Tag - christina grant

Skintervention: How to Have Youthful Radiant Skin

by Christina Grant, Ph.D

What if we encouraged people to age as nature intended, holding in high regard their life experience, knowledge, and wisdom they have to offer. I’d much rather sit at the knee of a wise old grandmother whose face is etched and deeply lined than be with a woman who tried to erase all of her character to keep up with our society’s obsession with youth.

I suppose it depends on what you value – the superficial or the deeper layers? On the surface we can skip around, noncommittal, carefree. But the depths are darker, remote, mysterious, maybe even dangerous. Who knows? We don’t go into them often.

Apparently, we prefer the superficial. It dominates and pervades our lives through images, media, art, television, movies and other entertainment. Sexy young women, virile men, great hair, white teeth, flat belly, cleavage, perky behind, smooth skin. Can you get along and not cause problems? Perfect! You’re hired.

After a while it becomes part of our unconscious: young = good, old = bad. Where is the balance in all of this? Certainly we haven’t found it yet. We see Hollywood “role models” taking great care to sculpt their faces and bodies so they’ll remain young and firm. Who and what does this benefit other than the deep pockets of the beauty industry and the deeper cultural shame regarding the aged?

Alas, my mind is just as oriented as the next person toward youth and beauty. I look in the mirror at fine lines and wrinkles, the dreaded brow furrow, and I secretly say to myself, “Let’s make that appointment for Botox soon.”

But how can I do it when I’m a proponent of the holistic path? Of course I want great skin and a youthful appearance, but I don’t want to use harsh chemicals or surgery to get it. What I truly value is the natural radiance that can glow from a person no matter what their age. And I want the wisdom and grace of the aging process to be honored, instead of dreaded.

Enter Scott-Vincent Borba, author of Skintervention and voice of reason among Hollywood’s elite. A celebrity esthetician, Borba teaches how to develop more youthful skin, and he does it in a way I can endorse. He believes that inner health is seen in your outer appearance, and that you can be confidently gorgeous from the inside out at any age.

In Skintervention: The Personalized Solution for Healthier, Younger, and Flawless-Looking Skin you’ll learn about Scott-Vincent Borba’s philosophy including:

  • What ingredients in your skin care products are most effective, whether your concern is anti-aging, sensitivity, or breakouts
  • Everyday products that sabotage your skin
  • What nutritious, anti-aging items to keep in your pantry and refrigerator
  • Food cures for fine lines and wrinkles
  • Skin-Savvy recipes (beautifully illustrated)
  • Do it yourself facials and treatments
  • What to do about chocolate, alcohol, and French fries (it’s not what you might think)
  • A question-answer section addressing skin concerns at every age
  • A week-long VIP beauty plan to get yourself “Red-Carpet Ready”

So, if you’ve been thinking about your own skin and its youthful (or not so youthful) appearance, and who hasn’t, take advice from Scott-Vincent Borba’s book Skintervention. I know you’ll find it inspiring to find a skin-care expert in the entertainment industry who promotes holistic, healthy solutions for beautiful skin at any stage of life.

 

Christina Grant, Ph.D., is a specialist in Holistic Healing, Intuitive Guidance, and Energy Balancing. She has helped thousands of people transform physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. A widely published author, she also hosted the “Health Connections” radio program as well as co-hosting Monterey’s “Your Health” television series. She is frequently interviewed on radio and television about various aspects of holistic healing.

 

To learn more or contact her, visit www.christinagrant.com.

 

 

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Healthy Home Improvement

by Christina Grant

For several years my home office has been the color of sea foam green. This particular room is always cold, even in summer, and needs an extra heater to bring it to a comfortable temperature.

A few weeks ago as the weather began to turn chilly, in a moment of do-it-yourself enthusiasm I decided I was done with the sea foam green, a shade that can in fact make the room feel colder than it is. I wanted a color that would make the room warmer.

Have you tried to decide on a paint color lately? It’s daunting. Standing in the middle of an enormous home improvement warehouse, I actually began to consult the names of the colors, as a way to help me decide. Who has the job of thinking up these names? I selected “Moroccan Sky,” an earth tone resembling terra cotta. Perfect.

I wanted my Moroccan Sky to be zero-VOC to limit my toxic exposure. VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds found in a variety of products such as furniture, carpeting, adhesives, and paints. The compounds release into the air and can cause ailments from allergies to cancer to ozone layer depletion.

Nowadays you can take in a swatch of color that can be matched in almost any brand of paint. But getting my exotically named orange-brown paint without VOCs apparently meant complications for the paint department employee, who seemed more interested in stocking shelves than mixing paint. So he said, “It’s a lot more expensive and really doesn’t matter. Today’s paints are all very low in VOCs. It’s not like the old days. These are all incredibly low, so just get what you want in any brand and you’ll be fine.”

I doubted this, truly, but I was on a DIY enthusiasm roll which doesn’t come around often. I went ahead with Moroccan Sky and its “low” VOCs. Once back home in full paint mode, it was clear there were plenty of toxins coming out of the can, into the air, and onto my wall. The smell was so strong I took frequent breaks even though a good breeze blew through the windows. I began to wonder about cancer. I painted one wall, got out quickly, and let the room air out overnight with an air filter running on turbo.

The next day I went to my small local hardware store and inquired about a paint color that is a few notches down the scale. It was a bit too ambitious after all, to have four “Moroccan” walls. I wanted warmth, not a cave. This paint department employee was very agreeable that zero-VOC, non-toxic paint is the way to go. He gave me literature supporting the reasons why it’s better for our health, which I knew but had lost sight of in my eagerness to get started. I settled on “Spiced Cider” and even the employee said it sounded wonderful.

Let me spare you the further details of my painting adventures and get to the point, which is to say, if you are up for a change and would like to paint your home or office, spend the extra $10 per gallon to get paint that is safe for you, your pets, and the environment. Here are more reasons why:

  • There are little or no noxious fumes.
  • There isn’t toxic off gassing, which can occur for years with ordinary paint.
  • You can use the room right away without having to wait for the smell to dissipate.
  • You’ll be exposed to zero carcinogens. Be sure to verify this in the brand you purchase.
  • There will be no risk of toxicity to your kidneys, liver, and nervous system.
  • You’ll avoid sinus inflammation and allergies.
  • You won’t harm the ozone layer.
  • A zero-VOC, non-toxic paint won’t add more caustic chemicals to landfills.
  • You’ll protect your pets from breathing toxic indoor air, which in many cases is much more polluted than outdoor air. Also, paint fumes can kill birds.

Once I brought home my new gallon of Spiced Cider, I opened the lid and swiped a bit of it on the walls. Breathing easy, it felt like the best extra $10 ever spent.

For more information, to contact, schedule a session, sign up to receive her newsletter, or read her blog, see www.christinagrant.com.

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From Guinea Pigs to Power: No to GMO Foods and Manipulation

by Dr. Christina Grant

In my tiny area of the globe, I am a gardener, keeper of animals, feeder of birds – someone who is concerned about the protection of the earth, land, soil, waterways, air, and all living beings. Increasingly, I am aware of the myriad ways we have become detached from nature, and the natural ways of living on the planet. One of the main issues of concern is our lack of knowledge about where our food comes from.

A few months ago, the Corn Refiners Association applied to the FDA to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar.” Apparently, more and more consumers have been reading labels and they don’t want the syrupy stuff in their food. Now, an attempt to put another blindfold over the eyes of the American public has been made, to lead us to believe that their product, implicated in the nation’s obesity epidemic, is nothing more than sugar from corn.

I can detect high fructose corn syrup in any product. It cheapens the taste and has a sickly sweet flavor. “Corn sugar” will do the same. It isn’t like regular sugar and doesn’t taste like it even though the argument laid out by the Corn Refiners Association is that high fructose corn syrup has the same nutritional value as sugar. Well, for Pete’s sake, who eats sugar for its nutritional value, which is nil? Let’s not forget the real issue is that we, as a nation, consume too much sugar in any form.

Even if you are a fan of eating products that contain high fructose corn syrup, I think it’s still wise to know the source of what you are putting into your mouth. Anything derived from corn (and soy) carries the potential to be genetically modified (GMO) so it can withstand a few solid drenchings of pesticides and herbicides, including Monsanto’s Roundup. The corn can also be modified by changing its DNA so that it “naturally” wards off bugs and increase crop yields.

Currently in the United States, the FDA has not required genetically engineered products to be labeled as such, while many other countries have demanded the labeling, including the European Union. A number of people work in the government, including the FDA, who stand to gain through their association with corporations like Monsanto, thus the labeling law has gotten bogged down in red tape.

Labeling all products with GMO ingredients is a vitally important issue that we as consumers must insist upon. The FDA hasn’t required labeling, indicating it’s too complicated. They say the evidence against GMO food isn’t clear enough, they don’t want consumers like me and you to look down on GMO ingredients in our food, and, what they don’t say, is that there are powerful people with corporate interests whose personal wealth will be negatively affected when we stop spending our money on their products.

We do know that there are adverse health effects from this form of biotechnology, that it was not and hasn’t been studied properly before it was used in the food supply, and that the use of GMO seed in crops contaminates other fields, including those that are organic. We also know that in many cases, more pesticides and herbicides have to be used on these crops. If you would like to learn more about this, read Dr. Joseph Mercola’s article entitled “10 Reasons to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods” at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/27/10-reasons-why-no-one-needs-gm-foods.aspx. At the end of this article are numerous references for those of you interested in further research.

Whenever I write about these concerns, and when colleagues have done the same, someone (often working in Washington, DC) responds with a scathing letter, an attempt not to state facts, but rather disqualify the author and further confuse the public. The responses are personal attacks instead of rational disputes. This is spin, and it’s done because big money is involved, they know the facts are building against them, and they’re afraid the American public won’t remain in the dark for long.

But the American consumer is king and all we need is knowledge. We are the ones with the money who buy the products, and there is power in that. We could change the system at any time, with the dollar. By buying whole organic food, preferably from local farmers, and shunning the processed food world or at least demanding proper labeling, each of us declares that we support foods (including corn) to be grown the way nature intended, not modified by scientists, however well-meaning they might be. Keep in mind, all non-organic foods you pay for that contain corn (and soy) derivatives are likely to in some way support the GMO practice, while allowing chemical companies like Monsanto to control our food supply. This includes conventionally grown beef and chicken, since they are subjected to the GMO food in their daily feed.

October 2010 was the first official “Non-GMO month” involving more than 580 natural food stores nationwide. This helped to promote awareness and celebrate your right to choose food that is not genetically modified. You can learn more about the event by reading a press release from the executive director of the Non-GMO Project: http://www.nongmoproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Non-GMO-Month-Press-Release.pdf.

If you want to watch two good movies, see The Future of Food and Food, Inc. They help clarify these issues, and at the very least, make us more aware of the necessity to have a GMO labeling law. This law might be complicated to enforce, but no more so than the prospect of an entire food supply being contaminated.

If you’re interest is piqued, read Jeffrey Smith’s book Seeds of Deception. For more on the American food industry read Marion Nestle’s Food Politics and Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation.

A descendant of Midwest farmers who came to California to work in the fertile Central Valley, I’ll continue to be an advocate for organic farmers and local farmers’ markets. I hope you will do the same, or we run the very real risk of being fed solely by a chemical giant who doesn’t have our best interests at heart.

Dr. Christina Grant is a holistic healer, teacher, and intuitive counselor. You are welcome to visit her blog, contact her, and sign up for her e-newsletter at: www.christinagrant.com.

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Compost: Turning Your Cast-Off Food Into Gold

by Dr. Christina Grant

Made from your table scraps (except meats and seeds) and yard waste, composting is the key to sustainability and organic gardening. It reduces your trash and the amount of junk that ends up in landfills, that is, if you aren’t a big fast food fan and you actually eat fresh food.

There is little to no actual trash in my garbage bin. I recycle any paper products or glass and throw all vegetable, fruit, and table scraps into the compost bucket under my kitchen sink. Once full, I take the bucket of scraps and head out to the far corner of the yard where I dump it into a big pile. I toss in a few leaves and the pile turns itself into the most amazing, dark, rich soil I’ve ever seen.

I was quite truly astonished when I first witnessed food and leaves turn into healthy soil. I had no idea of the method in which nature quickly breaks down organic matter, turning it into a lush product. Those of you who garden will understand my use of “lush” when referring to soil. Those of you who don’t tend to the earth and grow a few things, you must start, even if it’s a small pot of something near a window.

The soil you create yourself can be used as mulch around trees and bushes, it can go into flower pots, and of course, can be mixed into soil in your garden. It enriches and feeds the earth while repelling the bugs that destroy your beloved plants.

Strong, healthy soil is the key to organic gardening and to keeping plants thriving so they are not attacked by pests. This makes the use of caustic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides on our precious earth all the more ridiculous, since these chemicals deplete the soil. This weakens the plants, strips them of nutrients, and brings on even more pests.

Composting is an amazing, wonderful way to help heal this precious earth. It is one way to give back to this planet which has provided us with all we need. And once you start, you won’t want to see another banana peel or broccoli stalk go into the trash, because you will know what it’s capable of becoming.

My friend Rosanne (an earthy Taurus, naturally) taught me how to make a compost pile. I was finding it all mysterious and complicated, but she changed this. Her method follows.

Use a bucket under the sink for your kitchen scraps. Outside, dig a hole about two feet deep and two to three feet wide. Put your cast-off food scraps in it with some leaves. Cover these with some dirt. Every few days, turn the pile a bit with a shovel or pitchfork to aerate it. If it’s dry, add some water so it becomes like a wrung out sponge.

Keep adding to the pile. When it’s fairly large, dig another hole next to it and begin adding fresh scraps to this new pile, allowing the older one to cook and do its thing.

Out of the few methods I’ve tried, Rosanne’s is the best and easiest. I’ve heard people say you have to do it in layers, adding food, then leaves, then dirt, and so on. But it’s too complicated. All you need do is toss your scraps in and cover them with dirt. Add a few leaves and cuttings from plants or grass, mix once in awhile, and add some water occasionally. In very cold climates you would need to use alternatives. In this case, check with your local waste management company to see if they offer compost bins.

In the past couple of years, I have used a black compost bin instead of making my pile on the ground. This has served to keep Rami, my Labrador-German Shepherd foodie, from eating everything in the pile. But it doesn’t work as well. It isn’t as fast or efficient. My next step will be to put a little enclosure around the pile, so it keeps the critters out.

If you live in an apartment or a place where an outdoor pile isn’t possible, there are now counter top compost makers. To find out more about them, you can do an internet search of counter top composters. You’ll see there are many styles and a wide price range to choose from.

Even if you aren’t a gardener or don’t have a green thumb, just spreading your homemade compost onto the earth, perhaps around a few trees in your neighborhood, will help repair this place we have for so long treated with disregard.

Dr. Christina Grant is a holistic healer, teacher, and intuitive counselor. You are welcome to visit her blog, contact her, and sign up for her e-newsletter at: www.christinagrant.com.

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