Now, I'm obsessed with the Halloween Spirit stores. Don't get my wrong, I still believe in making or crafting your own costume. But, those stores remind us of the potential of Halloween - to break taboos! Or at least put them out front and center, for all to see. When I discovered how amazing Halloween stores were a few years ago during graduate school at UC Riverside - I found a burger costume that became an integral part of my final dance performance project AND dubbed me "burger girl" - I realized they are a valuable source of cultural reflection. Wanna see what Americans find taboo? Just walk into any Halloween pop-up store and you'll find out. It's also pretty cool to be a superhero for a day too. I can't deny that either.
In the spirit of Halloween, and because each of us has a different, unique, and perhaps random relationship with it, I thought I'd dedicate this newsletter to some scary and random health and fitness facts that may break some taboos - or at least some preconceived ideas - you hold. Don't be frightened - they're simply so simple.... it's scary. Happy Halloween, friends!
SO SIMPLE IT'S SCARY HEALTH & FITNESS FACTS:
Did you know that lemon can help reduce wrinkles? When Ludo et moi were living in DC, we met a biochemist and chiropractor named Dr. Nate. His amazing personal health journey began when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and by changing the way he approached food, he saved his own life. He saved himself with food. We learned a lot from him, and one of the simplest and most surprising of those things was that lemon is really good for your skin. The acidity in lemons clears clogged pores and tightens skin, and the citric acid has antibacterial properties, which clears away dead skin cells and bacteria at the same time. Simply slice a lemon and then rub it on your face. Seriously - and be careful of your eyes - and then leave it on for about 10 minutes while you go about your morning or evening. Then wash it off with warm water. Your face will thank you.
Did you know that standing may not be so much better than sitting? When I was studying in England, I loved to visit the old, stunning, huge, English manor houses (especially Lyme Park, Mr. Darcy's glorious house and grounds from the 1995 BBC television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice), but my legs and hips would get sooo tired. When I was a kid and we went on field trips to museums, I would feel the same sensation of fatigue. It was only until recently that I realized there's a reason: when we stand, even though we are opening up our hips, which is great for the psoas and hip flexors, we're not moving. And when we're not moving, our muscles, especially our postural muscles in our torso and hips, are simply turned "on" and never get a break. So, actually, it's difficult to stand over a long period of time. Spoiler alert: I've also been binging on the television series "Adam Ruins Everything", and he explains why science shows that standing may not be much better than sitting. Keep shifting your desks and standing through, out your day, but more importantly, remember to simply move throughout your day. Go for a walk at lunch. Keep a spiky ball under your desk for your feet. Roll your neck and shoulders. And then, watch the episode here: Adam Ruins Standing Desks
Did you know that making your own toothpaste from cacao may help remineralize your teeth? My husband is over traditional toothpaste, and in an effort to get him to brush his teeth again (yes, I said husband, not child...), he sent me this recipe: Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipe It's pretty awesome. It uses cacao, or chocolate in its rawest form, which has natural antibacterial properties that staves off plaque, is a mild astringent, which helps to polish our chompers, and it tastes delicious. It actually tastes like chocolate mousse! Especially when paired with the cavity-fighting properties in xylitol, a natural sweetner. Now, both Ludo et moi brush our teeth three times a day (no joke).
Did you know bridging is a natural butt lift? If you have had a session with me, you know that I absolutely love bridging. And I practice it nearly every day, especially if I've been sitting a lot. I remember when I was a gymnast, our coaches would tell us to "pinch a penny" between our cheeks, especially when we were on beam, for stability and to get our legs straight and our hips open. Newsflash: all that does is squish our tush and create tension in our hips! You know this 'cause you live and practice Pilates and ya learn. The hamstring attachment that lays right below our smile line and that narrows our sitting bones is the key to lifting the cheeks and really to making that smile shine. Better yet, you can bridge absolutely anywhere. Do it now and reap the butt-lifting benefits (among many others).
i'm stephanie. my last names mean "hedgehog" in Czech and "pretty calf" in French. i have an MA from Oxford in English lit, and a MFA from Riverside in experimental choreography. i like to write. i have lots of thoughts on the body. and i want to help you understand your own better. oh, i'm also plant-based and love to bake with vegan ingredients.