Tracy’s Pick of the Week: 12/16/13 – 12/22/13

Christmas Glass

Thank you so much for stopping by in the busy time of the year. Have you got everything set up yet: foods, decorations, music, gifts and greeting cards?  For me, I can’t wait to meet my friends for chit chat, foods, music and movies. Knowing how tied up you must be at this point, as Christmas is coming in two days (!), I don’t want to hold you for too long in the intro, let’s jump right into the news I have prepared for you from last week.

1. Holiday Color-Inspired Foods for Clear Skin

I just wrote this post yesterday and don’t want you to miss it, as it may give you some inspirations for foods and fun during the holiday. Christmas is a season of colors. Think about all those symbols for happiness and blessings: red decors hanging on the Christmas tree, gifts wrapped up in green packaging with red ribbons, golden bells, snowflakes decorations on the windows, glittering and sparkles throughout the whole room and many more. Wouldn’t it be more fun if we also add colors into the kitchen? That’s why I have curated some interesting ideas featuring red, green, golden, white and glittering to help you bring colors and fun onto the dining table.

2. Three Worse Food Mistakes You Make for Your Skin

Speaking of Christmas foods, I came across this article from The Huffington Post just right in time. What foods can you see are traditionally placed on the kitchen table? Ice-cream, pastas, soda and coffee. Do they sound familiar to you? Here comes the truth: foods with added sugars like ice-cream are likely to spike your blood sugar and cause chronic inflammation in the body, which then damages your collagen and elastin and leads to acne and rosacea. Similarly, high-glycemic foods and starches such as white bread, pasta and white rice also spark breakout because they cause spikes in blood sugar and inflammation in the body. The third group we should pay attention to is beverages. Sugars in beverages can lead to premature aging, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions; same for alcoholic beverages, which leads to aging, and caffeinated beverages, which constrict bloods vessels, reduce circulation and cause dehydration.

The conclusion: as you are preparing for your Christmas dinner, watch out for simple sugars, high-glycemic foods and starches, soda, alcoholic drinks and caffeinated beverages.

3. Most Googled Diets in 2013

This time of the year is not only a time for foods and family union, but also for reflection as well. The Huffington Post has gathered 10 most frequently searched diets on the internet. Check out if your favorite diet is on the list ; ) Just a side note, in the future, I aim to study different diets (e.g. history and culture, nutritional values, what a particular diet does to health and skin), learn as much as I can and share with you my findings!

4. Institute of Integrated Nutrition Offers Free Sample Nutrition Classes

If you are into nutrition study like me, you might find this message exciting. Institute of Integrated Nutrition, a nutrition school that offers online world-class nutrition teaching featuring established health professionals as speakers, is now offering FREE sample course to help you take a step further into the world of holistic health and wellness. I have signed up for it already. Don’t waste this opportunity if you want to know more about health and nutrition.

5. Multivitamins Don’t Hold any Benefits

Do you take nutritional supplements? Well, I do. I have been taking supplements for over a year by now. And then I came across this message last week: no benefits in multivitamins. This topic has been controversial these days. Yet, from my personal experience, I took Vitamin C pills for about a week in November and saw that my acne marks heal by itself over the course of the week. I found that it is very interesting to see there are always new science and studies revealing the defects on the old findings, leaving us consumers confused. Let’s wait and see what the future studies have to say about this controversy. But, whatever it may be, we should always remember that supplements are after all supplements, and that the main source that gives us energy and nutrition comes from our diets. And health is based on healthy food choices, becoming happy and stress-free and living an active lifestyle, which is way more than what supplements bring us. In short, have in mind a big picture of what true health and well-being really means.

6. Group Seeks “Natural” for GMO Products

Here is a daunting message: the trade organization representing the nation’s largest food and beverage companies are seeking permission to label as “natural” their products containing genetically modified ingredients such as corn, soy, canola and sugar. While we need to patiently wait and see how the story develops over time, I realize that: these days, it is not enough to just read food labels, but we also need to use our common sense while reading them to decide what foods to buy, as sometimes even labels issued by authorities lie…

7. “Organic” Is not that Organic

…which naturally brings our attention to this last but not least topic. Here is an interesting fact: just because a product is labeled as “natural” or “organic”, it doesn’t mean exactly so all the time; on the contrary, there are products that are not labeled with either of the terms, they are super natural and healthy and grown by knowledgeable farmers who cannot care too much about organic farming. A take-home message here: do not easily believe what you see in front of you; but always think about the story behind, which can be very intriguing and revealing. Here I would like to share with you my favorite part of the article:

If you truly care about what you are eating and feeding your family, look to sustainable farms. Shop at your local farmers’ market, talk to the farmers, and ask them what they are doing. They may not be certified organic, but they probably know more about organic farming than you could ever imagine. The farmer I spoke to was extremely knowledgeable on current legislation, articles recently published in a variety of publications, not to mention the history of farming.

He lives and breathes this stuff and he doesn’t do it just to cash in on the popular organic food trend. As he said, “Farming health is like human health. Provide a good environment for the plants to grow and they will be healthy.” — Meggan Hill, The Huffington Post

This is how I would like to sum up today’s learning: shop local, eat healthy and become savvy ; – ) Merry Christmas and make sure you cut down those foods that cause our skin to deteriorate.

Do you have any thoughts and ideas on the controversy over the value of multivitamins, GMO foods, or organic farming? I am always looking forward to comments and discussions below.



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