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The Modern Mom’s Guide to Looking Good and Feeling Great

The modern mindset is you can be fabulous without having to look like you’re high maintenance.  We want to look good without feeling like slaves to beauty.  But being a modern mom is about more than just keeping up with the fads and trends – it’s about attitude.  You can achieve that with just a few simple lifestyle changes.

Increase your Oxygen Intake
Oxygen has a great deal of benefit and is needed for cell metabolism and the release of cellular waste (carbon dioxide) as we exhale.  Oxygen also kills bacteria as it strengthens the immune system.

Fresh air also rids lungs of impurities that we inhale on a weekly basis. After continued exposure to clean air, you’ll begin to breathe more deeply, which flushes more oxygen into your cells.  More oxygen also brings greater clarity to the brain, which needs twenty percent of our body’s oxygen to function.

But if you’re an urban mom, fresh air may be a tougher commodity to get. There are still ways around it though.  Even though you have little control over your outdoor air, you can still do something about your indoor air quality. There are steps you can take to improve your air quality.  First off, start using an all-purpose air purifier.  Look for an air cleaner with a combination of purification technologies such as HEPA, with activated carbon and ionization.

If you’re constantly on the go, try using an air purifier in your room at night while you sleep.  This way, you’re guaranteed a solid set of hours in a high pure oxygen environment.  And if you’re a road warrior throughout the day, then take stop lights as an opportunity to catch a few slow deep breaths.  You’ll immediately see the difference it makes in not only how you look but how you feel.

Detox with Water
Water helps remove the dangerous toxins that your body takes in from the air you breathe, the food you eat and the chemicals used in the various products you use on your skin and hair. It’s the simplest most natural way to detox yourself – supplying your body with something it needs and something that is readily available. Water also acts as a cushion to your joints, carrying oxygen and nutrients into all your cells.

You also need water to keep your metabolism working properly. In order for this to happen, there is a certain level of water in each of our bodies that we need to maintain. If we don’t keep that amount, our bodies start to dehydrate. Most of the times, we’re not even aware we’re dehydrated; note that if you start to feel thirsty, you’re body is already dehydrated.  Dehydration not only slows thinking, but also wreaks havoc on our skin. 

Water is nature’s cure-all substance for the body. It contributes to controlled appetite, keeps skin looking clear and youthful, improves metabolism and memory, increases flexibility, and regulates body temperature. However, if you’re not a fan of drinking water, try mixing in flavored water packets. If you’ve still got a water aversion, simply try eating more fruits, which are naturally packed with water.

Thinking “Rainbows”
Everyone knows that you’re supposed to have five servings of fruit a day. However, five servings don’t necessarily mean bushels of greens and overly generous portions of fruits, which at the end of the day can start racking up sugar calories. Portions are still key.

Five helpings of fruits and veggies can easily fill up one plate or be picked on throughout the day. Simple way to achieve this is just to chop up a selection of fruits and veggies so that you have them ready and on hand for snacking or cooking.  You’ll find you’re more likely to use something if it’s on hand.

Five servings also provide significant antioxidants and fiber to reduce heart disease and cancer risk and keep your weight in check,” says Rosa Mo, RD, a nutrition professor at the University of New Haven. The idea is to eat a “rainbow” assortment of colors with a focus on eating fruits with edible skin, which are usually full of antioxidants. 
As for using “rainbows” as a guide, make sure you catch the darker end of the spectrum.  Purple fruits and veggies, such as eggplants and purple grapes, are full of rhodium and iridium.  These natural superconductors are great for both your body and your mind. 

Sleeping Beauty Had the Right Idea
There’s a reason it’s called beauty sleep.  However, the golden standard of 8 hours is not so standard. It’s a well known fact that some people can function just as efficiently on 5 hours, and some need a minimum of 9.  Find your own personal standard and stick to it. Anything less than your needed amount of sleep is likely to lead to weight gain, poorer decision making, and reduced alertness.

If you’re one of the many that has trouble sleeping at night, you might want to create a more sound sleeping environment. Try slipping on socks, which widen bloods vessels and allow for better heat transfer through your body – allowing you to sleep more soundly. You can also try creating a purer environment with an air purifier and be sure to turn your alarm clock away from you.  Light signals your brain to wake up, and the ‘blue light’ from you digital clock and cell phone are the worst distracters.

The fact remains that no amount of products or procedures can replicate what you can do naturally (and if you can get the same results naturally, why would you want to complicate it?)

Shireen Qudosi is an indoor air quality expert and a green lifestyle columnist. www.air-purifier-home.com

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