No, I don’t mean the taking-off-your-clothes kind of naked. Lol
I’m talking about stripping-your-skin-of-all-the-makeup kind of naked.
As a woman, I’m so used to that comforting coat of "paint" on my face, that I sometimes feel so strangely naked without makeup.
I remember the days where I couldn’t bear to think about leaving home without makeup. Saying it was because of the work I used to do (TV hosting, commercial/print shoots etc) would be a lame excuse. *laugh* Truth is, I didn’t have the best skin, and that made me feel really inferior. Somehow, masking my bad skin with makeup gave me the confidence boost I so badly needed.
Then in the eventful year of 2010, I decided to go through a detox. I don’t remember breaking out so badly and continuously in my entire life! Not even during puberty. *laugh*
While Wall St. saw a list of mega-mergers that same year, I was experiencing the phenomenon on my face! It was so bad that I would have a ‘merger’ of 3-4 septic pimples on my chin and cheeks; so much so that a guy standing in line behind me at the airport immigration actually asked:
Baru kena accident ka?
Anyway, to cut the long story short, I eventually discovered that our face mirrors of our internal health.
"Our skin can reflect what's going on inside our body," says dermatologist Anne Chapas, M.D., of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. "As part of the immune system, the skin defends against environmental factors. But when your body is fighting an ailment, it can get overwhelmed and things like acne and redness can show up." [http://www.today.com/id/45361636/ns/today-today_health/t/check-mirror-sickness-shows-your-face/#.UzVGMtwuxG4]
So I decided to do a medical check up and guess what the doctor discovered?
Stones in my kidneys, problems with my liver, colon, stomach… the whole works.
Some of you may remember the surgery I underwent to remove a cancerous ovarian cyst later that year.
I didn’t know I was sooooooo sick inside my body. Clocking in 3-4 hours of daily sleep for the last decade prior to that didn’t help, but fact was, I was oblivious to my health. I took for-granted the fact that being young (at that time) meant I didn’t have to jaga my body as much. I mean, after all, I didn’t feel like there was anything wrong with my body. I obviously got it all wrong.
And, I suffered the consequences. Boo-hoo.
But ever since, I’ve been more aware and diligent about what I eat, how much water I drink, how much sleep I clock in, how much exercise I get, how positive I am, etc. Yes, the combination of ALL that makes the difference, and I notice it very significantly in my skin.
I’ll talk about my skincare regime in my next beauty blog post, but for now, I’d like to share a new personal discovery on a natural drink that was first scientifically researched over 100 years ago by Nobel Prize winner, Elie Metchnikoff .
Okay, compared to that, I’m a bit lambat la, but better late than never; and I’d love to dedicate this post to my supermum who never fails to impress me with her natural home remedies.
Mum was the one who introduced me to this simple yet powerful source of probiotics called kefir [pronounced “kuh-feer”], a.k.a. the “magic/miracle milk”.
Basically, our immune system is like the gatekeeper to good health, and probiotics help fortify these gates against diseases.
Ooooo~ Sounds so canggih right? Lol
Anyway, kefir helps to regulate our immune system and can potentially be our colon’s best friend.
It’s a yoghurt-like drink/food; although many times stronger with more enzymes and friendly bacteria as compared to yoghurt.
Who can benefit from kefir:
- Babies (kefir is an excellent and nutritious food for babies)
- People experiencing digestive disorders, constipation and flatulence (kefir has a cleansing effect on the whole body)
- People on antibiotics
- Patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and cancer (kefir is the strongest natural antibiotics without the side effects and contributes to a healthy immune system)
- Patients suffering from sleep disorders, depression and ADHD (kefir is said to have a tranquilizing effect on the nervous system)
- People with unhealthy food cravings
- People who want to shave unwanted weight faster (kefir helps utilize carbohydrates, fats and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy; speeds up the your body’s metabolism)
- People with allergies and skin problems (kefir has antifungal properties to promote healing of various dermatological issues)
Besides regulating cholesterol/blood sugar levels and having the capabilities of stopping the growth of cancer cells, the benefits of kefir are endless. Make an effort to find out more about it, but in the meantime, here’s what mum taught me – How to DIY homemade kefir in my kitchen :-D:
1) First, you will need a live “starter” which is also called kefir “grains”.
These active grains contain the bacteria/yeast mixture clumped together with casein (milk proteins) and complex sugars. They look like pieces of coral or small clumps of cauliflower and range from the size of a grain of wheat to that of a hazelnut.
Kefir grains are naturally occurring in nature and they cannot be made. I got my kefir grains from mum, but I believe you can also buy them in local health shops and online.
Once you have the grains, you can keep reproducing them forever.
2) Place the kefir grains into a glass jar and pour fresh milk into it; then cover with a cloth (it needs to breathe to reproduce)
3) Leave at room temperature (away from direct sun) for 24-48 hours to allow the fermentation to take place
4) After 24-48 hours, use a wooden spoon and give it a good mix; then use a plastic strainer to strain the contents of the glass jar.
Technically, we should avoid using anything “metal” because it reacts with kefir, but since I don’t have a plastic strainer and wooden spoon at hand, I’m using these for illustration purposes.
5) Transfer the remaining grains from the strainer back into the glass jar and repeat process #2, #3, #4 and #5 for your next batch.
You can share your grains with your family/friends like how mum passed me some of hers to get mine started.
6) You can drink the strained kefir as it is (it’s a sour and a somewhat “smoked” version of plain yoghurt) or mix it with your favourite fruits/flavours.
I like mine with a teaspoon of Ribena and black cherry jam. Yum!
[If you’re lactose intolerant, you can try the non-milk version – water kefir.]
Hope that helps! I’ll share my simple formula to healthy skin in my next health and beauty post, so stay tuned; but in the meantime, big Panda hugs from #babybaby and I! Mwah!!!!