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Beauty Redefined

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We are a culture obsessed with beauty and youth, yet many of us create an environment within our bodies that is counterproductive to achieving healthy beauty. To achieve beauty, you must first define what it means to you.

  • One definition is the combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight as well as a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral senses.
  • My definition of beauty is an energy around someone that naturally draws in others. This comes from self-confidence, but it also comes from a lightness of being or joyfulness that attracts everyone who comes in contact.

Living in Los Angeles, I've spent a lot of time with stereotypically pretty models. Often, after a few minutes, I actually found them very unattractive. All the makeup, fake boobs and plastic surgery in the world will not buy my definition of beauty.

Finding Inner Beauty

True inner beauty can only be found one way: by treating your body like the precious gift that was given to you, by making choices that make you feel amazing about yourself and by being in total control of the only thing in this mixed-up world you can be in control of -- your body. There are women who exude sexiness and timeless appeal well into their 60s and 70s. These are the women I want to age like: Charlotte Rampling, Julie Christie, Catherine Deneuve and Helen Mirren. All of these women have wrinkles, yet they are all still stunning. From what I've read and have heard about them, they have one thing in common:
  • They move
  • They care about what they eat; and
  • They have a balanced approach to life that includes healthiness.

Lifelong youth and beauty is possible, but you have to work for it (just like anything worth having). At 43 years old, my interest in keeping my skin radiant and wrinkle-free is a priority. I fight to keep my body tight and toned. In many ways, I feel like I have never looked better. My workouts are intense, and my diet is nutrient-dense. I am here to tell you that you can actually turn back the clock at any age with intense, consistent workouts and by eating the right foods.

Sugar: The #1 Beauty Killer

My number one offender to beauty is sugar.

If you want to look and feel younger, cut out sugar. Sugar makes you fat and may increase your risk of cancer. It ages your skin and causes wrinkles. In a process called glycation, sugar attacks collagen and elastin, both key proteins that make your skin look young. Glycation makes them less elastic and more brittle so they break. The skin can't snap back. That's when fine lines and wrinkles appear, and they don't go away. But it gets worse.

Collagen and elastin start to mutate, creating harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These build up and cause further inflammation and damage to collagen and elastin. Sugar actively ages you. Ditching sugar will make you look and feel 10 years younger.

To avoid sugar, you have to know where it hides. The food industry cleverly hides it in virtually everything we eat, especially packaged and processed foods, from breads to crackers to soups, sauces and entrees -- and even diet food and low-fat food. Here's where you're getting sugar -- probably without even knowing it:

  • Alcoholic beverages -- Alcohol hits your blood stream and is converted to sugar. Look at yourself after an alcohol binge. You'll see the ravages of sugar on your face.
  • Cow's milk -- Even skim milk has 14 grams of sugar. Add skim milk to raisin bran, and you're up to 20 grams of sugar. Replace cow's milk with unsweetened almond milk.
  • Yogurt -- Yogurts have up to 26 grams of sugar. You might as well eat a candy bar! Replace standard yogurt with Greek yogurt. Sprinkle some pistachios over it for a snack that is delicious and will fill you up.
  • Sweetened oatmeal -- Each serving of sweetened oatmeal can have around 13 grams of sugar. Get plain oatmeal and sweeten with Stevia and a little coconut oil and cinnamon. Add blueberries and you have a delicious perfectly balanced fat-burning breakfast.
  • Get rid of sugar-free juices, sodas and treats. They cause sugar cravings. A diet soda actually triggers your brain to grab for chips and other junk foods.
  • Don't ever allow sugar in your "clean" products like water, tea or coffee. These are necessities in life and should remain completely sugar-free.
  • Go to your kitchen and get rid of all simple sugars like candy, cookies, cakes, sodas and fat-free products (they are usually loaded with hidden sugar to flavor).
  • Buy fat-burning fruits like apples, berries and citrus to snack on.
  • Buy an all-natural sweetener like Stevia

Foods are a drug and have as much pharmacological affect on brain and body chemistry as a prescription drugs do. Save your money on expensive plastic surgery remedies to look more youthful, and put it into buying healthier, whole foods and treats.

Celebrate the Real You

Stop fantasizing about looking like a celebrity and do the things that will make your body and skin look the very best for you.

Start your new life today, and look and feel better tomorrow.

For more by Jackie Warner, click here.

For more on diet and nutrition, click here.

For more on beauty and skin, click here.

Around the Web

Americans eat 22 teaspoons of sugar a day - Health - Diet and ...

Sugar's effect on your health

How to Eliminate Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates From Your Diet

Glycemic index diet: What's behind the claims - MayoClinic.com

Discovery Health "Shun the Sugar for Sweeter-looking Skin"

5 Tips for Natural Skin Care

Is your skin singing the sugar blues? - CNN

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