DRY BRUSHING FOR BETTER SKIN

Dry Brushing | The Bombshell Files

Let’s talk about dry brushing.

Basically, dry brushing is using a specific type of body brush to brush your skin.  All you need is yourself and your brush.

The first time I heard about dry brushing was several years ago when one of George Clooney’s super hot ex girlfriends said it was the secret to her glowing skin.

Interest piqued.

AND I heard there were perks for the lymph system, which I am just all about these days.

Benefits of Dry Brushing | The Bombshell Files

First let’s start with the benefits:

◊  Great way to exfoliate and brighten skin

It removes dead skin cells and opens clogged pores (which can help with ingrown hairs).

So far, I am definitely seeing this.  I’ve always been pretty lucky with having soft skin, but after dry brushing, I have noticed an improvement.  My moisturizers are absorbing better and everything is feeling more silky smooth than before.  So thumbs up for this benefit.

◊  Wakes up the lymph system

“The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It is made up of organs and lymph nodes, ducts and vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin and proponents of dry brushing claim that brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and help the body detoxify itself naturally.” (source)

This also brings me back to my post from last week about the benefits of rebounding and the importance of stimulating the lymph system regularly.

◊  Increased energy and blood flow

I feel energized after dry brushing.  Even the process of doing it feels great.

◊  Reduces appearance of cellulite

This little bit of info has not been proven in any of the sources I have read.  Some people claim they have seen a reduction in the appearance of cellulite.  I, however, have not.  So I’m not sure if this is a bogus claim or if it just doesn’t work for me personally.   Don’t you think, if something could actually reduce cellulite, EVERYBODY would know about it?  If I’m wrong here, someone please let me know.  But I have not seen improvement in the cellulite department.

Dry Brushing | The Bombshell Files

When to do it…

This is something that you can do daily.

You should do it right before a shower or bath on dry skin.  I like to dry brush first thing in the morning because of the little energy burst I get afterwards.  Plus, it feels like I’m waking everything up and getting ready for the day.

But, I also like to do it when I get home from work.  If I save my dry brush & shower routine for the end of the day, I think it feels even better.  Probably because my legs have been stuffed in my skinny’s all day and I have those seam imprints on them.  And it feels so good to come home, take my pants off and dry brush. TMI?  Just being real here.  But you can pretty much do it whenever.  Some people suggest against doing it before bed though so you don’t get all pumped up and then can’t fall asleep.

How to do it…

You always want to brush in the direction towards your heart and chest.  The way you brush is very important, so you can get the most benefits from it.

Here’s the video I watched when I first started dry brushing to learn the technique.

What brush to use…

The brush in the pictures is the one I started with and it’s great for beginner’s.  I don’t think it’s too hard and you can adjust the pressure easily.  I might be in the market for one that’s a little stiffer in the future, but so far, this one is still working for me.

You can also find body brushes at health food stores.  You just want to make sure the bristles are natural and not synthetic.

Also, be careful if you have any skin conditions.  Dry brushing can irritate eczema or rashes.  Be sure to ask a doctor before you do it, if that’s the case.

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I absolutely love dry brushing and would recommend this to everyone.  I hope this inspires you guys to give it a shot.  May as well show your skin some serious love.

Have you guys tried dry brushing?  Let me know!

♦ Stephanie

REBOUNDING FOR A FULL BODY TONE UP + MANY HEALTH BENEFITS

Rebounding

Okay guys, I am very excited about rebounding… aka jumping on a mini trampoline.

Rebounding has quickly become my new favorite workout.

It’s the workout I’ve always wanted but never really thought about.

First things first, rebounder’s are easy and accessible.  Which is wayyyy up there on my ‘must have’ list when it comes to new habits.

This great workout doesn’t require you to leave your house, or pay for a super expensive piece of equipment. It doesn’t take up too much space, it’s light enough to move around your place, and it’s actually pretty fun.

Just wait til I get to the health benefits (!!!)

NASA uses rebounding for their astronauts.  After only 14 days in space they can lose 15% of their bone and muscle mass and they use a rebounder to help reverse the damage.  You can read more about that here.

If it’s good enough for NASA it’s good enough for me.

I’ve been reading up on tons of different sites and have consistently been coming across these health benefits:

◊  It aids in lymphatic circulation, which can help remove toxins << I will talk about the importance of this in a future post

◊  Gives you an energy boost

◊  It helps improve your balance

◊  It great for the skeletal system and improving bone mass

◊  Helps with digestion

◊  It’s a low impact workout

◊  It works out your entire body

◊  It’s considered a cellular exercise and is said to stimulate all the cells of the body

If you want to learn about even more benefits (because there are a TON) check out this site.

I came across this site for a 6 week program if you wanted to follow a routine.

Rebounder with a timer and resistance bands

(I bought my rebounder here.   It came with a timer & jump counter and it also came with resistance bands that you can attach to it, although I haven’t used those yet)

Rebounder Counter

When do I use it…

I currently keep my rebounder in the living room.  Having it in the living room makes jumping on it beyond easy.  Since this is one of the main hotspots in my house, I pass by it all of the time.  In the morning, after drinking my lemon water, I will jump for about 5 minutes.  It gets the lymph system moving first thing in morning, which is so important.  Then when I get home from work, I will jump for a few minutes on it.  I am always pretty beat right when I get home from the office, so this gives me some energy when I need it most.  Then after dinner,  I might throw on a tv show (like a Real Housewives…let’s be honest) and I will try to get at least 10 minutes in.  It’s so convenient for my lifestyle.  And if one room is occupied or you need a change of scenery, it takes no time at all to pick it up and move it to another room.  I actually would love to have one of these in my office so I could do 5 minutes on it every hour. The energy boost from it would definitely make me more productive.

I’ve been rebounding for the past 4 or 5 weeks, anywhere from 5-20 minutes per day.  And I am definitely feeling trimmer.  I did not take any “before” measurements, but I can tell my core has tightened and I have noticed a difference in my energy levels.  I am really loving how easy it is to jump without having to pack up a gym bag and drive somewhere, or dress for the weather outside before you go out for a walk or run.  And the easier something is, the more likely I am to stick with it.  And so far, this feels like something I will be doing for a while.

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Do you guys rebound?  If so, in what ways have you benefitted from it?  I kind of have a thing for my little trampoline : )

♦ Stephanie

BENEFITS OF DRINKING WARM WATER WITH LEMON

Lemon Water

For the past few months, I kept coming across articles about all of the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.  I am huge on drinking tons of water throughout the day.  I always have a very large and in charge cup by my side at all times.  I also regularly incorporate lemons into my diet.   So drinking this in the morning was a natural step. Not only do I love the taste of lemons, but the health benefits are worth it alone.

I start all of my mornings by chugging 2 glasses of water right when I wake up.

I’ve been doing this for years and if I ever skip this, I definitely feel it later on in the day.

After seeing these articles talking about how good warm water with lemon is for you first thing in the AM, I decided to look into it.   If I can improve my morning ritual with something so easy that also packs a healthy punch, why the hell not?  I read claims for top 5 benefits…top 10 benefits…top 20 benefits!  So I looked into it a bit and found that some of these benefits aren’t proven (mainly overhyped) but there are definitely a few benefits that make this little daily ritual totally worth it.

Here are a few of the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon in the morning:

◊  Helps with Digestion

This might have to do with drinking water in general and less about the lemon, but it can help flush the system and get everything running smoothly again.

Making sure to drink water when you wake up is super important because your body has gone without water for 8 hours and this helps to rehydrate and energize.

The fact that the water is already warm helps the body absorb it faster because it doesn’t need to use more energy to process the cold water.

◊  Immune System Boost

Lemons contain Folate, Potassium and Vitamin C, which are all amazing for you.  But “Vitamin C is vital to the function of a strong immune system” (via)

◊  Healthy Weight

This is more about drinking water and starting the day off right.  This won’t be a miracle cure for weight loss but there are reports “that water consumption increases the rate at which people burn calories.” (via)

◊  Better Skin

Lemon water can benefit the skin because of the fact that it improves digestion and flushes the body.  This is also a benefit from drinking plain water.  Also, Vitamin C is needed for collagen production, which lemons have plenty of.

So these are few of the pros of drinking warm lemon water right when you wake up.  I have been trying to drink this as often as I can, and I have been feeling more energized (even before I have my morning coffee!) and it kinda sets the tone for my day.

I like to squeeze ¼ to ½ lemon into a glass of warm water.  If the seeds bother you (because they will get in there) you can use a strainer.  I also like to drink mine through a straw because I tend to have really sensitive teeth/gums.  Also, with lemon water, you should brush your teeth before drinking it, or you should wait at least 30 minutes after drinking it to brush, so you don’t mess up your enamel.

The taste can be a little strong at first, so you might want to start with a ¼ of a lemon.

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So really, my main suggestion would be to start upping your water intake in general.  Especially drinking water in the morning.  And if you want an extra boost, add in some lemon and get all of those amazing health benefits that this citrus has to offer.  If you want any more information on all of the benefits of lemons, check out this site.

Fun Extra Tip:

I like to zest the lemons I use and add it to a container in my freezer and then use that for pasta dishes or sauces.  Love getting more than one use out of something (!!!)

Any other easy tips to add some healthy extras into your diet? If you’ve tried lemon water at the start of your day, what benefits have you noticed?

♦ Stephanie

FAVE SNACK: RASPBERRIES + DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS

Raspberries +Dark Chocolate Chips

I like to evaluate my diet every week or so.  It helps me to keep tabs on what’s working and what needs a little tweaking.

Over the past few weeks, I noticed my sweet tooth was kicking into full gear.  An hour or 2 after dinner I kept reaching for Girl Scout cookies (…samoas, anyone?).  It was like clockwork,  2 hours after dinner, I’m suddenly in my pantry.

So I knew this needed to change and I started to think about other ways to curb the sweets craving.

I live by substitutions.

Is this working for me? No?  Then substitute that shit.

I knew that I would still want to snack at that time, so I just needed to find a healthier alternative that still satisfied my current sweets obsession.

That’s when I thought about raspberries + dark chocolate chips.

Like most of you, I like things to be quick and easy.  The easier something is, the more likely I will try it and stick with it.  And 2 ingredients is pretty damn easy.

KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid

I almost always have raspberries in my fridge (I love to add them to my overnight oats), and I just needed to pick up some dark chocolate chips.  And voila, a quick and easy guilt free treat!

Raspberries + Dark Chocolate ChipsI love feeling like I’m indulging a little, while also getting some health benefits in the process.  Both raspberries and dark chocolate have a TON of health benefits.

Let’s start with raspberries:

◊  “1 cup of raspberries contains high levels of assorted vitamins and minerals needed for healthy body functions.”  (source)

◊  “Raspberries are extremely high in various antioxidants, which can help fight aging and slow cancer growth by scavenging destructive free radical molecules in your body.”  (source)  << {Ummm hell yes!}

◊  They’re also supposed to help improve your memory

◊  And they can aid in weight loss and help with digestion (source)

Dark chocolate benefits:

◊  It is a powerful source of antioxidants (source).  So you are doubling up on the antioxidant factor with this delicious duo.

◊  Dark chocolate is good for your heart.

◊  And it’s good for your brain.  “Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health.”  (source)

Raspberries serving

So this snack is pretty much a win/win!

It’s delicious, packed with healthy benefits, and super easy to make.

Do you guys have any snacks that are delicious and pack a healthy punch??

♦ Stephanie

MY 10 FAVORITE WAYS TO USE COCONUT OIL

My 10 Favorite Ways to Use Coconut Oil

I’ve touched on Coconut Oil before and how I think everybody needs it in their home at all times, but I wanted go into a little more detail about my 10 favorite ways that I use coconut oil on a regular basis.

1.  Makeup Remover

This is, by far, my favorite way to remove makeup.  It takes off foundation and waterproof mascara and everything in between.  After the makeup is removed, I use it as….

2.  Face Wash

This may not work for everyone, because everybody’s skin is different, but this has been a game changer for me.  I will slather it on my face and either use my fingers to massage it in or my Clarisonic.  Then I use a baby washcloth to rinse it all off.  I use coco oil most of the time and then once or twice a week I use a gentle face cleanser.  For me, this has been pretty magical for my skin.  But definitely be sure to test it out before you’re all gung ho with it.

Coconut Oil for Beauty

3.  Hair Mask

About once a month I like to completely cover my hair with it and then leave it in for at least an hour while wearing a shower cap.  After an hour or so (some people like to sleep with it in), wash it out…like, 3 times.  I’ve done it where I only washed twice and my hair still looked greasy, so make sure it’s really clean.  No conditioner necessary.  Your hair will look and feel so silky.

4.  Cuts and Scrapes

I like to use it on any cuts or scrapes to help it heal faster.  It works like Neosporin, keeping the scrape moisturized.

5.  Tame Fly Aways

I will use it sparingly if I need to control some fly aways.

6.  Moisturizer

If you’re looking for an oil moisturizer for your body, this one is pretty great.  It definitely takes a while to dry so make sure you have some extra time when you do this….a good time to do this would be while you’re doing your hair mask.

Coconut Oil for Cooking

7.  Making eggs

With all of the health benefits that come along with consuming coconut oil, I like to add it where I can.  I found that I love to scramble or fry my eggs with it.  It gives it a sweeter taste, for sure, and I love it.

8.  In coffee

I loooovvveee adding coco oil to my coffee.  I will use a small spoonful and stir it in.  Not only do you get the health benefits, but your lips will be so soft and moisturized afterwards.

9.  As a lip scrub with brown sugar

Speaking of lips….while I’m washing my face I like to put the coconut oil on my lips and then add a little brown sugar and give them a good scrub.  I keep a cute little tub of brown sugar in my bathroom drawer.  This give my lips a great exfoliation and then I moisturize with more coconut oil or one of my favorite lip balms.  Right now I’m digging Aquafor.

10.  Soften cuticles

I like to use cuticle oil when I remember to.  When my cuticles dry out, I get the most painful hang nails.  But being a busy lady, I don’t always remember to pick up cuticle oil (i.e. never).  Coconut oil is the perfect substitute to hydrate your cuticles.

Coconut Oil for Moisturizing

Coconut oil is my #1 go to beauty product.  I always bring some with me when I travel.  It covers so many bases that I don’t need to pack as many products

What are your favorite ways to use coconut oil?  I am always looking for new ways to incorporate it into my life, so please share!

♦ Stephanie