Take a Deep Breath

The practice of quieting your mind and focusing on your breath is not just for the enlightened. Here’s one of my favorite deep breathing exercises. It can be done at any time and any place. Try it lying down or sitting in a comfortable chair while maintaining good posture.

  • Close your eyes and relax your body as much as possible. Scan your body from head to toe and let go of any tension.
  • Pay attention to your breathing. With one hand on your heart and another on your belly, notice the rise and fall of each breath. If you are using the lower part of your lungs, your abdomen should be noticeably rising and falling. Your chest should not be rising nearly as much.
  • Continue breathing deeply through your nose.
  • After several more breaths, inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Keep your mouth, tongue, jaw relaxed.
  • Continue this pattern of methodical breathing as you stay relaxed, and focus on the sound and feeling of long, slow, deep breaths.

relax2

Meditation is not for everyone, but it’s also not just for monks anymore. With time and patience, anyone can learn to meditate. It’s like entering a deeply restful sleep while being fully awake; its casting the human brain back to a more primitive state where we are freed of our analytical and critical selves. In this blissful state of mind, you are more aware of senses and feelings rather than negativity and stress. Here’s a simple way to try it:

  • Sit in a quiet comfortable spot. Be mindful of your posture. Set a timer for five or ten minutes.
  • Choose a word to repeat to yourself. Many people like to use the word “om” because it has been shown to be calming. Or you can murmur “breathe in” and “breathe out” to yourself, or count your breaths from one to ten, then repeat.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your work or count. When thoughts intrude, gently bring your attention back to the words or count.
  • Keep going as long as you can without falling asleep.
  • When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes. How do you feel?

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Bridal Beauty – top picks to prep your skin on the big day.

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We know you want to look flawless on your big day! Having great skin is just as important as wearing the perfect bridal gown, so start your pre-wedding skincare countdown now. Our Murad skincare experts put together this helpful six-month timeline to follow for glowing, gorgeous skin on your big day.

Pre-Wedding Skincare Countdown: A few tips for a beautiful skin

 6 months to go
  •  Take daily dietary supplements to give your body the building blocks it needs to help every cell in every system.
  • Now that you’re engaged, everyone will be paying extra attention to your hands! Rejuvenate them with a monthly manicure and moisturize daily (We recommend our Youth Builder Rejuvenating AHA Hand Cream) to keep them looking and feeling soft and lovely.
3 months to go
  •  Stick to your workouts to reduce skin-damaging stress and wedding-planning anxiety.
  • Commit to a monthly facial routine to keep your complexion healthy and rejuvenated.
1 month to go
  •  Keep your skin smooth and glowing by exfoliating 1-2 times a week (We recommend trying our Skin Smoothing Polish).
  • Get your last facial 2-3 weeks before your big day to allow redness from extractions to resolve.
Week of the wedding
  •  Get a stress-relieving massage.
  • Keep your diet heavy on fruits and veggies and light on salty, processed foods, which can make your eyes look puffy and your body feel bloated. We suggest you read a bit more about the science behind eating fruits and veggies with Dr. Murad’s “Eat Your Water” research.
The Big Day

Remember that it’s likely something won’t go as planned or turn out the way you imagined it, but don’t let that ruin your day. As Dr. Murad says, “When you learn to be imperfect, your life will be more perfect.”

 

Here are top picks to prep your skin on the big day.

eye-lift-firm Say “Eye Do”

While the early-morning beauty prep gets underway, start with this professional-strength eye treatment. Its exclusive surface-filling and firming technologies work beneath the eye pads to instantly lift, firm and visibly reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

hydrating-toner Happily Ever Hydrated

Spray a few spritzes of this refreshing toner to rehydrate skin and restore pH balance. The fresh peach scent also helps set the relaxing, pampering mood for the makeup and hair prep to come.

oil-control-mattifier Joined in Matte-rimony

Save yourself from a makeup meltdown during any outdoor photo shoots by applying this mattifying moisturizer with SPF 15. It helps control oil for up to 8 hours so you’ll stay picture-perfect all throughout your wedding day.

eye-cream 3-Tiered Treat

Between battling the never-ending to-do lists, last-minute crises and wedding jitters, getting a full night’s sleep might slip down the priority list. Keep under-eye creasing and puffiness at bay with this multi-active eye cream that firms, brightens and hydrates.

invisiblur Toast to a Flawless Future

Before you apply foundation, finish with this breakthrough product to treat, blur and protect. Its silky smooth formula blurs lines and imperfections, conceals pores, and primes skin, so you’ll look flawless in all your wedding photos.

We wish all the brides-to-be out there a joyful, stress-free, beautiful wedding day; one filled with moments you will cherish forever!

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Free to Be Happy and Healthy

Summer is traditionally a time to celebrate freedom. People all throughout the Northern Hemisphere feel a spirit of freedom in the air throughout the summer months. The combination of warmer temperatures, extra hours of daylight, lighter work schedules and a recess for most schools gives us freedom to explore new places and new possibilities for personal growth. And it’s not surprising if you feel healthier and happier in this season of freedom—most people do.

What you may not realize is that there are real and tangible psychological and physiological factors which feed the summer boost to our mood. Extra summer daylight and the brighter quality of that summer light both have a direct effect on the production of hormones that regulate our moods and our waking and sleeping cycles. This hormonal effect may be part of the reason people report fewer episodes of depression during the summer months. The free time that comes with extra daylight hours and lighter summer schedules also gives us an opportunity to relax and have some “me time” to try and recover from the chronic Cultural Stress® that can burden us and erode our health and sense of well-being.

I strongly encourage you to make the most of this opportunity to unwind by truly unplugging, at home and on vacation. I also encourage you to heal your spirit and body by behaving like a child during your free time by letting go of unreasonable expectations and negative thinking. And if you are planning to take a family vacation, please take to heart the following advice “be imperfect; live longer.” Don’t fall into the trap of pressuring yourself to deliver an ultimate vacation experience for the whole family. Try not to over-plan and try to let everyone have an age-appropriate amount of input—it will be less stressful for all concerned if the agenda represents a family collaboration instead of a parental imposition. I hope you have a wonderful summer with many memorable moments and that the health and happiness you rediscover this summer will stay with you throughout the year.

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Adventures in Good Health

We’ve all heard the ancient maxim, “travel is broadening.” New places, faces and foods certainly stimulate our senses, and there is nothing like looking at the local newspaper while you visiting a new city to help shake off that home-centric perspective.

But I believe the benefits of travel are more than just intellectual. I think there can be emotional benefits as well. For example, while there may be certain stressful challenges involved in travel, it’s a healthy stress that actually energizes you to help you focus on overcoming obstacles. Each little challenge you meet, from finding your way to your hotel to ordering off the menu in a foreign language, gives you a wonderful sense of accomplishment. It’s why travel stress is really the opposite of unhealthy, chronic Cultural Stress®, which keeps you constantly overstimulated, taxes every system in your body, robs you of productive energy and makes it hard to focus.

To make sure that you get the most out of your travels, remember that a vacation from your ordinary work, school or home duties shouldn’t mean a vacation from healthy habits you practice as part of an Inclusive Health® lifestyle. Plan for your travels with TSA-approved sizes of your favorite skincare products, including a strong SPF for your day tours, to make sure you look your healthy best. Be mindful of your food choices so that your body has high-quality nutrition, which is the key to living well. Last but not least, try not to over-plan so that you have enough time to take care of yourself and get the sleep you need to feel better and see the world with fresh eyes every day.

One last tip—keep your hands away from your nose, eyes and mouth. The same simple protocols that can help keep you safe at home during cold and flu season can help you on the road. Airplanes, airports, trains, cabs, elevator and ATM buttons, even restaurant menus are common collection points for the sorts of organisms that can ruin your trip.

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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How to Take Care of Yourself

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At the end of the workday, are you going out for drinks or off to yoga? Will dinner be steak or salmon? Countless studies have demonstrated that the lifestyle choices we make have a significant influence on both the length and the quality of our lives. Everyone has heard the endless messages telling us to eat better, sleep better and get more exercise, yet statistics show that only a small percentage of us manage to follow most programs in the long term.

So why don’t we all do the right thing and take better care of ourselves? A recent article by Jane E. Brody, for the New York Times, Rethinking Exercise as a Source of Immediate Rewards, revisits some very interesting research on motivation by Dr. Michelle Segar who directs the Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy Center at the University of Michigan. Dr. Segar has concluded that most people fail at programs that are built around long-term goals like weight loss. Surprisingly, people on these kinds of goal-focused programs actually spend less time exercising. The people who do exercise regularly are the people who find immediate rewards from exercise. Exercise is immediately relevant to them because they enjoy the activity or they enjoy the way the feel physically and/or psychologically when they make exercise a part of their day. Naturally, they achieve long-term benefits from the activity, but those are almost seen as a bonus or a byproduct of the activity that gives people pleasure, revitalization or perhaps even a sense of daily accomplishment.

I’ve seen the same results play out with people who have come to embrace Inclusive Health® as a gentle structure around which to shape a true wellness lifestyle. Each of the three facets of Inclusive Health, Looking Better, Living Better and Feeling Better, offers immediate rewards as well as long-term benefits.   When we give our skin the daily attention it deserves, as our largest and most connected organ, we Look Better immediately. Fast results help reinforce our adherence to our skincare routine, and we receive “secondary” rewards in the form of better long-term skin health and better appearance, since skin looks younger longer. Living Better, by making good food choices and using dietary supplements, gives us immediate rewards as we discover the pleasure of eating well; short-term rewards as we start to sleep better and have better digestive health; and long-term rewards such as better management of weight, blood pressure, blood sugars and inflammation. Feeling Better, by valuing ourselves and finding ways to maximize our happiness, rewards us in the short term as we make time to do the things we love, and in the long term by helping us to resist and recover from the toll on the body and mind that the Cultural Stress® of a 24/7, plugged-in lifestyle can take.

If you focus on the daily return on your investment of time and energy, you’ll discover that following the guidance of Inclusive Health to find true wellness isn’t a duty that requires discipline—it’s a journey that yields endless rewards.

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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5 Ways to Embrace Change

Fall is a season for transition. Choose products to help repair summer sun damage and hydrate your skin for the cold months ahead. Fall is also the perfect time to adopt good habits for healthy, beautiful skin. Are you using a good cleanser, treatment and moisturizer day and night? Are you exfoliating or using a mask weekly?

Focus on your happiness by allowing yourself to embrace change and let go of stress in your life. Remember, healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness—and that includes your mental and emotional wellness. Here are my top five ways to learn to embrace change:

1. Welcome Positivity

It’s easy to get caught in the rut of always seeking out the negative aspects of situations. Make a conscious decision to identify when negative thoughts enter and replace them with positive thoughts or observations instead.

2. Sweat it Out

Whenever you’re faced with a daunting change or another stressful event, challenge your body with a great workout. When we work out, our bodies release endorphins that help reduce stress and anxiety.

3. Live in the Moment

Panic and worry can erupt when we focus on everything that can go wrong. Most of those “worst case scenarios” will never come to fruition. Do yourself a favor—relax and enjoy each moment of your life.

4. Be Appreciative

Studies suggest that grateful people tend to feel happier and more optimistic, which helps them cope with change. Every night, before you go to bed, write down three things for which you are grateful.

5. Try Something New

Whether it’s a new activity or a new at-home facial mask, make it a goal to try something new every week. Not only will this help you become comfortable with adapting to change; you’ll also develop more confidence and build new talents.

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Roasted Yam and Eggplant Tacos with Chipotle Mayo and Crunchy Tortilla Chip Garnish

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Innovative, yet original. This tacos are like nothing you’ve seen before. Taking in your daily dose of healthy veggies doesn’t have to be boring, you can change up a traditional recipe to accommodate for your dietary restrictions and preferences. Healthy and delicious, these tacos will please everyone in the family. Try it this weekend and let us know on the comments below how you liked it!

INGREDIENTS

1 Batch Oh She Glows Life-Affirming Nacho Dip
1 Bag blue corn Organic Tortilla Chips
1 Bag blue corn soft taco shells
2 Big yams
2 Japanese eggplants
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or oil of choice)
3 Cloves garlic (minced)
1 Can black beans
1 Jar Organic Salsa
2 Limes
1 Bunch green onion (or red onion) (chopped)
1/2 c. Chipotle mayo (just stir a bit of chipotle spice into Vegenaise)

DIRECTIONS

1. Start by making a batch of Oh She Glows Life-Affirming Nacho Dip, but stop after you’ve completed the ‘cheese’ step (so, don’t add the spinach, onions or marinara sauce).

2. Preheat oven to 400F. Slice yams and eggplant vertically into strips. Toss with coconut oil (or oil of choice) and garlic, then lay on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes or until golden.

2. Next, add a can of drained black beans to a small pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the juice of one lime and salt. With a wooden spoon, mash the beans slightly as you stir and cook until soft (about 10 minutes).

3. Heat your soft taco shells in the oven and then begin assembling: add a big dollop of citrusy black beans to each shell, a bigger dollop of nacho dip, roasted vegetable wedges, a spoonful of organic salsa, a squeeze of lime, a sprinkling of red or green onions (or both), a fat drizzle of chipotle mayo and — the piece de resistence — a big handful of crumbled tortilla chips.

4. Fiesta time! Hope you enjoy.

Recipe by Erin Ireland, can be found here.

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Allow Yourself to Have a Transformation

“Give yourself an opportunity to have a transformation.”

For many, this is not as simple as it sounds.

Most of the key positive changes in our lives come about as the result of personal transformations. These transformations don’t just happen by themselves. We have to be open to them and to all the possibilities that they represent.

Virtually every aspect of my own personal and business success has been based on the fact that I was open to significant change. For things to get better in your life, you have to be willing to allow yourself to take a chance.

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Embracing Change

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One of my favorite insights is: “The road to success runs through managing change.”

In fact, the very thought of change can be terrifying for many people. There is a comfort in the constant and familiar. We have a routine, we know a place inside and out, and we like it that way. It feels safe. But, as the saying goes, change is inevitable. The difference between those for whom change is a trigger for stress and deterioration and those for whom it is a trigger for growth is the attitude with which they react to change. It’s no surprise that those who react to change with fear don’t embrace it and that those who react with eagerness or excitement do embrace it and see it as a source of opportunity. (more…)

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Traditional Healing Herbs and Spices

Instead of using salt, which can lead to cell damage and retention of extracellular waste water, try seasoning your meals with these herbs and spices. Many have different healing properties and a good mix of them can help your body stay healthy.

spices

GINGER

Ginger is recognized as helpful for motion sickness, migraines, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, and blood clots.

TURMERIC

Currently being studied as a treatment for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory powers are currently being evaluated to
develop treatments for arthritis as well.

CHILI and CAYENNE

Capsaicin in chilies thins mucus, and emerging evidence suggests peppers can prevent stomach ulcers and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and
heart disease.

GARLIC

Garlic lowers cholesterol and triglycerides while it thins the blood to help prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Garlic has also been linked to reduction in risk of cancers of the stomach and colon.

CUMIN

Cumin is a great natural detoxifier. It increases body heat, boosting metabolism and improving kidney and liver function. Cumin is also a great source of iron, which helps to maintain healthy energy levels.

MUSTARD SEED

Mustard seed has been linked to a lower risk of cancer and is a good source of selenium, omega-3 fats, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium,
protein, niacin, and zinc.
Now your turn to make your taste buds happy. Less salt, more herbs!
Share your favorite spices with us by commenting below.What are one of your best recipes using some of those spices? We will love to hear from you.

Download recipes for a younger YOU – Meal Plan and Recipes by Dr. Howard Murad


Doctor Murad

 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

 

 

 


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