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health

Turmeric – Why Your Body Needs It (and How to Use It)!

What is turmeric and why is it so talked about these days? Turmeric benefits are comprehensive, and most are due to its active compound, curcumin. For the last 2 years, I have probably missed a handful of days where I have not consumed turmeric. Let me tell you, it is probably the best thing I have done to my diet (Never going back!).

There are seriously so many benefits of Turmeric and I would need multiple blog posts to go through them all. Here the benefits that are most important to me! Side note: Black pepper contains piperine, which has been shown to help our bodies absorb the turmeric by 2000%. Try to use black pepper with any turmeric consumption!

Turmeric goes beyond the kitchen!
Spices that go beyond the kitchen!
ANTIOXIDANTS and IMMUNITY

Curcumin is a power antioxidant. We always hear about berries having a significant number of antioxidants and how important it is for our bodies.  Antioxidants can fight molecules known as free radicals, which negatively affect cell health, and may reduce or help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Winter Immunity Shot:

Juice fresh turmeric, lemon, ginger, and gooseberries. Add a teaspoon of wheatgrass powder. Every morning through the winter months to keep the viruses away!


Easy smoothie recipe:

Blend 1 cup of coconut milk with 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, the juice of one lemon and/or one orange, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, a tiny pinch of black pepper, and about a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger root. I don’t add any sweeteners but if you need it you can use agave nectar or stevia.

Being mindful of what goes into your body can go a long way, it can even help you have healthier hair.

SKIN BENEFITS

MY FAVORITE BENEFIT (Obviously.) Research suggests turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties make turmeric effective in treating skin conditions. It can help speed wound healing, calm the pores, and help control psoriasis flares.

Turmeric - Natural Face Mask
Natural Face Mask

My weekly Turmeric Face Mask Recipe:

Mix 2 tablespoons of unsweetened yogurt (I use homemade yogurt) with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of honey for a soothing and cooling face mask. I leave it on for about 5 minutes and wash off. (I’ve never had problems with it staining skin, but use an old towel just in case.)

Acne Spot Treatment:

I make a paste of honey and turmeric (2 parts honey to 1 part turmeric) and dab on to spot treat.

BRAIN

This benefit is important to me for my toddler! Curcumin has been shown to have positive effects on brain function and memory by increasing levels of the brain hormone that boosts neuron growth (and fights decay in old folks).

Ever since my toddler has been on whole milk I have added a pinch of turmeric to her milk servings every day. She is 2 and still drinks her milk with a pinch of turmeric! You can also give it to them in a smoothie!

TEETH WHITENING:

I have not tried this yet, but it is next on my list!  We are all busy and sometimes it’s hard to get around to doing some of these things that are beneficial for our bodies. To make life easy: There are Turmeric Supplements (which also include the black pepper) that you can take daily!

Let me know what works for you, comment below!

Love,

Neema

Botox and the Indian Community      

Botox, everyone has thought about it, many of us are doing it, so why aren’t we talking about it?

Growing up as first generation Indian Americans, my sister and I had the impossible task of representing our Indian side, our American side, and our hybrid side with grace and full understanding.  This meant being respectful yet assertive and exploring our interests while not wandering too far outside of our parents understanding. It also meant looking and acting within certain cultural norms without compromising our opportunities here as Americans.

Aging is one of those unusual paradoxes where being Indian and American does not agree.  It appears that Americans embrace doing things make you feel good — from facials to chemical peels to plastic surgery to Botox. There is discussion and a sharing of experiences that is a part of the American culture.  I can’t speak to other communities and cultures but the Indian community from both the immigrant and first generation perspectives does not embrace artificial enhancement. Indo-American women will undergo a variety of procedures and services behind closed doors and lie about their genetics and diets to no end.   An acceptance of anti-aging tools that we have available to us as Indians in America has been a difficult pill to swallow for many.

Avani getting her bi annual Botox shots.I am 36 years old, I have been getting Botox for 3 years.  When I looked in the mirror after having two kids and moving homes twice, my body directly experienced the stress. My body had undergone both of those life-changing events and left me with deep wrinkles which made me feel older than I was. My friends, co-workers, and sisters were supportive when I first considered Botox (see our article here about facing judgement). We talked about it, read about it, researched it until I eventually went for it.  Some family members, on the other hand, discouraged me from doing it and hesitantly added that if I did get it, I should keep it to myself.  After seeing my results and my satisfaction, two short years later, they too went ahead and tried it out. But they have since kept their “genetic” advantages to themselves.

Before And After
Before And After

Without getting too carried away, I am grateful that I can take little steps to look the way I feel.  I am not in denial of aging or of my life circumstances; this is a personal choice and one that has left me satisfied. By not sharing ideas and privatizing our desires, we cannot lift each other up in a way that can be positive in the right context.

I hope to get the discussion started.  We are fortunate that one of our Savvy Chicks’, Avani, has a husband who is a plastic surgeon — if you have any questions please leave them in comments below and we will be happy to get you an expert’s perspective.

Cheers,

Rina

If Botox is not your thing yet, here are a few Chicks Picks from Beauty Chick, Neema (check out her take on sunscreen).


Top Ten Ways To Find Your Zen

With the school year underway and relaxed summer routines becoming not-so-distant memories, many of us have to try harder to carve out time for ourselves and search deeper to block out the buzzings around us.  The grind of drop-offs, work, pick-ups, activities, specials, dinner, homework…wash, rinse, repeat…gets to even the most pain-tolerant of us. 

Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. – Alan Watts

Below is a list of the top ten ways to find your zen.

Create a playlist- find the songs that put you in your element.  I listen to a variety of music so mine contains anything from classical to hip hop.  I use my headphones and tend to multi-task at home.  I also play it in the car after the kids have been dropped off.  Have you checked out Chick Radio yet? Subscribe to our channel, we update our list often.

Take a walk – I find my zen walking through the aisles of Target or Home Goods…alone.  I may not purchase anything but I enjoy the solitude and without being beholden to a shopping list and a tight time frame.  The same can be achieved walking outside, snow-shoeing (for the more adventurous), and biking.

Devour a book- Nothing takes you away and warms the soul like a good book; one that makes you lose track of time and makes you look forward to the next chunk of free time in your calendar.  This month, my book club is reading a thriller set aboard a luxury cruise line called The Woman In Cabin 10, nothing like a thriller to create an alternate reality in your mind.

Drink to it-  Not alcohol, I’m talking about a nice relaxing cup of hot tea or hot chocolate.  Perhaps milk with tumeric or cinnamon.  I have a spice blend I’ve created that I add to either black tea or warmed milk and it puts me in my zen state.  Try the chicks favorite, Frontier Organic Fair-Trade Chai!

 

Get organized!- Spend five minutes every night organizing your thoughts for the next day, crossing things off your list for the day and double checking your calendar.  Nothing takes you out of your flow than a disorganized rush in the morning.

Create a mantra- Create an affirmation that motivates and inspires you and repeat it when you wake up, right before bed and any other time you need it!  Check out our Affirmations Board on Pinterest for ways to stay calm and  stay positive.

Learn to say “yes” – Say yes to dinner with your friends, or to your child when he asks to play hide-and-seek  Those events allow you to be present and break up the routine. Also, connecting with others simply feels good.

No guilt – You know the phrase “Life’s too short…” The cliche is actually rather profound.  There’s no room for guilt.  And with that, I’ll leave you with another one of my favorite quotes “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Disconnect! – Make it a habit to set a time every day to disconnect from all electronics.  Start with five minutes and don’t be surprised if you find yourself increasing that time 🙂  You’ll cherish it.  See our post about what you are missing when you are on your phone.

Laugh!!- What better way to feel relaxed than by feeling happy?  Try something silly, learn a new dance, tell a joke.  Get in touch with your unabashed-ness of your youth when you laughed more than you worried!  If you have not already read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*$k, do yourself a favor, and pick it up!

Cheers,

Serene

Your Brainy Chick


How To Get #HairGoals

3 months postpartum and I was losing hair in ridiculous amounts. When I say ridiculous amounts I mean constant never-ending shedding all day long. 4 months postpartum and I could tell the thickness of my hair was not what it use to be – my ponytail was skinnier, I could see bits of receding in places around my hairline. I CRIED.

After doing some research, I found out that postpartum hair loss is completely normal, and happens to most women but in different severities. It has to do with all the crazy hormones trying to go back to normal in your body (Like we don’t go through enough, right?)

Even after reading that it was normal – I was devastated and seriously thought my hair would never be the same. Fast forward to 8 months after delivering – and I saw fly always all around my head. IT WAS GROWING!! (Insert happy dance!!)

 

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I started taking things into my own hands to help my hair grow faster and better. No chemicals, no expensive medications, just a few nourishing techniques I learned while obsessing over how to get my hair back.

Please hear me — this is just what I did to grow my hair quickly. Don’t feel pressured to have to try all these things all at once. It’s like a buffet — pick a few that work for you!

No-poo

Sigh. Yeah, you heard me. For years now I had heard about no-poo, and thought it was nuts. But I was desperate and tried it. Why not? Buy a little bit of high-quality baking soda, and use a little vinegar, add my favorite essential oil (lavender oil), clean all the buildup off my hair and scalp. RESULTS: LOVE! My hair had never looked as good, ever. I did the no-poo for about 4 months, before I went back to a natural shampoo.

The Inversion Method (Major game changer!)

What’s the Inversion Method? For one week per month, once a day, you wet your fingertips with some hair-appropriate oil (I did a mix of almond oil and castor oil), flip your head over and give your scalp a good 5-minute massage with your fingertips. Like, a really good massage. The massage paired with your head being upside down MAJORLY increases blood flow to the scalp and triggers an increase in hair growth. You should only do this once a week per month (one week on, three weeks off). Your scalp quickly gets accustomed to it if you do it too often. I’ve read that this method can grow hair 4 inches in one week – I’m not sure I saw that kind of growth but I DEFINITELY saw a difference.

Biotin

This one’s an easy one, peeps. I started taking Biotin. Pairing this with all the other crazy hair things I was doing makes it hard to for me to say how effective it is, but since taking it my nails have become rock hard. So I know it’s doing something!

Eat Healthy!

This is usually a no brainer, but there are certain foods that provide the exact vitamins that your body needs. I’m a vegetarian so I did the plant version of everything but I will list the beneficial non-vegetarian options as well

Fatty acids: Avocados, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts were my go-to. Non-vegetarian: Salmon

Antioxidant, beta-carotene, vitamin A: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Cantaloupe

Protein & Iron: Eggs for me! Non-Vegetarian: chicken, pork, and beef.

Vitamin C & Folate: Spinach, kale, broccoli, and leafy greens. I would make a smoothie!

Zinc & Biotin: Lentils, soybeans, kidney beans

Vitamin B5 & D: Greek Yogurt

Vitamin C: Blueberries, strawberries, and kiwi – Also added this to my smoothie!

Chlorine, UV, and Wind Protection:  This ones pretty obvious — Throw on a hat if you can! If you’re in the pool a lot, wet your hair before going into the pool and if possible add a conditioner to help prevent it from stripping in the chlorine.  Also check out my previous post on physical sunscreen to learn more about my recommendations on UV protection.

These are just somethings that really helped my hair! My hair if feeling the same as before and even a bit thicker than before having my baby girl. I just cut off 7-inches of my hair just to try something new so it is the perfect time for me to do a before and after in a few months to show you guys how much my hair has grown!

Think hair-growing thoughts! #hairgoals

Love,

Neema

Chick Picks: