Let's Get Skin-timate *summer 2018 edition

I've been a little remiss in posting this, but hey, it's still summer & your skin still needs my help.  I worked in the beauty industry for over 10 years and skin care/product knowledge is a bit of a passion project of mine. I'm a clean eater and I'd love to tell you that everything I put on my skin is natural, but that just isn't the case.  I've tried almost every natural skin care line currently on the market and they're either ineffective or they irritate and cause my skin to breakout.  

I teach hot yoga, so believe me, if these products can keep my skin clear, I'm going to guess that unless you're very sensitive they'll help you out as well.

Cleansing is important, you need to cleanse your skin.  What you don't need to do is to dry the bajezzus out of it with heavy duty acids several times a day.  Which is why if you've thoroughly cleansed your skin & prepped it with treatment & hydration products the night before, I'm a believer that all you need to do is splash your face with water in the morning and pat your eyes with soft wet cotton pads soaked in cold water.  Continue by applying any day time treatment products you use, moisturizing with something light weight, then apply some eye gel & sunblock or a tinted moisturizer with an SPF in it.

 If you sweat during the day whilst performing your sport or activity of choice, I suggest you use something gentle to cleanse your skin post sweat sesh or use a few cleansing wipes.  If you can't shower I suggest you use a few more cleansing wipes on your body (chest, neck, back, arms, pits, butt & under your boobs). Use one wipe per area so as not to cross contaminate the skin.  As far as wipes are concerned, I like Ole Henriksen "Truth to Go" brightening cleansing wipes (if you have sensitive skin you may want to try their "Nurture Me" cleansing cloths).  Additionally, if you're prone to back or chest acne, whether you're able to shower or not I highly recommend Murad Clarifying Body Spray.  Don't be fooled by the imposter brands. This one sprays 360 (meaning however you angle the bottle it will spray), which means those hard to reach areas on your back just became reachable.

Ladies, you have to take all of your make up off at night, Your skin needs the break.  I suggest using a decent cleanser with quality ingredients.  I'm partial to Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser - it's gel based.  Foam based cleaners tend to be more drying to the skin because of the foaming agents in them.  If you have make up on I also suggest a toner. My toner of choice is actually a clean brand. It's Belif Witch Hazel Herbal Extract Toner. Don't be intimidated by the witch hazel, this one is creamy and non drying.

Post night time cleansing, I like to use a lighter weight eye gel in the summer months because my under eye pores get wonky if it's too heavy or I get milia. I've found Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm fits the bill. Because I'm approaching middle age, I apply a serum instead of a moisturizer. I've been using Perricone MD Hyalo Plasma because it's lightweight and contains several different forms of hyaluronic acid. Twice a week I'll swap that out and use Perricone MD Acyl-Glutathione which is a powerful treatment for aging skin.

I feel it's imperative to set aside at least one night a week for a little me + masking time.  My current favorite combo is as follows: cleanse your skin, then take one Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pad and use as directed (for reals read the jar & follow the directions exactly or you'll be sad when your skin's all dried out). Then immediately apply Perricone Chloro Plasma mask.  Again, read the directions & follow them.  Post mask, apply a serum or treatment product if you use one, some moisturizer & an eye cream or gel.  The Perricone Chloro Plasma mask is without a doubt one of my most favorite masks in the history of my mask usage. I use it year round.  The addition of the peel pad prior to the mask gives it that little extra exfoliation boost you need without over-drying the skin.  Warning: do not think that more is more.  You'll most likely love the results of doing this once a week.  If you even dane to do it more than once a week, you'll probably end up sorry and your face will be very dehydrated.

Keeping the skin on your body hydrated is important as well. So after you shower (with cool water as hot water is very drying to the skin), pat your skin dry (leave a bit of water on the surface) & apply either pure jojoba oil or Borage Therapy Plus advanced formula fragrance free lotion to your entire body. This will seal in the moisture. Jojoba oil won't clog your pores and it's pH level closely matches the pH of your own skin's protective barrier, so it's a win win. 

One final suggestion for dry irritated under eyes or just nightly refreshment is Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox (eye roll on the most overused word in beauty) Hydra-Gel Eye Patches, use as directed. They're heaven, You're welcome.

I am but a tiny little website and blog not sponsored by anyone. These are merely my suggestions based on trial & error. I am not a doctor, so I do suggest you consult with your dermatologist before trying out any new products because well, you're ultimately in charge of you.

Happy summer. I hope it goes without saying that you should apply sunblock on your entire body (& face) during any type of sun exposure. If you care about protecting your face, a hat is recommended - there are decent sun hats out there, you've just got to look or use a baseball cap. And for the love of shiva, stop buying those "cute" cheap trendy sunglasses & invest in a pair with UV protective lenses. Eye cancer isn't cute.



Peter Thomas Roth Eye Patches.jpg

It's Nuts I Tell Ya

A few words on peanut butter for my body builder & other friends that seem to think it’s “healthy” & a “good” source of protein.


Most people that aren't allergic to it love the stuff and there have been many school yard battles over crunchy vs creamy.


Peanuts actually grow underground, where they tend to be colonized by a fungus called Aspergillus, a source of aflatoxins… which are toxic and carcinogenic.


Humans are actually fairly resistant to the short-term effects of aflatoxins, but what happens down the line (after years of peanut & peanut butter consumption) hasn't been researched or studied.

Peanuts also contain another natural substance called oxalates. When we eat peanuts or peanut butter, and the oxalates become too concentrated in the body’s fluids, they will crystallize and lead to health problems. Doctors often recommend that people with gallbladder issues or with untreated or existing kidney problems avoid peanuts.


Other than aflatoxin and oxalates, there's another issue to consider, pesticides.


Non-organic peanuts are also contaminated with pesticides. This is a concern because peanuts have a very light shell, which allows outside materials to leach into it. Conventional peanuts have a very high pesticide rate, as well as other chemical contaminants. Thanks Monsanto :/ And just ‘cause your peanuts or pb is organic doesn’t mean it’s safe from the other stuff I mentioned.


As for the protein, a serving size of peanut butter is 2 tablespoons which contains approximately 180-200, 16 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein.  So whether it’s a good source of protein is subjective and dependent upon your wellness goals - if weight loss is one of those goals, then I’d say it is not a good source of protein.


And don’t even get me started on that fake as heck powdered peanut butter nonsense (insert eye roll here). They add sugar, salt, some have palm oil & what do you think the process is for breaking down peanut butter into a powder - bet it involves some unhealthy stuff, but you do you.


Don't Rely on BMI

True Story


Was at a physicians office recently & they asked me to get on the scale (I’m really not a fan of scales, in fact I don’t own one). But I got on the scale.


The nurse said with the happiest tone of voice & with a great big smile “oh you lost x amount of pounds”  and I replied “what?!! ... NO!! and she said “no, it’s a “good thing” and I said “no, it means I probably lost muscle” to which I received a blank stare back.



At the end of the appointment the doc sat with me to review my visit and among other things said your BMI is normal or whatever (she lost me at BMI) “so that’s good”. 



For those that don’t know, BMI stands for Body Mass Index.  BMI is an attempt to quantify the amount of tissue mass (muscle, fat, and bone) in an individual, and then categorize that person as underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese based on that value.


IMO, All it’s doing is measuring a person’s thickness or thinness based solely on height & weight - they aren’t measuring each person’s bone density, body fat percentage, how much water is in their body etc 

It’s inaccurate & archaic. 


Example: If you’re a bodybuilder, muscle weighs more than fat so depending on height & weight, you could technically fall into the overweight category of the BMI pretty easily.


Example 2: you can fall in the normal range of BMI but have a high percentage of body fat & very little muscle - which may not be optimal for overall health.


You’d think with all the funding pouring into medical studies, that western medicine would’ve come up with something better by now. 


I think a big determining factor of health is to get honest with yourself about how you feel. Do you feel vibrant, healthy, strong, alert? Are you active at least 4-5 times/week? If the answer is yes, then maybe don’t get too attached to that BMI number.  If the answer is no, there are other (more accurate) ways to assess bone mass/water qty/body fat percentage/weight ratios & if you still don’t fall within healthy ranges, then perhaps you seek out some experts to help you feel your best.  


I’d be happy to work with you, if you’re interested email or message me for more information on my lifestyle management program. I’m not affiliated with any MLM programs & I don’t sell supplements {I might recommend some but I don’t make money off of them}, this is just you + me one on one getting real + honest about what your goals are & what you’re actually willing to do to get there. 



Ending this by saying if you’re on a weight loss journey, be proud of all that you’re doing & I’m not discounting that in any way, shape or form. I’ve been overweight, I know how much work it is to shed those extra pounds. But if you don’t already know, it’s just as hard to gain & keep muscle especially when you’re older.


Jules Upton original meme BMI.JPG

Do Everything Your Yoga Teacher Says

Do everything your yoga teacher says... No just No. 

Or rather know just know.

I consider myself more of a student of yoga, but yes I completed a 200 hour ytt and actively teach the yog part time.

Does that make me or anyone else that's got more experience teaching or practicing yoga than I an expert on your body?

The answer is always no, no matter what that person is telling you.  

As teachers we can learn all of the anatomy, biomechanics,  functional range / mobility shtuff in the world and we still can't guarantee the safety of your spine, ligaments, joints, tendons, muscles etc.. in the practice.


Because as a student one of our jobs is to cultivate a level of awareness with our bodies. When I first started practicing yoga, I was disconnected from my body.  I had no idea what the teachers were asking me to do with my thigh bone, how to soften this while deepening that or whateves. I wouldn't engage my core and my chaturanga was a poop show.  And I'd be sore the next day. Coming from a weight lifting background, I thought that was normal.  It isn't normal unless you're brand new to yoga, practicing something you haven't done before (wherein you were engaging different muscles) or you were on the mat for a longer period of time than you normally practice.

As students it's important to be able to tune into how our body feels during and after a practice. To explore what if any difference it makes when we take our hands or feet closer together or further apart or slightly fan our hands in or out or say "heck no" to a pose that we 100% know doesn't work for us no matter how many props or modifications we've tried.

Ideally once we've cultivated this level of awareness, our bodies become our greatest teachers. Our breath informs us when we're too deep into a pose, that subtle pain we get in the back of our leg behind our knee tells us we're probs hyperextending that leg, etc... And we learn what works for us and what doesn't.  

There are lots of poses I no longer do, because they don't work in my body.  Since I do also happen to teach, out of respect I used to let whomever was guiding a class I was about to take know that there are certain things I no longer do, so please don't take offense if I'm not following your sequence.  I no longer feel the need to explain myself. If I'm in someone's class and not doing what they're offering, it's not about them.  [ [ [ Fun behind the curtain yoga teacher fact:  Lots of teachers have internal freak outs when students aren't following their flow. I'm fine with it, do what you gotta do. But, if you're doing something that might hurt you, I will call you out to keep you safe. ] ] ]   I do not have to do everything a teacher says just because they're leading the class.  It's about me taking care of me.  That is how I practice my yoga.  

And once you've developed the body awareness, that is what I invite you to do as well - with the side note that if you do this and you get injured because you were more connected with your ego than with your body or your body wasn't opened up enough to do what you thought you could do, that's on you. Body awareness my friends, it'll keep you honest ..well, on the mat at least.

jules Upton Do everything your yoga teacher says.JPG

There are different levels of truth

There are different levels of truth...

What I mean by this is 9 years ago placing my hands shoulder width distance apart in downdog was a truth I learned & strictly adhered to. I accepted this truth with every fiber of my being & (irresponsibly) never took the time to seek out any other information ...meanwhile I continued to add undue pressure to my traps, shoulders, SCM, etc.


As of 5 months ago, that truth evolved into something else. Hey, better late than never 


moral of the story is two fold

1. the truth is fluid 

what is true one day may not be true the next {and that doesn’t mean the first truth was necessarily a lie}

2. not everything you learn in a yoga class or in YTT is true for you (or your students) continuing education is vital **this includes our own exploration of our practice & how things feel when we make little tweaks


And this doesn’t just apply to yoga. I learned different truths in the weight room, on the treadmill, in the ocean, from observing humans in their natural habitat, etc..