Stop eating sugar and eliminate wrinkles. Seemed easy enough. Or so I thought.

It appears I have a sugar monkey on my back that I thought I’d gotten rid of years ago. I fully intended to omit the refined sweetener from my diet completely when I wrote the blog post “Does Sugar Cause Wrinkles?’ two weeks ago. But after two days of clean living I took a nose dive off the sugar-free wagon and have spent the last two weeks jogging along behind it with a bowl of ice cream cupped in one hand and a bag of chocolate chips clenched in the other. (And a giddy smile on my face.)

I’ve hopped aboard the wagon again. The question is: what healthy-but-sweet treat can I substitute for my nightly three scoops of Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Chip topped with a handful of chocolate chips and a puddle of homemade chocolate sauce?

I found a couple of things I like: Dates so sticky they remind me of truffles. The tender flesh that gives way to the delicately seedy crunch of a sweet dried fig. And prunes with the texture of soft caramel.

I’ll continue to look for even more alternatives to an obsession that, in two weeks, has plastered six extra pounds on my womanly frame. Great! Now it’s wrinkles and cellulite.


I feel a  bit irresponsible that I got on my soapbox about formaldehyde in hair treatments (earlier post) and didn’t actually offer any alternative options or suggestions. In the comments, Jennifer suggested using ingredients like olive oil, and she was correct! Below are links to a few natural recipes I found online. I’ll try them all over the next couple weeks and let you know how they work. Personally, I’m most intrigued by the Mayan Hair Mask…”mayan hair mask”…it just sounds exotic and sexy!

  1. Hair Care Recipes at the site, which, by the way, is a really interesting site about health, diet, and exercise.
  2. Recipe for Shiny Hair on Free Beauty Tips site
  3. Mayan Hair Mask also on Free Beauty Tips site. I’ll even give you the recipe here, because it’s cool and I want you to feel sexy too (if that’s possible with egg on your head…) Note: If you are allergic to egg, you shouldn’t use this topical treatment.

Mayan Hair Mask

Ancient Mayan Inca and Aztec women believed that avocados fed the skin from the inside and outside. Make sure you save the avocado pit, setting it in a place where it can dry out.

  • Mix together: 1 ripe avocado, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 small banana and 1 egg yolk.
  • Gently massage  on to hair and scalp and cover with a shower cap.
  • Leave on 1 hour and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Shampoo as usual.

I’ll keep you posted on the results…

Last night, I read an article in More magazine (for “women of style and substance” who also happen to be over the age of 40). The topic was dry hair, apparently just “like skin, our hair gets drier as we age.” The article provided a 6-week plan to get the silkiness back. Sounded like an ok thing. Week 1 was trim, then tame. The recommended method for taming was a salon Keratin treatment. The article then had a side note stating that the original keratin treatments “contained high amounts of formaldehyde, a chemical best avoided in large doses.” And instructed the reader to ask their salon if the salon offered LOW-FORMALDEHYDE Keratin treatments instead. Excuse me? LOW-formaldehyde treatments? How about NO-formaldehyde treatments?

So, I did a little reading online regarding formaldehyde…it’s in the chemicals used for processing photos, it’s used for embalming, it’s used as a finisher on fabrics, it’s also used in some capsules than surround pill medications (thus, I suppose we are ingesting some of it on occasion.)

Perhaps instead of a Keratin treatment, we should just consider getting a good trim, minimizing daily shampoo usage, covering our hair when we are in the sun for long periods and maybe even just accepting a little dryness with age.

Formaldehyde? That’s just gross!

(though now I have to investigate what is in the hair color I use to cover those “couple” grey hairs…might be just as frightening!)

I visited family in California over a long weekend during spring break. My sister and I had our cameras with us everywhere we went. After I returned home, we both posted photos of our time together on Facebook. I was shocked at how wrinkly my face has become, especially around my eyes, and I have vowed to do something about it.

I am familiar with the fact that tanning causes wrinkles, yet I’m a big fan of laying out in the summer sunshine because I like the way I look with a tan. A few years ago I caught an Oprah broadcast that featured a dermatologist named Dr. Nicholas Perricone. He made a statement that blew me away: sugar in the diet enhances the appearance of wrinkles. Instead of using Botox or having a facelift, he said, the foods we eat can have a tremendous effect on the appearance of our skin. The proof was in the unlined face of a beautiful middle-aged woman who’d transformed her appearance by following Perricone’s dietary prescription of eliminating processed foods and increasing the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Now that I think of it, I’ve met people who follow a raw food diet and have been amazed by how smooth and translucent their skin appears, whether tanned or not.

Could one simple change really diminish the appearance of the laugh lines around my eyes? My diet has undergone a slow but steady overhaul during the past four years. Gone are the days when I subsisted mainly on so-called foods that came from a box, carton or can. I used to go days at a time without eating a single piece of fruit or a raw vegetable. Today I can’t go a day without consuming something that came directly out of the earth or off of a tree. But I admit, I still enjoy a sizable bowl of ice cream a couple times a week. And I consider baking cookies from scratch a form of therapy, although I now use whole wheat pastry flour instead of bleached all-purpose.

Judging by the ghastly photos on my Facebook page the time has come for me to take the next step and forsake sugar. For a few weeks. To see whether it will make a difference. I only have wrinkles to lose.