Spring cleaning’s not just about the house. After a season of over-indulging followed by months spent bundled up under a pile of layers, our bodies need some serious purging and purifying if we ever want to see the light of day.
ISSUE: Spring 2012
DEPT: Mind & Body
STORY: Audrey Staff
Seaweed is known for its detoxifying and restorative properties; birch as a skin toner and swelling reducer. Both are incorporated into the Seaweed Birch Wrapat Le Posh Salon, an invigorating wakeup call of a treatment. After an exfoliating dry brushing, the seaweed birch mask is painted on and then you’re wrapped in foil. Soon, your body feels like a giant Altoid – the mask is so cooling you’re practically shivering. A hot shower offers relief and your skin is left baby soft. Details Salonleposh.com.
Everyone from celebs to co-workers tout the purported wonders of the cayenne pepper-maple syrup cleanse. Personally, I think it’s an urban legend. I mean, a spicy, sticky liquid for two weeks? No
wonder you lose weight. Chef and nutritional therapist Gurpareet Bains, has a better idea. In his new book Indian Superspices, the Indian British author of the best-selling book Indian Superfood offers more natural (and tasty) detox remedies incorporating spices that metabolizefat, boost metabolism and suppress appetite. Try his green tea augmented with fat-metabolizing cinnamon and ginger, and appetite-suppressing fennel; the protein packed Prawn and Baby Spinach Quinoa Biryani; or the rich and creamy (yet “almost bereft of fat and calories”) Ultimate Detox Soup. (Go to charactermedia.com/Indian-superspices for the recipe!) Details Gurpareetbains.co.uk.
There are plenty of hangover remedies. There’s only one that’s FDA-approved. Blowfish is hangover relief in a fizzing tablet you dissolve in water. Because of the effervescent delivery system, the results are more immediate: you rehydrate, a maximum dose of aspirin fights headaches, a neutralizing agent settles your stomach, and you get a hit of caffeine without the acidity of coffee. Staffer Y. Peter Kang gives us his minute-by-minute play-by-play:
10:52 am I just downed the 16 oz of fizzy water. It was not bad.
10:55 am Three minutes. Nothing yet. Still have a monster headache.
10:57 am Whoa, feels like my headache is actually a little worse. Wha??
11:03 am The tide has turned; I think I’m feeling better than pre-ingestion. Also feeling the effects of the caffeine. I can tell because I began reading an article about gold-infused peanuts with great interest.
11:26 am I am caffeinated, but I still have my headache. Started out a 7/10 headache; it’s now down to a 5. Not out of the woods yet.
12:05 pmThe headache’s down to a 3 – it’s dull and lingering. Caffeine was nice. Interesting alternative to drinking a cup of coffee and taking two Advil. Would try again.
Of course, the best hangover remedy is to not get drunk at all. If you think you’re drinking too much too often, you may need to detoxify from drugs and alcohol to achieve a full system cleanse.
Tara Miko Grayless, 35, was stressed out and suffering digestion problems in her job in the fashion industry. After a health food store owner educated her about the power of hemp, she decided to try it. According to Grayless, after several weeks of incorporating the super food into her diet, not only did her digestion improve, but “I lost 10 pounds, my energy levels skyrocketed and I was no longer overwhelmed by stress. My hair took on a new sheen, my nails grew stronger and my [dry] skin had a rosy glow.”
So the Japanese-Irish American started Happy Hemp to share “this gift with the world.” Touted as “the most nutritionally complete food source in the world,” hemp seeds are vegan and gluten-free, and boast nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid (more than flax or any other nut or seed oil), says Grayless. Just sprinkle on yogurt or eat straight out of the bag.
And in case you’re wondering, no, you will not get high off hemp. “Hemp seeds have nothing to do with its distant cousin, marijuana,” says Grayless. “Hemp seeds are legal and you will not test positive on a drug test.” Snack away! Details Happy-hemp.com.
It seems everyone I know makes a living in front of the computer, and the American Optometric Association confirms that 45 percent of all Americans spend more than five hours per day on a computer. Such prolonged use can lead to something called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which may include eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, fatigue, blurred vision and loss of focus. Add to that the fact that Asian Americans have a very high prevalence of nearsightedness (myopia) – upwards of 70 percent – and are at higher risk for age-related cataracts, according to a 2011 study by Transitions Optical with Wakefield Research. In honor of Save Your Vision Month (March), optometrist Dr. Brian Chouprovides some simple lifestyle changes we can make to minimize our risk for developing eye conditions.
1. We must be aware of the harmful damage that can be caused by the sun’s UV rays. UV rays are present 365 days of the year, whether it’s sunny or cloudy. See your eye doctor annually for a comprehensive exam to check for eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration, which have been linked to UV exposure. A comprehensive eye exam not only evaluates the need for glasses, but also eye muscle coordination, color-blindness and internal and external eye health, and can help to flag other health-related conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
2. Wear protective eyewear covering the entire eye area with UVA/UVB protection, such as sunglasses. If you wear prescription lenses, try Transitions lenses, which are everyday eyeglass lenses that automatically go from clear to dark when outdoors to block 100 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays.
3. Drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water each day to keep both the skin and eyes hydrated.
4. Maintain a balanced diet and be sure to eat fruits and vegetables containing vitamins A, C and E and beta- carotene – important for the body and the eyes.
All of spring’s filmy, sheer clothes are going to make an extra smooth body all the more important. Rose Wu of Oasis Day Spa in New York offers some tips for waxing after a long winter break.
- Prep time: You have to take care of your skin before andafter waxing. If you’ve been shaving, you have to let the hair grow to a certain length so the wax can grip the hair. Exfoliation is very important, as well as personal hygiene, so that there are no ingrown hairs or buildup of dry skin.
- Constancy: Once you start waxing, it’s best to stick to waxing. Don’t shave in between your waxes – it’s bad for your skin and makes it harder to wax in the future.
- What’s trendy: For bikini waxes, the best “style” depends on the client and her preferences. Lately, women are leaning towards leaving some hair, as opposed to a full Brazilian.