Posts Tagged ‘hair conditioning’

Full Body Food — Olive Oil

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Head to toe. First let me state: this is personal, not clinically recorded. It is my own experience which I want to share with you about how organic extra virgin olive oil has been my skin savior.

virgin-olive-oilBeing olive skinned (no pun intended) I took advantage of it during my 20’s and roasted my body in the rays, turning over every 30 minutes like a lamb on a bar-b-que. And I payed the price for my sacrifice.

Very severe sun poisoning several times over the years, to the extent that my skin actually bled. There’s no drama here, just the facts to make a point. No sunscreen either. I didn’t want to absorb the chemicals. (Still don’t.)

“So from the sublime golden tan to the ridiculous necessity of having to wear long sleeves and hats during the summer for years, I learned not only about how much direct sun I could tolerate even with my olive skin, but how to protect it.”

This was all before discovering a natural, whole grain/food lifestyle.

Tea baths helped, but what about long term? It took about 8 years of wearing long sleeves and hats before I could tolerate even the sun’s heat through my clothes, let alone the direct sun. I did, however, stop using bar soaps or any soaps on my skin. Reasoning: the acid would wash away my skin’s natural oils which I felt were necessary to heal and protect my skin. You know, when you run water over your skin and the water beads up? It didn’t on me. Around the end of those covered years I learned about natural foods, macrobiotics, and the idea of using natural remedies and oils inside and out. Better late than never and by now my skin was very much healed but still not replenished. I started using toasted sesame oil, but it was too expensive and limiting. Vitamin E oil was too difficult, cutting the capsules was a pain, and the oil was way too viscous. Even though these worked, I discovered organic extra virgin olive oil, less expensive, easy to apply and absorbed surprisingly fast into my skin. And a wonderful bonus was that the oiliness was quickly replaced by a smooth, velvety feel. It was as if my skin was gulping it in and couldn’t get enough. Surprisingly, if I waited a few minutes after applying it, it didn’t go into my clothes.

I was amazed. I felt I was finally quenching a bottomless thirst. Yes, I still have several visible reminders of those very, very idiotic times but they are necessary reminders. They make me very aware, very mindful of my own limitations and very grateful for a lifestyle that helped me discover a simple skin remedy that I use in my everyday cooking. No chemical creams, no harsh perfumes and it makes so much sense. Since your skin is the largest organ in your body, it definitely figures that what you eat to make you healthy inside, should also be able to be used on the outside. I want the vitamin D, so I do sun bathe very successfully now for about 4 hours a week.

For me it’s a testament to the wonders and healing powers of olive oil.

I did mention ‘head to toes’. Here’s an olive oil protein pre conditioner before shampooing: yolk of one egg, fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon), some honey (2-3 teaspoons), and about 2 Tablespoons of organic extra virgin olive oil. Mix these together in a bowl and mix through your hair till well covered, massaging into your scalp. Amounts of each ingredient will vary according to your length of hair. Let it luxuriate through for a 1/2 hour and then wash out. Olive oil is also a wonderful post shampoo conditioner for your hair — giving it a healthy, protective sheen. After washing and before drying, rub a little between your hands and fingers then pull through your hair. You’ll be amazed at the sheen and your hair will drink it up like your skin. You can repeat this even between washings. With all the car exhausts and air pollutants swirling around us, organic extra virgin olive oil will protect and nourish you head to toe.

sunYou know your skin type. Anyone can burn. Be smart. Start slowly and don’t exceed the time. I find now that by listening to my body, I intuitively know when the time for that day is up. I never let the sun bathing get to the point anymore, as I used to, where I can here my skin sizzle. It’s not worth it. There will be another day.

One note about the tea baths: when I had a very uncomfortable or severe burn, I would throw an entire box of regular tea bags into a pot of lightly boiling water, not a large pot. You want high concentration of the tanens. I’d fill the tub with lukewarm water and then throw the full pot tea bags ‘n all into the bath water, test it to be comforably hot and then get in. The tanens work their miracle of taking the sting of the burn away. There’s no time limit here. Just relax and soak it in. When getting out of the tub, blot yourself dry. The sting should be gone. I then very gently smoothed on the thinest layer of olive oil. There’s no miracle here, it takes a while, maybe a few days but it works. There may be no need for a second tea bath. With summer sun beckoning your skin, drop me a line and let me know how you do. Oh yeah, keep an aloe plant around. It is also good on sun burns. Just cut open the long leaf arm and rub the inside over your skin. It’ll dry. However, even without burning, I recommend olive oil as a favorite everyday ‘lotion’.

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ABOUT: Wellness Chef Helen Sandler
Lecturer, personal chef, teacher, wellness coach, & speaker, Helen promotes a healthier lifestyle through common sense, organic / natural approach to a happier, positive life.

Helen Sandler is used to being an innovator and at the cutting edge of whole foods whole grains awareness. After graduating from SUNY, New York with a teaching degree, she began to follow her real passion for healthy cooking which took her from Los Angeles to Boston to attend the cooking school of the late and great master Japanese natural chef, Aveline Kushi. Later that passion took her to Kyoto, Japan to continue her studies, where she spent four more years learning the art of healthy Japanese cooking (Seishoku).

As Wellnes Chef Helen she is the featured authority at CTNgreen /wellness with articles in the library there and the virtual paperless magazine at CTNGreen Magazine