Beauty Biology

Remedies for Pain & Relaxation | Why & How with CBD Topicals

Pain

We have all had pain at some point in our lives.  Unfortunately studies show that women experience higher levels of pain and are more likely to have certain pain disorders than men.

We do not know all the reasons why, but hormones may play a role in women having more pain sensitivity. In addition, women have greater nerve density (more nerves in a given area of the body)—which may cause women to feel pain more severely than men.

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Feeling it?

✔️ Back pain

✔️ neck pain

✔️ menstrual pain

✔️ headache pain

✔️ chronic pain

✔️ arthritis, ... you name it.

  Check your box. Whatever’s it’s flavor, it's not fun.  

Here is another interesting fact about how our mind and body work together for balance: when experiencing pain, 75% of the experience is rooted in neuroplasticity (how we think/perceive pain), and the rest of the 25% of “pain” is actually organic within our physiological body.

WOW! This knowledge is empowering and puts you back in the driver's seat.  As a hypnotherapist, I’d love to be a guide around the “mind/body” if you experience pain, but for today, we’re talking TOPICALS enhanced with CBD for healing.  

ENTER ARTISAN CBD REMEDIES FOR TOPICAL SELF CARE
& PAIN REDUCTION

I created our internal and external CBD remedies for women - just like us. Whether you suffer from pain, anxiety or insomnia, our new skin-healing and soothing benefits of topical CBD combined with our internal Organic Advanced CBD Tinctures. Learn more and shop Evoq’s NEW Topical Solutions below!


“Does Hemp CBD in a topical make a difference and worth the money?”

Based on our beta CBD topical users, I would say - YES! Feedback with our Evoq topicals helped with symptoms like:

  • Sensitive skin conditions

  • Arthritis

  • Cold sores

  • Back/neck pain

  • Overall skin  moisturization

  • Tennis Elbow

  • TMJ


ANCIENT PLANTS FORMULATED FOR MODERN TIMES

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How does CBD work on the skin?
Let’s review the HIGH INTEL behind our new creations and connect the dots on how powerful cannabinoids can be used for skin healing, tension relief and even aging BETTER! 

What’s the relationship of cannabinoids and the skin’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
In the skin, the ECS is intimately involved in processes like temperature, cell growth and death, and the regulation of hair follicles and sebaceous oil glands, the modulation of infections, and more.

Our Innate Neuro-immuno-endocrine System
As the largest organ with a complex system of neuro-immuno-endocrine functionality, it plays a vital part in maintaining the biological homeostasis and without any effort on your part, it orchestrates over 300 million cells perpetually regenerating and renewing into a new, healthy epidermis every 28 days.   

I’ve studied the science of skin for 15 years and with the resurgence of hemp has brought me new insight and excitement on how to help women optimize their incredible cellular symphony known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

The ECS is a recently discovered family of molecules, receptors, and enzymes now known as the “master regulator” of the body – maintaining homeostasis (balance) across all of our physiological processes.

I do not have pain, so how’s a CBD topical help me? 
First things first.
Our skin is the ultimate agent of “safe boundaries” when it comes to environmental assaults like pathogenic threats, UV exposure, extreme temperatures, and chemicals.  It’s quick to tell us its has pain and pleasure at the same time.  

Epigenetics + Endocannabinoids
This system regulates and interacts with over 1000 genes and  – an 65 of them are found in our skin’s ECS.


Specifically, how Cannabinoids help your pain and underlying inflammation?  

Our “Universal Regulator,” the ECS helps modulate the initial pain by communicating with the central nervous system. 

When in danger, the ECS recognizes the excess signals, and after deciding that there is no longer a need for the increase of inflammation, the cannabinoid receptors in the surrounding immune cells and tissues will begin to bind with cannabinoids and start to slowly reduce these inflammatory responses. 

 When key players of the symphony go off-key and skins cell to cell rapport is disrupted, it puts us at risk for the development of skin conditions. 

Endocannabinoid receptors embedded in skin cell membranes produce a wide variety of reactions when stimulated by cannabinoids, which can be endogenous (made by our own body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids) or exogenous (from the cannabis plant, which produces phytocannabinoids).

Using a topical application of phytocannabinoids can provide any localized area fast relief and skin repair by the cannabinoids binding capabilities to receptors within the skin, activating the skin’s ECS. 

Pretty powerful, right?  Now for the RESOLVE.

EXPERIENCE DEEPER HEALING WITH EVOQ CLEAN, CALM & CONNECTED CBD TOPICALS! 

Stress relief and deeper dream states - one swipe of CBD at a time

Evoq Hemp Calm Balm and Decompress Body Oil Key Benefits

  • Penetrate multiple epidermis layers and bind with our skin’s natural endocannabinoid receptors, sealing in hydration and helping downregulate inflammation signally for the most intensive results

  • Sun-grown, organic and natural ingredients.

  • Muscle and joint soreness 

  • Inflammatory skin conditions   

  • Calm Eczema and reduce skin irritation

  • Repair skin barrier

  • Balances oil production

  • Pre & Post Athletic Rub

  • Help Cramps

  • Calm TMJ

  • Ease tension headaches


CBD Extra Strength Calm Balm [1000MG]

A naturopathic healing balm to calm, soothe frayed nerves & aching muscles, and sweep tension away while moisturizing the skin barrier. 

Keep calm & hydrate: Ultra-rich Butter for Soothing Hydration and Pain-Relief 

Help dial down inflammatory discomfort and replenish vital moisture with our ultra-hydrating luxurious organic balm. It’s designed with a high concentration of plant actives, nourishing oils, and butters which may reduce blemishes, treat dryness, and promote naturally healthy skin. The abundant humectants draw moisture deep into the skin, while our whole plant hemp extract with CBD, terpenes, polyphenols, and fatty acids help to soothe aches, pains, and tension.

May help to:

-Muscle and joint soreness 

-Calm Eczema, Psoriasis and reduce skin irritation

-Ease tension from PMS and headaches

All Ingredients: Organic Full-spectrum CBD Oil Extract (500mg), Beeswax, Medium chain triglycerides, Organic Lavender essential oil, Organic Eucalyptus essential oil *Curated with organic, wildcraft, and food-grade ingredients.


Decompress CBD Body Oil [1000MG]

An antioxidant and CBD rich luxury body and massage oil to unknot, unwind, and release tension. Nourishes the skin barrier and endocannabinoid system for beautifully soft, supple, and silky skin.

It’s like a high-vibe cashmere blanket of healing skin, muscle and joint love.

Life may come and go with pain, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the moments and how you perceive joy and freedom in your life. With our healing CBD body oil, you can decompress and reduce the minor aches and pains life holding you back.

An ultra-hydrating, organically sourced CBD body and massage oil nourishes the skin’s protective natural barrier function and dermal endocannabinoid system for beautifully soft, supple skin. This luxurious body and massage oil delivers three times higher active cannabinoids compared to conventional CBD topicals on the market. It has a concentration of 125mg of phytocannabinoids in every ounce and 1000mg per bottle. 

May help to:

-Body moisturizer and sports massage recovery oil

-Facilitate muscle recovery and soothe aches and arthritis pain 

 -Decrease symptoms of cramps and PMS

All Ingredients:

Activated Full Spectrum CBD Extract (1000mg), Sesame Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E,  Mineral Oil, Vitamin A, Organic Lavender Essential Oil *Curated with organic, wildcraft, and food-grade ingredients.


How to find the RIGHT CBD topical through when there is a lack of industry standards.

What makes Evoq’s topicals different from the rest?   
We use a best-in-class 3rd party ISO/IEC-accredited facilities to ensure every batch of our products for consistency, quality, purity, and potency.

Surpassing industry standards, I’ve put 1000mg  of active topical phytocannabinoids in each bottle and jar - surpassing the average 250mg to 500mg standards.  

I’m thrilled with the initial evidence from our users and the future possibilities. And with growing consumer interest, companies are racing to the market with new products – but, buyer beware.

What’s “Really” in your investment? Mislabelling Issues

The Journal of the American Medical Association found widespread mislabelling issues.

 **A sum of 84 products were purchased and analyzed (from 31 companies) and only 30% actually contained the CBD concentration stated on the label, highlighting the need for manufacturing and testing standards and stronger regulatory oversight. 

Delivery system and fillers:  Filler ingredients found in topicals on the internet may inhibit the efficacy of the active cannabinoids, let alone ingredients not so “clean” and leaves you smelling like a medicine bomb (camphor/menthol).  

Example a CBD Topical Full of Ingredient Fillers:
 
Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Ethylene Glycol Distearate, Menthol, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Allantoin, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lecithin, Glycerylstereate, Peg 100, Stearate, Diasonilidyl, Tocopherol Acetate

Before you buy anything, make sure the company is transparent about its standards and testing for ensuring consistent purity and potency.

Evoq’s new CBD topicals smell heavenly - like a soothing warm caress of aromatic calming love of lavender, eucalyptus and herbals. 


Let’s review!

Why CBD Topicals?

Topicals with high enough percentages of cannabinoids are pain and inflammation relieving as well as skin-nourishing with a plethora of additional phytonutrients and essential fatty acids making it highly moisturizing, calming, conditioning, and protecting.

When to Use CBD Topicals

What woman isn't looking to release tension or fine-tune a targeted, localized area of discomfort after a long day or warrior workout?   Our Evoq CBD co-ingredients include essential oils like lavender oil to help calm body and mind before bed or in times of stress or headaches. 

How to include CBD Topicals in your day!

I highly suggest being consistent. The topicals best work when incorporated into your daily routine.   The great thing about CBD-infused topicals is that you can use them on the go! Using them before (or after) your workout, when you need a moment’s peace during a hectic day when your baby gets a “boo-boo,” or for the perfect pre-bed decompress. 

Whatever the case, you can use topicals liberally wherever and whenever you need their support.

Whether you’re looking for better skin barrier health (plump with less fine lines) or nagging pain or light headache - Evoq’s CBD-infused topicals are a great place to start (or continue) your CBD journey. 

We already use skincare on the daily, so this is an enhanced, scientifically proven way to nourish the skin in a remarkable way.   In addition, CBD brings a wider holistic approach to help you feel refreshed, calm, and rejuvenated no matter what’s happening in your jam-packed- every- day. 

PREMIUM, CLEAN INGREDIENTS  MATTER

Quality over quantity is our philosophy, all of our products are handcrafted in small batches and exceed industry standards.

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How to Detoxify Harmful Xenoestrogens From your Beauty Rituals | Part 2

Hi dear one!

I hope you’re doing great!  This powerful time together is a carry over [ part 2 ] from our previous conversation about estrogen mimickers called xenoestrogens.  

 Many personal care products such as cosmetics, shampoos, and body lotions, contain  harmful chemicals. For example, one of the most common chemicals found in personal care products is “Fragrance,” which can be made up of hundreds of various chemical compounds. Fragrances are linked to liver and kidney damage, cancer and endocrine disruption which interferes with your adrenal, thyroid and reproductive glands.

When we use these personal care products we can inhale the toxins as well as absorb them through our skin (the largest organ that connects to the inside of our body). 

It’s simple enough just to say “Opt for natural plant-based alternatives with simple ingredients that have names you recognize…” its just as important to know the why and how to recognize the unwanted ingredients damaging our health.  

Before we move forward, make sure you’re read up on how the pesky chemicals mimicking our estrogens succumb us and cause havoc in the first place! 


For a quick review: 

 WHAT ARE XENOESTROGENS?

Xenoestrogens are synthetic substances that mimic estrogen. Unfortunately, unlike estrogen, which the body fully eliminates after its job is done,  xenoestrogens are stored in fat cells where they disrupt the proper functioning of the reproductive system and increase hormone imbalances and the risk of disease in the breast and ovaries. 

Causes of Estrogen Dominance

The body accumulates excess estrogen in two ways:

Endogenously (inside) - We make too much of our own estrogen and it’s not being properly eliminated.

Exogenously (outside) - Excess estrogens enter the body from external sources, such as foods, the environment, toxins, and chemicals, and are not being properly eliminated.

Excess Estrogen Common Catalysts:

Stress

Surprise!  The leading cause of endogenous estrogen stems from excessive and prolonged stress which inversely decreases progesterone production to make more cortisol, the main stress hormone. This results in high estrogen levels in relation to progesterone.

Impaired Liver Function – 

Mentioned in part one, we know the liver removes excess hormones from the body, and if not working properly - it leads to estrogen dominance.

Dysbiosis

A higher count of bad bacteria vs. good bacteria in the gut inhibits the conversion of estrogen into water-soluble molecules.  This causes the estrogens to recirculate back into the bloodstream where it can re-exert its effects. Gut health is very important for the metabolism of all hormones.

Now onto the deeper understanding of  ( Xenoestrogens ) from Personal Care Products

You may be overwhelmed, but trust me - reducing your xenoestrogen exposure through awareness when applied to your beauty products is easier than you think.    The impact is huge, and I have no doubt this will be helpful and clarifying for you and your beautiful health! 


Two Reasons Why Xenoestrogenss Hidden in Skincare Is Harmful

Increase of Cancer Risk

About 40% of all cancers in women are hormonally driven. When estrogen mimickers are present in our beauty products - it increase the overall levels of circulating hormones. This is why it may also increase our risk for certain cancers, specifically breast cancer.

Breast cancer is estrogen-dependent.  Research has shown that xenoestrogens in personal care products can pose an increased risk of breast cancer.

Fertility 

In women, exposure to xenoestrogens can predispose us to estrogen dominant related health conditions like PCOS, Endometriosis, and Fibroids and fertility.   

Exposure to xenoestrogens is not the sole cause of these fertility, rather it’s constant exposure to these endocrine-disrupting compounds, like in your daily skincare routine that affects these conditions.

When becoming pregnant, xenoestrogen exposure can also be harmful.  In mice, exposure to xenoestrogens during pregnancy has been shown to affect the estrogen levels of the developing fetus. Men are perhaps even more susceptible to the negative effects of xenoestrogens on their fertility than women are. 

Xenoestrogens could be contributing factors to the deterioration of these men’s semen quality, resulting in their inability to conceive.

So, if you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant, xenoestrogens in a beard oil or facial cream should be assessed as a easy way to reduce your exposure to these endocrine-disrupting compounds.

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Which leads me to how to awaken to xenoestrogens in our personal care and beauty products.

Outside-In 

When you consume chemicals internally they are first filtered through the liver before they make their way into the bloodstream, but when you use skincare products that contain xenoestrogens, they may pose risk  through absorption.  

 Top INGREDIENTS To Remove

Phthalates: Are round in cosmetics, cleaning products, food packaging, and detergents, PVC plastic, toys, and plastic wrap.

Buyer beware, the worst part about Phthalates is that Phthalates often times hide in the ingredient list under “fragrance.” Companies are able to vaguely label a group of ingredients as simply “fragrance” in order to protect trade-secret ingredients.

  • Phthalate

  • DEP

  • DBP

  • DEHP

Parabens: found in deodorant, antiperspirant, moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup.

Parabens show up in personal care products because they are antimicrobial agents and preservatives.

  • Ethylparaben

  • Butylparaben

  • Methylparaben

  • And other ingredients ending in “-paraben”

Looking for a “paraben-free” label is the easiest way to avoid exposure to these xenoestrogens in your skincare products.

Formaldehyde: A known carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake-eyelash adhesives and some shampoos. It has been banned in other countries.

Fragrance: Has hormone-disrupting effects. Fragrance is also connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma and allergies. Instead, use products with natural fragrances only.

Lead: A known carcinogen and hormone disruptor found in certain eyeliners, hair dye and lipsticks.

Mercury: A known irritant and allergen that, with body accumulation over time, can impair the brain and nervous system.

Oxybenzone: An active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption and cellular damage. I recommend wearing skin-protective clothing and using natural minerals or zinc products.

DEA/TEA/MEA (Ethanolamines): Used as emulsifiers and foaming agents for shampoos, hair color, body washes, soaps and topical application. It’s been associated with cancer in animal studies.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS, SLES): A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body.

Diethylene glycol (or DEG): A central nervous system depressant and potent kidney and liver toxin. Sometimes found in fragrances. 

Note: Glycerin and propylene glycol are sometimes contaminated with DEG, which are common ingredients in personal care products.

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Stay Beautiful Inside and Out by Focusing on Nutrition and Detoxification

In conclusion, reoccurring toxins that build up in the body can adversely impact one’s health, hormones, looks and overall well-being.

I suggest checking your beauty-product labels, eating a plant rich diet, frequent exercise and plenty of water to stay hydrated and help your body naturally flush out toxins not only keeps xenoestrogens at bay but might also deter blemishes and fine lines that show up on your skin. 

If you are having skin issues or any hormonal imbalance symptoms you should have your hormones tested instead of guessing. The comprehensive hormone panel is an excellent starting place for evaluating hormone function. 

Small changes can add up to big impacts, so keep your eyes open for them and continue making healthy choices where and when you can.

To start making confident and empowering decisions today, head on over to www.evoqbeauty.com where you’ll find Xeno-FREE hair, skin and wellness products galore!  


Awaken Beauty Podcast:
Please like, subscribe if you’re not already part of our tribe and comment what you learned with your 5 star review! 

Want to grab the top most offensive xenoestrogens in youre life? Just head to Awakenbeautyhq.com and find this mini episode with show notes! 

Looking for natural, organic and hormone disruption free skin and body care?  Then you know where to go! Head to Evoqbeauty.com. E-V-O-Q beauty.com and enter “AWAKEN” for your very first order! 

XO Love n’ light,   Kassandra





3 Common Stressors Women Struggles From & How CANNABIS Helps 🌱

Hello beautiful!

CBD and Cannabis are on the rise, and as with many markets, women rule the roost with finding personal resolve with their buying power.

More women are using cannabis than ever before. In fact, a 2017 report found that women are actually the leaders of cannabis consumption. That’s right, ladies are using cannabis more than their male counterparts.

Cannabis is wildly beneficial to women and can be an excellent addition to their everyday health and wellness routine. Here are just a few ways cannabis can improve women’s health and be of benefit to their lives.

1 / Anxiety Relief

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Anxiety is the “it word” of normal experiences with women in the 21st-century. Our lives are faster and busier than ever before. And let’s face it, life can become really overwhelming. Over 30 percent of women will experience anxiety in their lifetime, with one in five prescribed some type of antipsychotic medication.

The right strain of weed however can change all of this. Research has shown that cannabis can slow down the “flight or fight” response in the brain because of the way THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) binds to CB1 receptors in the brain. CB1 receptors have been found in the amygdala, the part of the brain involved for regulating anxiety and feeling of “flight or fight.”

For ladies who suffer from anxiety and don’t enjoy the psychoactive effects of THC, CBD (the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis) can have a positive effect as well.

Not only does CBD counteract the anxiety THC can sometimes cause, but also works by itself for anxious thoughts and feelings. When administered as needed, CBD can offer excellent anxiety relief caused by general stress and several other conditions. CBD has shown to be effective for: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)OCD, public-speaking anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia, and mild to moderate depression.



2 / Menstrual Cycle Relief

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For some women, “that time of the month” can be a nightmare. I can’t tell you how many of my girlfriends have expressed a desire to “rip out their uterus” once that time of the month arrives. From cramps, irritability, lower back pain, pelvic pain, and more, a woman’s menstrual cycle isn’t always a welcomed week.

CBD and Cannabis can help relieve menstrual cramps, tame tension, and help tremendously with lower back pain. There are cannabis products specially designed for women by women that can bring comfort during their moon.  Cannabis tampons are totally a thing and can provide serious relief even for those who experience the worst cramps imaginable. You know, the ones that make you feel like you’re in labor instead of just on your period?

For Women in Legal THC States:
Taking a couple tokes of cannabis during those moments of extreme tension can also provide relief for women on their period. Microdosing marijuana during your period can help you stay balanced and tame the menstrual monster in your mind.

3 / Improved Sleep

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Suffer from insomnia?

Join the club. Women are twice as likely to experience insomnia than men, which is the most common sleep disorder that exists. Whether you have trouble falling asleep at night or wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep, cannabis can help.

Cannabis and CBD, specifically sativa strains, can have a wonderful sedative effect. A 2013 study found that healthy marijuana users took less time falling asleep and had less difficulty falling asleep. A 1973 study showed that THC reduced the time it took patients with insomnia to fall asleep by over an hour on average.

Getting a good night’s sleep is paramount to a healthy lifestyle. Women who find they have trouble sleeping can find relief with weed, no nasty sleeping pills required.

Hope you enjoyed these factoids - and why it’s even more important to take care of ourselves. WE WOMEN make a mark on this world - now we have more tools to do it pain free, with less stress - and ENERGY.

Ready to give CBD a try? Find our organic, pure and GMO free tinctures here

XO Love and light, Kassandra

How Removing These Key Food Items Can Offer Clear Skin + More Energy

Hi and welcome back!

Today we shine more light on the potential hidden dark side of certain foods that could be causing a myriad of symptoms we experience every so often, and even daily (fatigue). Miss the intro to nightshades? Get that here, or just review below!

I’m going to pose the possibility that a food reaction may be a culprit of fatigue,  bloating and skin flare ups. One culprit has hit the google stream as of late, so let’s focus on one of the most commons hidden food triggers, nightshades. Let’s explore what happens when the body “perceives” itself being attacked and it’s damage over time.

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NIGHTSHADES CONNECTION TO COMMONS SKIN REACTIONS

Have you ever been on an elimination diet?  Even if you haven’t, many have at some point experienced how frustrating it is to figure out skin flare ups or fatigue based food triggers.

I think for many women, we seem to have pinpointed a problem only to discover it’s not what you think or you just opened the outer layer of an onion.

As a natural skincare formulator and having done my share of facials, I see firsthand how the rise of low grade inflammatory conditions affect women’s energy - and their skin.

Many women experience low grade puffiness due to water retention, eczema flareups to name a few, and the nutritional world is now connecting to nightshades as a often underlying factor for people with chronic inflammatory conditions.

In Fact: A very telling study from 2017 found that 52% of psoriasis sufferers saw an improvement by removing nightshades from their diet.

So with a conclusion of 50% of people suffering from really, a inflammatory response in the body, it’s a high enough number to test out what the triggers are by simply removing items from your diet.

  • Tomatoes

  • Tomatillos

  • Chili Peppers

  • Bell Peppers

  • Eggplant

  • Potatoes (not Sweet Potatoes)

  • Gogi berries

  • Huckleberries

  • Chili powders

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Paprika

  • Red Pepper Flakes

  • Tobacco

  • Ashwagandha (an adaptogenic herb)

  • Sorrel

  • Gooseberries (also known as Goldenberries)

  • Belladonna (typically found as a homeopathic remedy)

Circling back, the primary reason that nightshades could trigger skin specific ailments and other symptoms are due to naturally-occurring phytochemicals called Lectins that are there to protect the food from its natural environment and pests.

The problem is, unlike pesticides, we cannot rinse them off because they grow within the plant.   

Other than Lectins, here are three additional tagalongs to look for:

  • Salicylates

  • Histamines

  • Glycoalkaloids (most notably Solanine)

Salicylates
Salicylates can certainly be tricky to identify. Many “prescribed” low-salicylate diets are give to calm eczema or atopic dermatitis. A salicylate sensitivity is a reflection of liver detoxification issues versus relation to the gut.

That means it’s not actually a food issue, but your liver struggling to process salicylates through Phase Two Detox.  For this phase its critically important to support the pathway with healthy fats and protein so the body can convert toxins - out of the liver channel.  

Histamines
As far as histamine is concerned, nightshade foods can create a higher histamine burden than your body can handle.  For myself, I also found bone broth consumption put me over the edge due to the slow ferment process.
High histamine responses often manifest into hives, itchiness, swelling, nausea, heart palpitations, elevations in blood pressure, anxiety, and other GI symptoms.

If you suspect histamines, I suggest adding support  so you can better breakdown of histamines in your diet by supplementing with the DAO enzyme about 10 minutes before eating every meal.

Glycoalkaloids

As far as the Glycoalkaloids like solanine, the information is newer to the nutrition and health community.  Dr. Gundry has done a incredible job of pointing out his one to one findings on all kinds of flares due to phytochemicals.

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He notes  glycoalkaloids —  much like lectins, are the plant’s first line of defense against bugs, viruses, bacteria, animals, and even humans, which might even cause digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain.

They grip onto cholesterol in your body’s cell membranes. The cholesterol is there to strengthen your cell membranes so they’re less permeable to molecules that may want to pass through and cause damage to the cell.

Without cholesterol, your cell membranes wouldn’t be strong enough to keep out these molecules. It’s the perfect place for glycoalkaloids to strike because once the cholesterol is attacked, your cells could split or leak.

One of the things to note about glycoalkaloid toxins is that they take your body a long time to process — more than a day in some cases.

Removing the Triggers

Just the words “food elimination diet” harbors a feeling of fear and restriction. Suggestions here are meant for exploration so you can heal and feel better.

Removing too many items can lead to both micronutrient and macronutrient deficiencies and nightshades are not a problem for everyone.

Nightshade Reduction

To test out if nightshades and the three tagalongs of salicites, solanines and glycoalkaloids are an issue, try completely excluding them from your diet for 3 weeks. See if you notice any improvement in your health and skin. Nightshades can be hidden in the products, so read labels carefully. One biggy here fiding and staying clear of potato starch and spices.

There are great replacements for these foods, like avocado, Brussels sprouts, and Jerusalem artichokes. Here’s a quick guide on how to replace!

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FREE your mind from restriction! Here’s great recipes free of nightshades!

Here’s 31 Quick & Easy Lectin-Free & Nightshade Free Snack Ideas

Tell me!

Have you tried eliminating Nightshades before and what was the result?

If you haven’t given it a try yet, are you considering this elimination?

Till next time ….. Love n’ Light! - Kassandra

How Your Lifestyle Accelerates Aging & Affects Skin Health [tips + science inside]

In my previous article, I noted that our body’s biological system is influenced by our genetics. In fact - science proves that 80% of our health state is from the daily choices and our direct environment. The other 20% is hard coded. This should come a a great relief (and a little pressure of course).

Why does our skin ages and what we can do about it?

Aging occurs because of two different factors: intrinsic and extrinsic. You don't have much control over intrinsic factors, which are influenced by your genes, ethnicity, and certain medical conditions. But there is a major upside because you can have a huge impact on your extrinsic factors like UV exposure, stress, smoking, nutrition and lifestyle choices, which are major contributors to the aging process.

How do these extrinsic factors contribute to aging? All of them can generate the trifecta of reactions that create fines lines, wrinkles, and skin sag: oxidation, inflammation, and glycation. When you combine these three things, you hit the jackpot for premature aging.

Below we get one to one on terminology, how it affects our fundamental biology, and how to integrate lifestyle and nutritional habits to assist healthy aging and brighter skin.

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Oxidation

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Mitochondria are tiny "organelles," thousands of them in each cell, that are the power plants for our metabolisms. Their waste products include oxygen in a form that is super-reactive and therefore toxic. The cell has an effective mechanism for quenching these ROS (reactive oxygen species).


Insulin chemistry

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The body gradually loses its ability to respond to insulin, and poisons itself with excess blood sugar.

All the food you eat gets converted into glucose, which is the simplest form of sugar that your body can use for energy. Foods containing more sugar—think packaged cereal, crackers, sauces as well as foods that are more readily converted into sugar like refined carbohydrates—can flood your system with glucose.


Glycation (cross-linking of proteins and sugars)

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Skin + Glycation

When sugar combines with protein or fat in the bloodstream, the result is the formation of harmful compounds called advanced glycation end products (also knowns as AGEs). AGEs can be formed spontaneously in the body or they can be formed in foods like fried foods and highly processed products like red meat, margarine, nuts, and butter. Cooking methods using high temperatures—like frying, grilling, and toasting—can also contribute to AGEs formation.

In your skin, AGEs are formed with collagen and elastin causing these fibers, which are integral to a supple and youthful appearance, to become stiff, inflexible, and prone to breakage. Translation: Your skin becomes less elastic, wrinkled, saggy, and more vulnerable to sun damage.


Inflammation

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An important tool for fighting infection, but it becomes over-reactive in old age, and the body begins attacking itself. Excessive inflammation plays a central role in cardio disease and in arthritis, and a lesser role in Alzheimer's disease

Skin +Inflammation: Your body is on a roller coaster of high and low blood sugar spikes and labile insulin levels, which can lead to skin sag, inflammation, and chronic disease. Chronic inflammation is at the root of chronic disease systemwide and your skin is no exception. Inflammation can worsen rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema and can also weaken the collagen and elastin in your skin over time, leading to skin laxity, poor wound healing, and uneven tone and texture.


Apoptosis

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A term for programmed cell suicide. Cells are programmed to die when they are unhealthy or when they become cancerous.

But there is evidence that in old age, healthy cells undergo apoptosis as part of the body's self-destruction program.



Telomeres & Replicative Senescence

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All cells have built-in counters called telomeres tacked on to the end of each chromosome. With each time the cell reproduces, the telomere becomes shorter, and eventually the cell to stop reproducing.

Longer telomeres have longer life spans.


De-methylation

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With age, DNA loses methyl groups that control gene expression, and as a result genes are expressed in the wrong place at the wrong time.





Let’s recap with some final tips!

Addressing Cellular Health by Eating for a Youthful Glow ….

So in closing, there are a lot of things in our food supply and environment that threaten our skin health, cellular health and our overall mood and appearance. Focusing on certain foods can make a huge ( all the ) difference.

1. Antioxidant-rich foods

Eating foods rich in antioxidants like tomatoes (lycopene), berries (polyphenols), dark leafy greens (Vitamin E), and spinach (carotenoids) can limit damage caused by free radicals and AGEs. Pair your meal with a few cups of green tea (catechins) and coffee (caffeic acid) for an added boost.

2. Anti-inflammatory foods

Adding in foods rich in carotenoid plant compounds like lycopene (tomatoes, watermelon, and guava), lutein (pumpkin, pistachio, dark leafy greens), and zeaxanthin (parsley, kale, egg yolk) will give you an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant jolt. Foods rich in zinc, selenium, and copper like lentils, eggs, dark chocolate and almonds are also vital to the formation of collagen and elastin and help decrease inflammation.

3. Anti-glycation foods

Foods that limit rapid, sharp spikes in blood sugar can help limit AGE formation. So can utilizing cooking methods using low temperatures and water-based moisture like steaming, poaching, and stewing.

Apples, asparagus, figs, celery, green peppers, cauliflower, and onions have been shown to combat the process of glycation as they are rich in phytonutrients, beneficial compounds, including rutin, quercetin, and luteolin.

Adding in high fiber vegetables like artichokes and broccoli, as well as herbs and spices including cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, garlic, sage, thyme, and fenugreek can help keep blood sugar levels steady and block collagen-damaging AGEs.

The best part of all of this is that these foods can be used in so many delicious recipes. Protecting your skin doesn't mean only eating bland, boring food. So bon appetit and cheers to long-term skin health.

Hippocrates is famously quoted for saying, "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food," but I would argue that food can be the fountain of youth, too.

Love n Light - Kassandra

The 5 Key Triggers of Female Hair Loss (and a natural solution 2x's more powerful than minoxidil)

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Hey lovely!
I wanted to speak with you about a topic and experience many women go through. Even though it's a vanity, it runs emotionally deep.

Been here?
Whether post-baby, post trauma, post-menopause, when your hair becomes noticeably thinner, we freak out and grow (no pun intended) self-conscious and anxious if it will stop.

I've been there. Last year I uncovered I was severely anemic, in which became a catalyst of over 50% hair loss. I remember pulling out handfuls, driving me into deep despair.

I QUICKLY HAD A DIRECT AFFINITY AS A HAIR LOSS SPECIALIST, AND NOW HAVING MASSIVE LOSS, MYSELF.

Given the right tools, I've successfully regained the loss hair, and I truly believe that with the right information - we can slow loss - and potentially grow back what's been rinsed down the drain with the right testing tools, expertise and safe products.

I know ONE THING. Dissolving the triggers and getting to the ROOT, is the best way to make it stop.

Because if left untreated, over time, thinning can worsen significantly.

Get to the ROOT and invest in understanding why it is happening in the first place.

Take a closer look at the five common reasons women experience hair loss.


#1: HORMONAL IMBALANCES

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Many of the most common causes of hair loss in women center around hormone changes. When the hormones change – either too much or too little occurs – this changes the way the body works. In most people, even slight changes can create shifts in the way the body operates. Hormones can cause hair loss to occur for various reasons. Most commonly, it occurs because the body pulls away hair production to focus on other tasks in the body, such as inflammation. Hormone imbalances can be a good thing, though. Most of the time, they can be improved upon, allowing hair to regrow once your hormone levels are more in balance.


#2: POOR DIET

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If your diet is not what it should be, it will show in your hair. It is very common for individuals who have a poor diet to struggle with hair loss. Imagine the cells in your follicles needing nutrition. When they do not get the nutrition necessary, this commonly leads to the cells being unable to work properly. When this happens, your body cannot produce the hair you normally have. A key culprit of this is iron deficiency. Iron is critical for the development of healthy and beautiful hair, yet many women do not get enough of it in their diet.


#3: STRESS

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There is no bigger trigger to significant hair loss in a sudden manner than stress. Stress is a form of hormone imbalance. When the body is faced with a stressful situation, it must react. To do so, it must determine where to send nutrients and oxygen. It tends to send this to the cells that need to react fastest. Hair tends to fall out because of a lack of nutrients as a result. It is very common for stressful situations – such as changes in lifestyle or diet or traumatic events – to lead to some level of hair loss. This tends to be very sudden and unexpected.


#4: MEDICATION

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Some medications can cause hair loss to occur. It is very common in women (as well as men) who are undergoing chemotherapy. Some forms of chemotherapy target the actively growing cells in the body. Since your hair is continuously growing, chemo tends to lead to hair loss. Other medications can do this as well. If you just started a new medication and you are facing this type of symptom, it is time to speak to your doctor about it. Most often, once you stop taking that medication – if your doctor approves – you may see your hair growth return.


#5: PREGNANCY

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The body changes massively during pregnancy. Hair loss tends to be one of the victims of the process. When pregnancy occurs, the body must adjust hormone levels to compensate. As a result of this, the pregnancy can cause women to lose some of their hair, especially two to 4 months after the baby is born. Once your hormones levels are back to normal, hair growth will normalize as well.


IN CLOSING, LET’S GET A PLAN.

Why is your hair loss happening? You’re incredibly unique, and it cannot be said for sure until you visit a functional medicine practitioner or doctor to inquire about your options and your needs. Make sure you check all hormones, including TPO, Thyroid, T3/T4 conversion, iron and nutritional value. Whoofta!

Most importantly, it is essential that you address your concerns right away. Hair loss, especially sudden hair loss, can be cause for underlying health concerns.

What about scalp topicals? I firmly believe in a multi-purposeful approach. If you’d like to learn how I’ve helped hundreds of women jump start their HAIR GROWTH, then check out our Root Revival Hair Loss Kit and Tonic HERE!

Get on the Evoq Re-growth Plan

It’s a powerful and proven to be 2x's more powerful than minoxidil!

Natural?

YES - completely chemical free, leaving no grease or weight on the scalp.

Add These Most Influential Foods for Genetic Health and Aging



Hi there!

Genetics, 23 and Me, and MTHR are all phrases you’ve possibly seen in the last year around the discussion of optimizing our genetic health.

I’m also sure you’ve heard of the “80/20” rule. Well, below you’ll learn the importance and how I’ve put a new flare to this concept and relate it to our DNA health.

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How?

The truth of the matter is that in relation to genetics - science proves that 80% of our health state is from the daily choices and our direct environment. The other 20% is hard coded. This should come a a great relief (and a little pressure of course).

Did you know our nutrition has a DNA to it as well? It’s how it helps heals us.

Improve Your Longevity and Aging Adding Epigenetic Influence of Foods and Supplements

Learning more about what we eat and what impact it may have on our bodies, especially the potential epigenetic impact it may have on our DNA – the very “code of life” – is just one step on the path to better health.

When’s the last time you really thought about how the foods you eat positively or negatively affect your body, health, and wellbeing?

With more research and an increasing amount of practitioners, we can begin to unravel the mysteries of what may be contributing to our ailments and what could be done to help improve our health with a much more comprehensive understanding.

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It’s intriguing to follow the progress of epigenetic testing and the benefits that analyzing the epigenome can have on guiding proper health regimens.

Polyphenols, for example, which are found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, olives, and chocolate, have been shown to be effective in promoting resilience again stress and reducing depression.

The combination of these compounds were found to epigenetically reduce stress and depression by modulating inflammatory responses and synaptic plasticity in the brains of those with depression.


Cool right?

So just for you, here’s the list of the most powerful foods studied to address your genetic health at the cellular level?

To age better. Feel better. To think better.



The Most Influential Foods for Genetic Health and Aging

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Broccoli sprouts—Best source of sulforaphane, which prevents brain aging, excess estrogen and lowers cancer risk.

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Pomegranate—anti-oxidant which appears also to reduce blood cholesterol count.



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Blueberries.

Neuroprotection, hearing and memory loss, possible anti-cancer benefits.

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Ginger.

anti-inflammatory action via several independent mechanisms


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Curcumin.

Anti-inflammatory and possibly anti-cancer. Slows Alzheimer's progression.

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Green tea.

Anti-oxidant, anti-cancer and anti-Alzheimer's effects

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Molecular Hydrogen.

Great for cellular oxygenation and free radical repair





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Fish—for omega 3 oils.

The best sources (in order) are mackerel, herrings, sardines, tuna, lake trout, sturgeon, salmon, anchovies, bluefish, halibut, bass, rainbow trout.


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Tomatoes.

For alpha lipoic acid and lycopene




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Cruciferous vegetables.

(broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale) for vitamins, anti-oxidants and anti-carcinogens.


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Raw garlic and almonds.

May help reduce arterial plaques and lower homocysteine levels, lowering heart attack risk.

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Cannabidiol

Creates homeostasis and everyday stress resilience




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Vinegar.

At the beginning of a meal, tempers the body's subsequent spike in blood sugar in response to carbohydrates.


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Soy is a mixed blessing.

The phytoestrogens in soy products seem to protect against heart disease and some cancers. But there is a theory afloat that high consumption of soy may contribute to brain aging.



In closing, I hope this list of powerful DNA enhancing nutrients make it onto your shopping list! In return, it’ll protect you from the small daily chronic levels of stress we are exposed to everyday.

CHEERS! xo Love n’ Ligh, Kassandra

Hormonal Frustration? It Could Be Linked to Your Endocannabinoid System.

Hormonal Frustration? It Could Be Linked to Your Endocannabinoid System.

Do you feel like you used to have a lot more energy?

Maybe you could get a good night's sleep, or were more easy going and positive about life.

So what’s causing this and who says what stays and what goes?

Some of us figure we're getting old.

Sometimes, life’s journey is not entirely in our own hands. For example, maybe there was an life event that took something out of you - an illness, or a new baby. After that, you were never the same.

If you don't feel like yourself - if you feel depleted and can't catch up - it is very possible that not only your hormones are out of balance - but your endocannabinoid system which is the largest “endocrine” messenger system in the body - is what we’re now discovering that we need to address first to accurately control the hormone cascade. The ECS is striving to keep us naturally in balance!

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Understanding the LINK between hormones and your endocrine system.

It’s important to have a basic understanding of hormones themselves, the endocrine system, and the relationship between the two.

Hormones are essentially chemical messengers. They are involved in numerous bodily processes, including growth and development, metabolism and appetite, sexual function, reproduction, and mood.

How do cannabinoids affect your hormones?

Studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is also involved in managing endocrine processes. It does so by activating receptors in the brain and body, which directly influence activity in endocrine glands like the thyroid, pineal, and pituitary glands.

Hence, by stimulating the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids can directly affect hormone levels in the body.

What does a endocannabinoid deficiency look and feel like?

Depression, anxiety, mood swings, hair loss, mental fog are common symptoms of deficient or imbalanced hormones.

Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone (the main female and male hormones) have powerful effects on the brain and the body.

Thyroid hormone is a key regulator of body and mind, and low thyroid function is more common than conventional tests can show.

If your adrenal glands are not healthy, you will have many emotional and mental symptoms in addition to body discomforts.

And low or high neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine cause fatigue, anxiety and depression.

OK, enough doom and gloom! That’s not who we are, or called to be.

As women, we may want to just “treat our hormones” to feel better - there’s actually deeper story here. Studies are now discovering our endocannabinoid system MUST be in good working order for a healthy - HORMONES, body, mood, hair growth, …. You name it.

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So in closing, with the recent recognition of the critical and complex bidirectional effects of the endocannabinoid system and the dominant female hormone – estradiol – we have entered a new era, a new future filled with many potential opportunities both for the benefit and sometimes the detriment of women.

We must now begin our journey with the attainment of a solid knowledge-base of the endocannabinoid system, and an understanding of its complex role in reproductive, emotional, and immune health in women.


I’m beyond passionate in providing in-depth education for women, to enable them to assess their risk of both the potential for good and for harm from their contraceptive choices, pharmaceuticals used, exposures to endocrine disruptors, and equip them with the ability to make good decisions regarding their use of both CBD and medicinal cannabis.

Cheers to the journey of discovering more about the symphony of our endocannabinoid system and the interplay of these systems and of their implications for mental, hormonal and emotional wellbeing.

If you’d like to hop onto premium clinical grade CBD - curated for potency, bioavailability and fast healing - head on over to the EVOQ SHOP.

Want to learn all about your stress hormones, cannabinoids (CBD) with women and for women only?

Tap Below.

PS: Don’t forget, we host WOMEN and CBD EVENTS every last Sunday of the month so you can have a seat at the round table and learn more about your endocannabinoid system.


xo Love n’ Light - Kassandra

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