Eating Seasonally This Winter

Buying local is a great way to get fresh, healthy food that hasn’t been chemically modified to keep its appearance after traveling half way around the world. Buying local means buying seasonal . . . purchasing fresh produce, meat, and seafood when it's in season in your area. By buying in season you get the freshest, tastiest food at the best price, while eliminating the environmental damage caused by shipping food thousands of miles.

You can better plan your meals around what’s in season with the seasonal food guide available from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Now that winter is upon us, we here in the northeast can look forward to seasonal beets, cabbage, carrots, onions, oysters, potatoes, rutabaga, snap peas, squash, and turkey.

Eating seasonally is a great reason to try new foods. Check out the seasonal recipe guides from Allrecipes, Epicurious, The Food Network, and Cooking Light. Martha Stewart's Seasonal Produce Recipe Guide, in addition to offering seasonal recipes, lets you know what produce is in season, what to look for when selecting a particular type of produce, and how it should be stored.

Try eating seasonally. Your taste buds, wallet, and planet will thank you!

Natural Solutions For Dry Winter Skin

As temperatures drop this winter, so does the moisture in our skin. Switching to a heavier moisturizer can help sooth dry, dull, or chaffed skin, as can these simple home remedies for treating dry winter skin naturally.

Moisturize from the inside out.
Start by drinking plenty of water and consuming a diet rich in biotin, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin C, and beta-carotene can help make skin less prone to dryness. Try foods like eggs, almonds and walnuts, oranges, mangoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, and cold-water fish like wild Alaskan salmon, anchovies and halibut.

Check your cupboards for all natural moisturizers.
Nutrient-rich oils like olive, grapeseed, and almond oil all make great moisturizers. You can massage oil into dry skin for a few minutes before going about your usual cleansing routine. You can also add a few drops of oil (olive, grapeseed, almond, or vitamin E) to your regular moisturizer to boost its effects.

Honey is another great, all natural emollient. For a skin softening facial mask, apply a thin layer of honey (raw and natural is best) all over, allow it to sit for 20 minutes, and rinse with warm water. You can also apply honey to chapped lips and rough heels and elbows at night.

Think sweet to exfoliate.
Foods like pineapple, papaya, and pumpkin are rich in alpha hydroxy acids – a natural exfoliator that helps slough off dead skin. For an all-natural AHA mask, simply mash or puree the fruit and apply it to a clean face for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Then moisturize as usual.

Sugar mixed with oil (any of the aforementioned oils will work) makes a great skin softening scrub. Simply mix equal amounts of fine brown sugar and oil, massage into rough, dry skin for a few minutes, and rinse. Moisturize as usual.

For skin too sensitive for AHA, try yogurt. The lactic acid in yogurt makes it an effective, yet gentle exfoliator. Apply plain Greek yogurt to a clean face and allow it to sit on the skin for about 20 minutes. Then, rinse with tepid water and moisturize as usual.

Now go out and enjoy the winter with soft, glowing skin!