagenics ginkgo discount

The hardest exercise for me to practice consistently is not daydreaming and staying present. I’ve been a daydreamer my entire life because I am a firm believer in creative visualization, essentially a manifestation technique where you just daydream the crap out of what you want your reality to look like. Sussman suggests doing that shit with your eyes closed rather than open because daydreaming creates a lot of stress on our visual system, essentially forcing it to focus on two realities at once.

To conclude this long ass thesis, I cannot recommend the The Program for Better Vision enough as just a means to alter your thinking and literally change your outlook. It is a little early for me to confirm whether or not the book has yielded any real improvement in my eyesight, but it has given me both a quarantine hobby and the confidence not to depend on visual crutches (contact lens or eyeglasses) for most of the day. I have, however, experienced one day recently where I forgot I wasn’t wearing my eyeglasses because I could read almost every sign and license plate in the near distance! That alone is enough validation for me since The Bates Method for Better Eyesight Without Glasses explains that vision is constantly changing all day and night depending on physical, emotional, and external factors. “One cannot see through them [eyeglasses] unless one produces the degree of refractive error which they are designed to correct. But refractive errors, in the eye which is left to itself, are never constant. If one secures good vision by the aid of concave, convex, or astigmatic lenses, therefore, it means that one is maintaining constantly a degree of refractive error which otherwise would not be maintained constantly. It is only expected that this should make this condition worse, and it is a matter of common experience that it does.” So your vision will be better on some days than others and better at certain times of the day than others. And while this may seem like a lot of work for something that potentially doesn’t work or only works some of the time, I currently ain’t got shit to do…

No Sleep Til’…This Shit is Over?

This quarantine has proven a stressful time for everyone. A record number of people have filed for unemployment, parents are now forced to homeschool their kids (God bless…), and the number of those diagnosed with the Corona Virus is steadily increasing along with the number of deaths. Needless to say, many people are losing sleep despite the proximity to their beds. So I thought this would be an opportune time to reiterate the importance of sleep and share some tips to Go The Fuck To Sleep.

I remember cramming for exams in school feeling secure in the notion that our brains retain information better after “sleeping on it.” Whether that is true or not, the restorative properties of sleep are endless; improved mood, memory, learning, cognitive function, weight management, etc. etc. So let’s try to catch up on some sleep now that we are forced to spend this time at home because I know that I have definitely been tossing and turning like a motherfucker.

Everyone knows it’s best not to fall asleep on a full stomach because it leaves us feeling fat and sluggish, yet starving in the morning! Falling asleep on a full or even partially full stomach can majorly disturb sleep and especially our metabolism. According to Kristen Eckel-Mahan, PhD, “The enzymes involved in fatty acid oxidation, they’re highly circadian. They know when they’re supposed to be metabolizing glucose.” In other words, when we eat late, our metabolic organs process sugars differently, causing our body to store fat more easily.

Eating late also seems to result in more nightmares, especially late consumption of carbs. But according to Harvard Medical School, “eating a large meal, especially a high-carbohydrate meal, could trigger night sweats because the body generates heat as it metabolizes the food. Also, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), caused by lying down with a full stomach, may trigger symptoms that wake you up.” So while it seems like a causal relationship, eating late actually only disturbs our sleep so much that we wake up more frequently from our dream state, which only causes better recollection of our dreams (good or bad).

sleep on table

If you’re like me, not eating late is somewhat of an impossibility because of my work schedule (or lack thereof, lately). So if you find yourself unable to give yourself at least two hours before bedtime to stop shoving food in your mouth, at least try and sit upright for 20 minutes and then sleep on your left side. Our colons work in a clockwise fashion, so laying on our left side allows gravity to pull gastric juices and undigested food through the colon toward the rectum (this is why colonics begin and end on the left side). Laying on the right side is counterintuitive for digestion and can lead to heartburn because stomach juices can splash back up into the esophagus. Additionally, laying on your left side can help drain your brain of cerebral waste called interstitial waste. According to Healthline, “This brain cleanse may help reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases.”

Something else that is scientifically proven to delay or even prevent the onset of Alzheimers is meditation. I will speak more to my experience with meditation at a later date, but I wanted to share a useful meditation app I discovered last year. Insight Timer is a free meditation app that has an entire section dedicated to sleep. The sleep section contains Soundscapes, Bedtime Tales, Sleep Meditations, Sleep for Kids, and Sleep Music. I love listening to rain and thunder or some of the bedtime tales when I am unable to drift away.

For those who need supplemental assistance, my favorite supplement brand (Metagenics) has a supplement designed for occasional sleeplessness called Benesom. It contains magnesium, valerian root, melatonin and other herbs proven to assist in sleep. (Receive 20% off here).

Metagenics sleep supplement

In the end, nothing really puts me to sleep like a boring ass book or some super dense material I’m forcing myself to learn. I suggest always having that book on your nightstand. It may take you a few years to get through, but it will at least earn you some quality ZZZs while making you smarter.

Just What The Doctor Ordered…

Dr. Leo Galland shares a complete Corona Virus protocol on his website. Dr. Galland kindly spells out for us how the COVID-19 is actually a 2 phase illness, where 80% of people who contract the disease only suffer from mild symptoms during Phase 1 (fatigue, aches, pains, sore throat) for about five days (not needing medical care, just self-quarantine) and don’t advance to Phase 2 (viral pneumonia- cough & shortness of breath). Phase 2 occurs only a few days after the initial symptoms of Phase 1. Generally, those most vulnerable to Phase 2 are those who smoke, have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and are older.

Dr. Galland explains how COVID-19 pneumonia (viral) differs from influenza-related pneumonia (due to secondary bacterial infection) in that it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Basically, the virus attaches to a protein in the cell called ACE-2, diminishing its beneficial enzymatic activity in the lungs. It essentially wears the lungs down in what is coined “ACE-2 exhaustion.” What I find interesting is that once a patient has entered Phase 2, it is ill-advised to take any of the immune boosting supplements recommended to anyone proactively building their “innate immunity” because this can result in overactivity called a “cytokine storm,” which is responsible for much of the damage. This includes the Metagenics UltraFlora Immune Booster probiotics I mentioned in my last post that include the strain lactobacillus plantarum, which Dr. Galland recommends to strengthen innate immunity (before COVID-19 exposure and/or throughout Phase 1 of the illness).

So unless you have entered Phase 2 of COVID-19, it is very much recommended you do strengthen your immune system with proper sleep, moderate exercise, a plant-based diet with sufficient protein and the right supplements. Dr. Galland recommends an elderberry extract (produced by ultrafiltration, not alcohol extraction and contains standardized flavonoid/anthocyanin content), Vitamin D, Vitamin A, zinc, probiotics, and anti-viral mushrooms (turkey tail, maitake, shiitake and reishi). According to Dr. Galland, these mushrooms “stimulate anti-viral immunity.” Metagenics Mycotaki is a comprehensive mushroom supplement that supports cellular defense and healthy immune function (20% off thru my site always on all Metagenics supplements applied at checkout).

COVID Mushroom defense supplement

For those with compromised lung function due to aging, smoking, etc, Dr. Galland breaks down some supplement recommendations for ACE-2 enhancement (improved lung function/defense) on his website. One of the supplements he recommends is curcumin (found in turmeric) for ACE-2 enhancement, so I just ordered Metagenics Inflavonoid Intensive Care, a bioavailable curcumin (set of flavonoids found in turmeric)…because…what the hell, let’s throw the kitchen sink at this virus!

Inflavonoid COVID19 Corona Virus defense

Whatever precaution you decide to take this week, it is most important to stay the fuck home. The faster we stop spreading this disease (even just Phase 1), the faster we are let out of isolation and the faster businesses (like mine) can reopen! In the meantime, take advantage of the mandated quarantine to rest and reset. There are plenty of virtual workouts available (many are even free and require no equipment!) Flood your body with vital nutrients, supplements and H2O. Get some fresh air and natural vitamin D from the sun, but make sure to maintain a social distance of 6 feet. It’s just what the doctor ordered…

Corona Virus

While everyone is busy stockpiling toilet paper, my ass is more concerned with stockpiling beneficial bacteria in my system to deal with the threat of COVID-19. If I run out of TP, I will rely on a good ole’ shower or squirt bottle to clean my ass. What’s most important is that we keep our immune system as equipped as possible to deal with the unknown (ie viruses mysteriously contracted from bats).

Did you know that probiotics are the frontline of your immune system? Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria discerning what gets absorbed into the bloodstream, so it’s important to have a diverse population of bacteria in your gut to combat not only the shit we eat from China, but also airborne illness. In our very own bodies, human cells are outnumbered by microbial cells ten to one! So it’s pretty cool that we are now able to curate which bacteria we replenish with thanks to the advent of probiotics.

This is why I always recommend including Metagenics UltraFlora Immune Booster in your mix of probiotics (I suggest switching strains every month). Immune Booster provides targeted probiotic support for healthy nasal, sinus and respiratory function. I always breathe better when I take Immune Booster and God knows we can use some help with respiration lately, especially if you’ve been inhaling your own CO2 wearing those useless face masks.

immune booster

Your immune system and overall health begin in the gut. When your immune system is strong, you don’t need to mean mug the next person that coughs or sneezes on the train. Probiotic support goes only as far as your lifestyle. The best time to start a probiotic regime is after taking the garbage out with a refreshing colonic. It’s also critical to feed your probiotics their favorite food: fiber! Make sure to flood your body not only with probiotics, but tons of fruits and veggies that are also chockfull of Vitamin C and other health-boosting vitamins and minerals.

Hopefully, this pandemic is also forcing us to closely analyze our food systems. The Corona virus originated at a “wet market” in Wuhan, China, where both live and dead animals are sold. Let’s just say this market probably wouldn’t receive a C Grade from the NYC Department of Health. Try eating as local and organic as possible. And there has never been a better time to consider a [mostly] vegan diet!

For Shit Sake

Nothing really gets me going like grown adults shitting their pants. Luckily, my clients feel comfortable sharing their juicy stories with me and lucky for you, they don’t mind me sharing them. One day, I will compile them all into a neatly sized bathroom book, For Shit Sake, because everyone can use a little motivation when it comes to getting their shit done.

Most of these stories have nothing to do with me, but this first story makes an example of a client who proudly does not follow my advice. To be clear, following my advice is always optional. You decide whether you want to feel like a sexy beast or the complete opposite the days following your colonic. For obvious reasons, the individuals in my stories will be referred to as Jane and John Doo. John Doo barely survived the smell of his own shit to tell the following dramatic tale:

I had gone to see Jen for help with some digestive issues. This was my first colonic.  It was a Friday afternoon when I left her office; I felt hydrated and “clean” from the inside.


She had told me for the first 2-3 days to take it easy on the heavy foods I generally consume and to try and eat a lot of salad and vegetables rather than a lot of fats and meat. So I ate a modest salad that first day. 

The next morning my wife and I decided to take the dog to the dog park. We played at the park and then decided to go to one of our favorite outdoor restaurants for brunch on this sunny 88F day.


So, one thing about me….a doctor once told me I have “compliance” problems (I do not obey instructions well, or at all). Arriving at brunch I decided that one day of rabbit food was plenty for my gut. Back to the old grind, my friend…


I ordered the liver pate, Thai mussels with a coconut cream sauce and crusty French bread along with a meat and cheese board. I washed all of this delicious food down with several cold pints of beer on this perfect summers day. It was GLORIOUS! Next, it was time to head to the pool for some continued day drinking!!


We got back to the lobby of the building and my stomach was a little “grumbly.”  Waiting for the elevator took a little longer than usual because of everyone going up to the pool. By the time I got into the elevator, I was pretty sure I needed to use the bathroom. By the time the elevator got to the 25th floor (where I live) I desperately needed to use the bathroom. I barely managed to get the key into the lock before my body decided it had had enough of all the decadent food I indulged in. I did not just sort of poop my pants….I wasn’t just turtle-heading… I was exploding in my pants like a one year old as I stand in the doorway next to my oblivious wife and dog. At this point, panic sets in.


I make it into the hallway and run to the bathroom with the dog (who thinks I’m playing) right behind me.  I am not playing. I get into the bathroom and slam the door shut as I frantically try to remove my jeans and underwear. I am still crapping my pants here. I rip my pants and underwear off, so now I am shitting on the bathroom floor trying to maneuver my shit canon to the toilet. I finally make it to the toilet. This episode is literally bringing out the worst in me. Mixed emotions of humiliation and anger quickly surface as I continue erupting on the toilet with what feels like no end in sight. A massive amount of foul smelling diarrhea is covering the floor and my underwear (those are going in the trash). It was then that I noticed brown paw marks on the floor and realized that I’ve taken the dog down with me.


In my haste to get my pants off I did not see him enter the room and as my diarrhea bomb was exploding in every direction, he got caught in the direct line of fire. The dog moves closer to me to exact his revenge and violently shakes the foul liquid from his fur. In doing so, he shotgun peppers everything in the bathroom. The homage to not following instructions is now all over the bathroom wall, the shower curtain and even the ceiling. It is everywhere!!!


My wife, totally unaware of all that has transpired is still getting ready for the pool. She calls into the bathroom, “Dennis and Sandy are on there way down here {they live on the 36th floor} for some drinks and we will all go to the pool together.”


This is obviously not something I am supportive of at this very moment in time. I have just now, finally stopped erupting enough to waddle to the door, open it and yell “NO! They can’t come over, PERIOD! We have to meet them at the pool.” Not expecting this kind of aggressive response from me, my wife rounds the corner for an explanation, takes one good look at my gaunt white face and replies, “Okay.”


The victorious dog, seizes the opportunity to escape the “shit show” and tries to make a run for it out of the bathroom. I manage to grab his glistening wet fur, drag him back and slam the door.


As I turn around, I catch a look at my mortifying reflection in the mirror. My face, matching the new wallpaper, is completely peppered with wet, brown diarrhea! My poor wife at this point only knows that for some reason, either on purpose or by accident, I have decided to rub diarrhea all over my face and for another unknown reason, the dog, which was dry 2 minutes ago, is now wet…..

She calls into the bathroom, “I am going to the pool.”

Two hours later, I am bathed, the dog is bathed, the bathroom is bleached. The shower curtain is in the trash, I have a load of wash going, I am less one pair of Armani underwear and I am at the pool with a water…..


The lesson……follow Jen’s instructions, or explain to your wife why you shit the dog and your face.

Great Minds Shit Alike.

I had the honor of talking shit with one of my health and colonic mentors, Mike Perrine, on his EveryDayDetox podcast. Mike is the owner of Vitality NYC, where I work on the first Tuesday of every month. You can book me for a colonic in NYC on the Vitality NYC website. Hope you enjoy listening to our chat!

 

Fashion for your Bloated Ass

My best friend and fashion idol is one of the head buyers at Bergdorf Goodman, what I believe is the highest grossing department store in Manhattan because everything they sell is expensive as shit. My friend is rather private and OCD (I should know, we were college roommates), so let’s just call her Anal. Anal has had the best style since I’ve known her, so it’s only natural that I consistently look to her for fashion advice. She travels to Paris every month to choose the trends of the season. Luckily, big ass baggy tie-dye tshirts are currently in style (not sure that they ever weren’t). Here’s some Anal fashion advice on how to look good even when you feel like shit:

 

If you’re stomach isn’t feeling 100% flat and you would prefer to hide it until you feel better then below are a few forgiving looks to try from the spring runway.

A midi skirt and an oversized sweater hide just about everything while still looking chic. Below are a few Dior looks from Resort and Spring:

bloat wear

 

bloat fashion

An oversized jacket masks everything going on underneath. They are also perfect for the spring weather that is hopefully on the horizon. Below are a few looks from Chanel and Dior:

bloat fashion

bloat fashion

A wide leg pant with a loose waist is not only super comfortable but you will definitely feel small under all that fabric even if it’s not your skinniest day. Below is a favorite from Brandon Maxwell:

Bloat Fashion

Tye dye is a huge trend for Spring and tee shirts are the easiest way to pick up the trend. A simple tee paired back to a cargo pant or short will cover your stomach and still look cute. Below are a few examples from Stella McCartney:

Bloat Fashion

 

Bloat fashion

Pajama dressing has been around for a bit now but it’s still relevant and also the epitome of ease and comfort. Below are a few examples from FRS:

Bloat fashion

Just because you have a black tie event to go to doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable, even if you’re feeling bloated. The below looks from Chanel and Brandon Maxwell cover your stomach and still allow you to eat and drink all night long:

Bloat Fashion

Bloat Fashion

 

If all else fails, try a voluminous mini dress. This shape is cute and effortless in the summer and you will feel great regardless of what is going on inside. Below are a couple looks from Valentino and Zimmerman:

Bloat Fashion

Back To Basics

I’m a sucker for scents…I’m always diffusing lemongrass essential oil at the studio and patchouli EO at home. I spray Poopourri in the toilet before I shit. I burn Palo Santo after my cat shits. I want to smell every natural perfume available to woman. I love discovering new scents to inject into my coconut candles. Equally, I love that historic lucidity only a nostalgic scent can offer.

Scents even have the power to make me wear deodorant, for God’s sake. I wear Para Botanica probiotic deodorant just so I can inhale it (grapefruit + geranium is my fave). I’d fucking bathe in it if I could. The odor industry has me struggling with low grade Stockholm Syndrome because while gladly held captive, I am constantly falling in love with products that cause an adverse reaction.

It’s extremely disheartening when I discover a divinely-scented hydrosol or lotion to douse my body in only to get a fucking rash. Lately, my skin has been very sensitive to some natural products, specifically to the essential oils that make them worth a shit. My forearms and shins are the first to get itchy, which I’ve learned not to ignore because the itchiness generally turns into a few small bumps, which can quickly become a rash if unaddressed. It’s easy to underestimate the potency of natural ingredients.

For that very reason, I often forget about the cleanest and most effective skin products in my toolbox: African black soap and raw African shea butter. For me, these are the classics (and the cheapest!). When I feel a rash breaking out from some new fancy product I’m trying not to fall in love with, I’ll stick exclusively to African black soap and the rash will heal. Despite being made from mostly shea butter, African black soap can be very drying, so if you’re using it on your face, you’ll want to chase it with some raw shea butter. However, when I have a rash on my body, I appreciate the drying/cooling effect of the soap. I encourage you to look up the countless benefits of African black soap and purchase the soap and shea butter in unadulterated form (no scents added).

 

soap with no scents

Don’t Be An Ice Queen.

Thankfully, I had no clients booked today because I could hardly muster up the courage to get out of my body-heated bed this morning. Inconveniently, the heater in my apartment does not work well in my drafty apartment when it’s fucking freezing outside. So I spent the day cleaning my apartment and doing laundry to stay warm, or at least not think about how cold I am. While moving around and staying productive is always a good way to generate heat, I want to share two pointers on how to survive this dreadful season.

I purchased a Higher Dose Infrared Bodywrap back in October, but I get overwhelmed easily by new contraptions for no good reason. My mother gifted me an Aroma Professional Plus Multi-cooker over a year ago and it’s sadly still in the box. This, unfortunately, is only one other example of an unused possession that can probably change my life with the click of a single button. But I finally christened the dust-collecting infrared bodywrap last night, which practically rolled right out of the box, bear hugged me and plugged itself in. I cannot recommend this heated sleeping bag enough. There are different heat settings, so you can choose whether or not you feel like getting your sweat on while experiencing the benefits of infrared. Last night, my apartment felt a bit warmer, so I broke a sweat in just 30 minutes, while today I hardly broke a sweat even after staying in the bag for the max allowance of one hour. Today’s objective was just to stay warm, so I appreciated the absence of cold wet clothing (you must wear heavy sweats inside the bag as the heating elements can get really hot) upon exiting the bag. This infrared sauna wrap may just be the solution to my Seasonal Affective Disorder as it boosts happiness chemicals while providing unparalleled winter relaxation.

Infrared sauna bodywrap bag

 

The Infrared Bodywrap turns off after an hour and must rest for at least an hour before its next use. So in search of another warm body, I decided to finally christen my bath tub. I’ve lived in my apartment for two and a half years and had yet to take a bath! I cannot believe how fucking late I am to the bath game. In true fashion, I had luxurious bath salts  – one that was handmade by a friend complete with aromatic rose petals and another one (also a lovely gift) of Dead Sea salts – collecting dust in my medicine cabinet for years. This bath kept me warm for another hour while I relaxed and listened to some podcasts. In The Rockstar Remedy, Dr. Gabrielle Francis suggests taking epsom salt baths not only for muscle relaxation, but radiation extraction! This can be especially therapeutic if you work in front of a computer all day.

In short, being cold sucks and I hope my advice, and perhaps a colonic, make you feel less shitty this season.

xoxo jen

 

The Vanity Mirror

For such an appropriately beautiful word, “vanity” has a bad rep. If you know me personally or have read or listened to any of my interviews, you know I unapologetically got into my line of work ten years ago for vanity and vanity alone. I had no digestive issues, no major recovery, no comeback story. I just wanted to look my best and I learned that detoxing is the most natural and sustainable means to achieving optimal outer beauty.

It’s healthy to care about your appearance. Vanity can actually play a role in disease and humiliation prevention. Had we never looked in the mirror, certain cancers and liver disease would go undiagnosed, weight would creep on faster, repulsive whiteheads (and greenheads) would remain undisturbed and coagulated mucus would have time to harden and stick to the walls of our noses. Needful to say, vanity is a fragile tight rope resting between healthy and unhealthy obsession.

Growing up, my brother and I shared a bathroom. To his dismay, I would annoyingly spend an hour before bed each night indulging in my facial routine followed by a close up analysis of every pore and hair on my face, tweezer in hand. Thank God I never had one of those magnifying mirrors. I would have spent half of the evening mutilating my face!

Upon reflection, my vanity seemed to mark the beginning of my obsession with all things bathroom-related. I remember when my mother redecorated the bathroom and threw up a flattering mauve wallpaper because only then did I realize the significance of a room’s lighting. You’d think this made me feel good about myself (or at least pursue photography), but it only made me question whether the flattering reflection was an accurate depiction of my true appearance as I migrated to a different mirror for comparison. Needless to say, I was a textbook case of someone suffering from dysfunctional vanity that  perhaps led to a mild case of body dysmorphia.

bathroom vanity

A quick google search reveals that we spend about 1.5 years in the bathroom in a lifetime. I’ve experienced an inverse relationship between the amount of time spent in the bathroom and clear skin. A healthy diet is the ultimate skin routine promoting healthy bowel movements (ie detoxification), which requires little time on the bowl. Additionally, less time staring in the mirror, washing/stripping your skin, slathering on toxic products and picking/squeezing encourages skin regeneration and repair. Ironically, a low maintenance daily routine is the key to clear skin. Less is fucking more.

Often I am asked what I use on my skin, which is why I developed the Skin Cleanse on my services menu. You can subscribe to the Skin Cleanse newsletter on the Gravity Colonic Prices page for my full skin regime and recommendations. Spoiler alert: it involves a plant-based, dirtbag lifestyle. Products last forever in my medicine cabinet because I only oil cleanse my face 1-2 times per week. While I don’t believe in the consumerism surrounding commercial skin products, I am a fucking sucker for all things natural. Currently, my fave skincare is Marie Veronique’s line because she incorporates both probiotics and essential oils that smell divine in each product. Probiotics are naturally found on our skin and serve as a protectant. This is why washing your face 1-2 times EVERY FUCKING DAY is no bueno.

In summation, I encourage you to look in the mirror only to embrace your beauty.  If you’re hating what you see, I dare you to embark on a mirror fast while adopting the healthy habits I share in my Skin Cleanse newsletter. True beauty is truly skin deep…like 25 intestinal feet deep. Watch your skin clear up and your innards beauty shine through your pores. Namaste.

xoxo jen