There is a certain way I tend to do things and, even though I am not a stickler for rules and have made a life and career based on my propensity to break rules, there is a lift of things and activities that I absolutely must have and perform to be at my best. It is important to me, however, to keep my regimens easy to maintain and share with others. I always want to show other women, especially those over thirty-five, that staying healthy, happy, and gorgeous doesn't have to cost a bunch or take up much time. It is also important to me that women know they don't have to be all done up to be beautiful. Our truest beauty is seen in our most natural state. When we are natural, others can see just how well we take care of ourselves and that self care is what's most attractive.
For My Sanity:
To keep myself from going crazy (most of the time), I have incorporated a few necessary rituals. It is important for me to stay sane and life doesn't always make this easy. There are times when I come away from these rituals and I always regret when I do. To find my center again, I always return.
- Gratitude: To help me stay humble and gracious, I keep a daily gratitude journal by my bed and write down ten things I'm grateful for, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem, because when it comes to gratitude, I count nothing small.
- Winding Down: Every night, at 8pm, I go to bed with a cup of hot tea and a book. The tea is always an herbal blend made for sleeping, and I have it with a teaspoon of honey. I commit to reading one chapter of the book every night until it's finished. I may not fall asleep until 10pm, so I also spend this time catching up with friends on the phone. I turn on one of my favorite shows, The Golden Girls, and have a few laughs before finally turning off the lights and TV and getting to sleep. It's important that I have this alone time and enter into a restful sleep without being disturbed by anyone. It's imperative that my family understands and aspects this crucial time.
- Meditation: Several times a week, I meditate before bed. Well, it may not be a proper meditation but it works for me. Before turning out the lights at bedtime, I turn on a guided meditation recording and let that send me into a pleasant night's rest.
For My Body:
To stay healthy and fit, I have a very simple way of eating and exercising that keeps me feeling and looking good. I have a healthy attitude about food and physical activity, which easy to have in Los Angeles, a city that thrives on a health conscious culture. But I know this area of life is more difficult for people who live in cities and environments that don't promote a healthy lifestyle. So, I do my very best to make my regimen accessible to everyone, no matter where the surroundings.
- Workout: Every weekday morning, I commit to a forty-five minute workout that includes thirty minutes of cardio and just fifteen minutes of a focused workout. My cardio is either uphill walking on the treadmill or time on the stairclimber. My focused workout varies and I use the Nike Training Club app to help me out.
- Water: I drink at least two liters of alkaline and electrolyte water every day. On most days, I don't drink anything else, unless it's a fresh rested joule from my local juicer. I've stopped drinking but before, I would keep my social drinking to Fridays, as a way to celebrate the end of the week and all of its hard work. I would only drink beer or wine––liquor is too hard on the body and the looks.
- Walks: Even though this is part of exercising, I don't do it for that reason alone. Every evening at sundown, I go for a brisk walk through the neighborhood. I use this time to appreciate my surroundings, thank God for all He's done, and just be alone. I also break a sweat, so this twenty-minute walk is good for my body and my mind.
- Cooking & Eating: I vary rarely eat out and am blessed to be able to make all my meals and snacks at home. I don't buy any canned, frozen or boxed foods. Only my grains, dry beans, and other dry goods come prepackaged––unless I pick and purchase them from a bulk container. I do not drink cow's milk, which only serves as an accelerant for mucus which harbors sickness. Instead, I buy or make organic almond milk. I do use butter and cheese (real cheese, not processed cheese food), but sparingly. I do eat meat but limit my beef and pork intake, and I try to eat more fish than chicken. I believe in making everything from scratch and I take pride in that. Nothing fast. Everything with love. Try my Starting From Scratch tutorial to help you clean up your act.
- Non-Toxic Everything: Since the skin absorbs sixty-five percent of everything it touches, I decided a few years ago to turn my home into a non-toxic zone with the help of The Honest Company. All the poisons in the detergents, lotions, powders, and lotions you use are seeping into your skin, harming your organs, and that includes the largest organ––your skin. Toxicity ages you and can kill you. Try to limit the amount of toxins in your life and home.
For My Looks:
Nearly three years ago, when I turned thirty-five, I became obsessed with my looks. What could have turned into an unhealthy obsession, manifested into an obsession with health. So, I implemented the tips above and also began using only organic beauty products and clean, non-toxic makeup brands on the rare occasions that I wear cosmetics. I came to the obvious conclusion that retaining my beauty begins internally and form that conclusion, The Gorgeous Girl's Guide was born!
- Cleansing: I wash my face just once a week. I wash it with an organic, Blemish Clearing cleanser from Juice Beauty and use a Buf-Puf to exfoliate. For the rest of the week, I steam and clean my face with a hot washcloth only. I moisturize with avocado oil. Once a month, I give myself a facial using Karrine & Co.'s Monty Clay mask and Juice Beauty's Green Apple Peel.
- Cosmetics: I hate makeup and I rarely wear it. When I do, I only fill in my eyebrows, apply flesh toned eyeshadow, mascara, and blush. Once in a while, I might apply lip color but I really hate lipsticks and glasses. Everything I use comes from a clean line like Iliad, Tarte, RMS, and Vapour. When your body is healthy, your skin will be healthy, and wearing makeup will be more of a choice than a necessity. When you have nothing to cover up, you'll be more comfortable with just a few enhancements instead of a full mask.
- Hair Care: Just as with my face and body, I treat my hair right. I wash and condition with non-toxic and organic systems and I refrain from styling products. keeping my hair and scalp clean and free of tons helps keep my face clear. Anything and everything you put on your hair and on your scalp (the closest patch of skin to your face) winds up on your face. So, keep it clean and keep it cute!
I hope this list helps you maintain your beauty and your happiness. These are all the things that work for me and I'm sure they will work for you too, if you give them a try.
New York Times best selling author, keynote speaker and workshop leader, founder of The Gorgeous Girl's Guide, Steffans Publishing Enterprises, and Karrine & Co.