Foods & Inflammation

If you have ever attempted a diet, you know that changing your diet can come with some unexpected side effects. In high school I tried the Atkins Diet (or at least my take on it) and was stunned that eating almost exclusively quarter pounders with cheese (without the bun) somehow lead to me dropping almost 30 pounds in just a few months. This weight, of course, came right back as soon as I rekindled my love affair with pasta, but it led me to discover: what you put in your body matters. There are plenty of fad diets to choose from: eating for your body type, eating for your blood type, juice cleanses, no/low carb (including Paleo, Atkins, South Beach and Keto) and Whole 30 just to name a few. The question is, how do you know what’s right for you? Simple: your body will tell you by the way you feel.
Here at Indigo, we focus not only on beauty, but also on wellness, because we believe that when you look better, you feel better. So this blog post is the first of four blogs focusing on altering your diet to use the food you eat to heal, not harm. This is not about weight loss, or the way your body looks, but about how your body feels. Whether you’re looking to boost your immune system for flu season or just reduce your aches and pains, we’re here to provide some guidance.
While researching foods that cause inflammation, I was extremely surprised to find out all the different ways that inflammation affects the body. Asthma, skin issues such as psoriasis, joint aches and pains, and even your gut health are all affected by inflammation. Just as surprising are the long list of foods that can cause, (and some that can help), these issues.

Help Harm
Fruits: strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges Sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel Artificial Trans Fats
Olive Oil Vegetable and Seed Oils
Dark leafy vegtables Processed Meat
Avacado Processed snack foods
Coconut Desserts, such as cookies and candy
Green Tea Excess alcohol
Almonds and walnuts Sugary Drinks
Beans and lentils Excessive carbs
Olives White bread

Not all inflammatory foods are bad for you, though. Night shade vegetables are a known cause of inflammation. This can include white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, cayenne pepper, paprika and more. These foods are especially detrimental to people who suffer from arthritis.
If you deal with inflammation, we have some other remedies as well. Lots of essential oils can help reduce the effects of inflammation. Thyme, clove, rose, eucalyptus, fennel and bergamot can all reduce inflammation, but frankincense is the real powerhouse. It can get pricey, so finding a blend or balm (such as Yoga Balm, $48) is an excellent way to get all the benefits without the hefty price tag.
Massage is also a great way to rid your body of inflammation and toxins. We encourage you to try our new massage therapists Monica and Toni, who will work Yoga Balm and other essential oils into your customized spa service.
Stay tuned for the following blog posts about how to use the food you eat to heal your body.

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Summer Lovin’… Your Hair!

Summer comes with all kinds of amazing things: vacations, pool time, windows down and of course, sunshine. These are some of the best parts about summer, and definitely good for the soul, but these things can sometimes wreak havoc on your hair and skin. We are here to help you out with that! We have some products and healthy habits to save your hair so your summer is nothing but sunshine!

The biggest concern I get from clients is what all the sand and surf that comes with summer will do to your color. First, let me start by letting you all know about something we call “The Investment Protector”: Minu Hair Serum. This little bottle packs quite a punch by protecting against UVA and UVB rays, that can fade color. It’s main focus is smoothing down the hair’s cuticle (outermost layer), allowing it to reflect more light, intensifying your color. Smoothing down the outer layer also helps hold all the color in the hair strand when things like water, wind and the like would try to pull them out.
After the sun, the biggest summertime cause of color fading is over washing. So what do you do when it’s so hot outside you’re sweating as soon as you step out the door, but want to avoid over washing to protect your color? While you may have tried dry shampoo before, know that they are not all are created equal, and there is an art to getting the dry shampoo routine down. My two personal favorite dry shampoos are Evo and Paul Mitchell, but Evo’s scent makes it my #1. First, think of dry shampoo like deodorant: it works if you put it on after you need it, but it works much better when used ahead of time! Apply by parting your hair and applying on the scalp and hair about one inch from the scalp. Continue to part your hair into sections, (parts should be about one inch apart) focusing on areas where you usually feel the most buildup. This is usually in the crown and around the ears. Then, using the same circular motions with your fingers as when you shampoo in the shower, “wash” your hair by spreading the product with your fingers. This allows the product to spread evenly. Then (and this is where the *magic* happens) let it sit. Take the dog out, finish your morning routine, or even sleep in it! Dry shampoo is a powder base, so it needs time to absorb the oil on your scalp. After that you can brush it out, starting at your scalp, or you can leave it in for some extra volume. This process also helps if you love to work out! Just leave the product in while you exercise.
Our staff’s personal favorite summer activity is pool time! However chlorine can be a nightmare for everyone. Chlorine causes different struggles: blondes go green, wee ones fine hair turns into a tangled mess and it can fade your color investment. So, how do we stop that from happening? Stop the chlorine from getting into your hair in the first place! Think of your hair as a sponge: it can only absorb so much. So if you don’t want it to fill up with chlorine water, give it good stuff to soak up instead. While you can use regular water, (from the shower), I recommend Oi All In One Milk. It works with all hair textures, even baby fine hair like my own. Also, because of the roucou oil in all Oi products, it creates an additional barrier. Since chemistry class taught us oil and water don’t mix, this allows even less chlorine water to get in. Bonus: It also protects against UV rays.
Oi All In One Milk will help protect blondes against the “ghastly green”. If you spend a lot of time in the pool, or start to notice a shift in your color, a good clarifying shampoo, such as Davines’ Solu, will get you back to your blonde. You can take it home and incorporate it into your weekly hair routine, or come in and let the girls at Indigo work it into your usual pampering.
If humidity is your usual summer woe, there are two main options: products and chemical treatments. Smoothing products, such as the Love Smoothing line, or Relaxing Moisturizing Fluid are great for taming down the poof, in combination with blow drying. If you are looking for something to help keep your hair smooth when air drying, the Keratherapy Brazilian Renewal is a dream come true. Enriched with keratin, collagen, and argan oil, it leaves your hair soft and frizz free, while maintaining your curl. It takes around an hour and a half in the salon, is formaldehyde free and virtually fume free. This is the ideal service if you love the water during the summer, but don’t have time to blow dry your lake hair, or just want to enjoy your natural texture, minus the fluff.
When it’s 90+ degrees outside, a lot of us reach for the hair tie to get the hair up off our necks. Unfortunately, this can cause a lot of breakage, if you’re using the wrong tools. If, when removing your hair tie, you have more than a piece or two of hair attached to it, it is damaging your hair. The ponytail holder makes a huge difference. Hair bands free of metal, exposed rubber, and other things that can snag and grab hair are ideal. The best option is Invisibobble. It is a plastic band in a spiral shape that prevents creasing, tension spots and breakage. No matter what you are using, you also always want to be sure the hair isn’t pulled too tight under the hair tie, by moving the base of the ponytail back and forth to loosen it, so you don’t cause breakage on your hairline with unnecessary longterm tension.
Summer should be all sunshine and good vibes, and hopefully these tips will help get you there! As always, if you have any questions along the way, your stylist would love to help get you your best hair, no matter the season!

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