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You Look Maaaahvalous.

by Jeff Cordeiro

Billy Crystal in Fernando's HideawayFernando (a Billy Crystal character) epitomized our obsession with looking good but why are we so preoccupied with beauty? Is it that we are just shallow or is there a deeper reason we are drawn to being young and athletic? What makes a person attractive? I believe itís all about the "survival of the fittest". Certain people are attractive because they possess characteristics that we instinctively know are good for the perpetuation of the species. Itís not just in our jeans - itís in our genes.

Beauty is more than skin-deep. Famous dermatologist Dr. Perricone says heís never seen beautiful, healthy skin on an unhealthy patient. Well, years ago, I sold one of the best skin care product lines available. The ingredients included things like hyaluronic acid and NaPCA moisturizer. I would exfoliate and pH balance everyday. Every week I would apply marine mud to my face to draw out toxins. I used shampoos to eliminate sebum build-up and on and on. Needless to say, my skin and hair looked pretty great. Yes, I have always cared about my appearance. Unfortunately, the reality was that I was treating the symptom and not the problem. Dry skin or hair isnít just dry Ė itís dead. Putting cream on it doesnít bring it back to life. Just because your beautiful leather jacket is supple doesnít make it healthy.

As you know, I am a firm believer in the power of MonaVie. Four to six weeks after I began using MonaVie, I noticed that my skin was softer than I recalled it ever being, including the years I used all those top-line skincare product. Why is my skin so much smoother now? Simple, really. I am healthier now than Iíve been in years and my skin reflects that fact.

Human skin growth starts in the basal layer, where stem cells (those that can become almost anything in our bodies) transform and migrate outward to make up the four different layers of skin. Cells are constantly being replenished. Millions of skin cells are lost everyday. The epidermal layer is completely replaced every 25 - 45 days. A good way to see if youíre healthy is to look at your skin. If your skin isnít healthy, youíre probably not healthy and if, proper nutrients can revitalize the skin (the largest organ in the body) so radically and so quickly, imagine how other organs (the oneís you donít see) benefit.

Muscle tone can also be a good indicator of a person's health. When someone is unhealthy, muscle can be used as a source of nutrients by the body in the fight against disease. To keep your body in "ultimate fighter" condition, you must eat right and exercise right. A strong body has a strong immune system. The stronger your immune system, the more it can fight off.

Instinctively, we may use physical traits as clues to determine whether a person is in good health or not. A person may appear unattractive because they are not in optimal shape. For instance, we know that belly fat has been linked to all sorts of illnesses. Obesity has been linked to diabetes and high blood pressure. The burden of additional weight stresses joints and can lead to arthritis. Fat itself produces hormones that throw your body into a chemical imbalance, which can lead to other health problems. So, the better shape a person is in, the more attractive that person may appear (physically anyway).

Stress, which has been linked to many modern illnesses, doesnít just effect the inside, it shows up on the outside too. Have you ever said ďyou look stressedĒ to someone? So, why does stress cause so many health problems? It all began with our natural instincts to ďfight or fleeĒ. 

Back in the day, when we were prey, our very survival depended on our reflexes. When threatened, our bodies sprung into action, causing our muscles to tense and adrenaline production, metabolism, heart rate and breathing to increase. This instinct, while probably not vital to our survival today, is still fully functional. 

Do you recall how your body reacted to the last unexpected sonic boom, thunderclap, or earthquake? To a lesser degree, we also react to everyday things like bumper-to-bumper traffic, uncooperative computers and leaf-blowers that wake us from a sound sleep. In todayís world, we are constantly assaulted by one thing or another making it almost impossible to disengage our survival instincts. The natural reactions that were once so crucial for short-term survival, may be killing us today. 

Relaxation is imperative. So, leave 15 minutes earlier for your destination, get up from your desk every two hours and stretch, have a glass of wine with dinner, sit by the pool, get a massage, listen to soft music in a dimly lit room, take a vacation and always treat yourself right. The more relaxed you are, the healthier you will be.

Unfortunately, the value we place, instinctively, on looking good has given rise to the popularity of unnecessary cosmetic surgery. No topical treatment or cosmetic procedure is going to improve your health. Donít get me wrong, reconstructive surgery certainly has its place. However, getting all of the fat scraped and sucked out of your stomach doesnít make you healthier. As a matter of fact, it can be a very risky procedure. 

The bottom line is, there are no short-cuts to good health. Proper nutrition and exercise, avoiding man-made chemicals and stresses, and listening to your body are the best ways for you to look marvelous.

As always, I hope you found this article thought-provoking and helpful.


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Good books on nutrition for health:

Eat Right for Your Type (),
Dr. Perricone's Weight Loss Diet (click here) and 
Staying Healthy with Nutrition
by Dr. Elson M. Haas, MD (click here).

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