Beauty Journal: How to Glow from the Inside Out

It’s been some time since I wrote a beauty journal entry, so I thought I would update you on my latest beauty regimen.  I stumbled upon something called Glow 15 over a month ago and I have to say I am a changed woman!

First of all, as a woman who got hit with peri-menopause early, it is difficult to find a diet that will help you with the changes going on with your body, especially when you feel like you’ve aged 10 years in just a short amount of time. Between weight gain, your hair falling out (is that a bald spot?), feeling tired, light-headed, and sleeping more, you are just a complete mess.

In other words, you are getting older and peri-menopause/menopause can throw you deep into the thick of aging.  But what if there was a lifestyle that can help reverse the signs of aging?  Guess what?  Naomi Whittel discovered it.  [Please note this is for women only, not men.]

Glow 15

The reason why this book is called Glow 15 is because of what can happen in 15 days if you follow her recipe for success.  As a result of trying out this new lifestyle, in just 15 days I noticed a significant change.  A month and a half later, and I am still following the lifestyle, because it is the perfect fit for me.

Glow 15 is all encompassing in that it focuses on every single aspect of your health.   You will learn about autophagy and how to trigger it and turn it off.

Autophagy is a self-degradative process that is important for balancing sources of energy at critical times in development and in response to nutrient stress. Autophagy also plays a housekeeping role in removing misfolded or aggregated proteins, clearing damaged organelles…as well as eliminating intracellular pathogens. Thus, autophagy is generally thought of as a survival mechanism…

In addition to elimination of intracellular aggregates and damaged organelles, autophagy promotes cellular senescence and cell surface antigen presentation, protects against genome instability and prevents necrosis, giving it a key role in preventing diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiomyopathy, diabetes, liver disease, autoimmune diseases and infections.  – US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

In other words, autophagy is a removal of all of the bad cells in your body, while creating new cell growth.  Sounds crazy, right?

Peri-Menopause & Rapid Aging

For me, the reason why I started peri-menopause at 37 was because of a tumor in my parathyroid gland (the gland that synthesizes calcium).  This was also my fourth tumor in 10 years, as well as the most dangerous one of the four.

My body changed a lot after that surgery in 2013.  As a result, I changed completely.

While dealing with the emotional and cognitive issues, I put the rest of my body’s demands to the side.  My body changed completely in less than five years.  We’re not talking about weight gain or anything like that.  What was happening disgusted me because my body was deteriorating.  And I had no clue on how to stop the rapid aging process.

This is me with Matthew Lucifer on Mother’s Day (Day 13) sans makeup. One thing I noticed instantly was how much more supple my skin looked. I could visually see my skin looking younger.

When I saw Whittel’s take on anti-aging, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try to focus on a lifestyle that would focus on anti-aging.  Maybe it could reverse what was happening to me.  Did it deliver?  Absolutely.

After day three, I noticed my skin changing, becoming more supple.  At day five, I dropped eight pounds.  By day 15, my body was so used to the diet that I could not imagine living without it.  I’d lost ten pounds, had more energy, my skin looked amazing, and I was happy knowing that after 30 years of dieting, I finally found the perfect lifestyle for me.

When I went into this, it was about anti-aging.  What I came out with after 15 days was a guidebook on how to approach the last half of my life.  You see, that’s something most women approaching their 40s, 50s and beyond are not briefed on.  We know the ‘change’ happens, but what exactly is it beyond a bunch of pissed off women that don’t have to worry about getting their cycles anymore?

Well, first, you may or may not get your monthly cycle.  It depends.  Some women go months without it and then it magically appears like the great flood.  Other women watch as they go from 3 days to 2 days to 1.5 days to 5 days to…well, you get my point.  It is erratic.

But what happens to the rest of your body?  Maybe if you are like me…you age quickly.  The skin is the first place you notice where you are aging.  From wrinkles to larger pores to sagging skin in places you did not know skin could sag (I am not joking about this)…your body goes south very rapidly.

Last year, I went to see my doctor about the rapid aging.  I knew this had something to do with the changes going on in my body as a result of the parathyroid gland being removed.  She took 8 vials of blood for testing to confirm the peri-menopause (as well as check to make sure there were no signs of the next tumor), and to see what was causing the aging.  We discovered I was deficient in certain vitamins like Iron.  She prescribed a lot of different vitamins to help combat the issues.

As time went on, vitamin supplements were just not cutting it.  There had to be a way to stop the rapid aging.  That was why when Glow 15 came along, I was more than willing to try it out.  I just wanted to stop the rapid aging process.

Also, one of the other benefits that caught my eye was the ability to reverse cancer.  If I could not get that second tumor in my parathyroid gland when I hit the seven year mark, I had a better chance of surviving.  So perhaps the autophagy lifestyle was worth trying.

What is the Autophagy Lifestyle?

This lifestyle encompasses every single aspect of your health.  You’ll start your mornings with a cup of autophagy tea.  On high protein days, you will workout using simple exercises for half an hour.  Breakfast is an AvocaGlow (avocado recipe) with eggs.  On low protein days, you do not workout.  I usually add vegetables with my AvocaGlow so I don’t feel like I’m starving.

On high protein days, I stop eating after lunch in order to begin the 16 hour fast.  This 16 hour fast helps to reset your metabolism before going into the low/no protein day.  I skip dinner on high protein days so that I can have breakfast (the time I am the hungriest).  For those who have dinner on high protein days, you need to eat before 8PM so that you can start your first meal by noon the next day on the low protein day.

I’ve simplified my low days by calling these days my No Protein Veg Days.  Three days a week are my no meat days.  The other four days are protein heavy days.

Sugar, processed foods, bad grains, etc. are off limits.  Most noteworthy is you get to have dark chocolate and wine.  Yes, a diet that allows you to have wine every single night!!!

I do have to remind myself constantly that this is not a diet per se.  Usually when we think of diets, we think of not eating.  I have to remind myself every day that this is not about deprivation.  I can eat as much as I want to, but within in the confines of the types of foods I can eat.  This is about eating the right foods at the right times.

She also recommends vitamins you probably didn’t even know existed (that I believe works wonders with this diet).  But this isn’t just about diet and exercise.  This is about your overall general health.  It includes mental health, i.e. daily meditation and journaling.  It includes self-care, which means mandatory ME TIME that includes sex, spa days, etc.  If you’re single or not having sex on a consistent basis, get yourself a rabbit vibrator.

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Seriously, this lifestyle is about taking care of ALL aspects of your general health.

No More Buying Beauty Products

While I am quick to purchase the best products from the cosmetics market to help fix X, Y and Z, I learned how to make my own beauty products using Naomi’s recipes.  I am going to tell you right now that I haven’t gone back to my $350 creams since I started making Naomi’s beauty products.  They are not only cheaper to make, but they work more effectively than any other product I’ve ever tried.

The facial mask is my favorite.  I put it on for 20 minutes two times a week, take it off and don’t have to follow with moisturizers or creams like I have with store bought facial masks.  My skin is so much softer and it feels like I applied an effective moisturizer to my face.

Yet, all it is…mayonnaise, wheat germ and bergamot oil.  Three all natural ingredients and they beat every single beauty product I’ve ever tried on the market.

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Ever since I started making my own beauty products based on Naomi’s recipes, the thought of putting chemicals on my face just seems stupid.  I mean, think about it…putting all of these chemicals on our faces is actually contributing to the aging process!  Then we run out to purchase more chemicals to fix the aging process, when we should be avoiding the chemicals completely!  The chemicals are aging us!  I mean, so many products have formaldehyde in them.  Why would we want to put that on our bodies?  Leave that for the dead, not the living.

The Current Results

So after being on Glow 15 for the last month and a half (almost 2 months), I am proud to say I am down one whole dress size for the first time in 20 years.  My hair is finally making a comeback and looking healthier.  My skin is more supple.  The keratosis pilaris on my arms started to disappear (this is without applying products to my arms).  My skin is also not as dry.

I can actually visually see reverse aging.  Not just anti-aging, but reversed aging.

I will be honest that I don’t follow Naomi’s program strictly.  I did during the first 15 days, but after that, I worked its way into my lifestyle by taking days off here and there.  I don’t reset my metabolism three times a week, maybe one or two times a week.  I have one cheat day a week (which is usually on a high protein day).

I will also admit that the only exercise I get is 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night, walking at New Yorker speeds through Manhattan.  Nothing extra.  I’m sure if I did 30 minutes in the morning like the book suggests, I probably would lose more weight faster.  Something to be considered…

I do feel much healthier and my gut feels happier.  I believe if I was stricter with this lifestyle, I would see even more incredible results.  I enjoy the diet tremendously.  I don’t mind the fasting to reset my metabolism.  I figured out ways where it will work for me.  Skipping dinner is easier for me than skipping breakfast, especially since I need to be in bed earlier.

Oh, that’s another thing Naomi talks about…the importance of sleep.  I changed my sleeping habits because of Glow 15.  Matthew wakes up at 3:30AM every single morning.  He immediately runs to me to wake me up because he wants breakfast.  He will not leave me alone until he is fed.  So I get up to feed him.  But the problem with this is that it was hurting my beauty sleep schedule because I can never fall back to sleep afterward.

So now I go to bed before 9PM.  At 3:30AM, I get up, feed him, meditate, get ready for the day and then head to the office early to either do research or write before my work day begins.

Simply put, I realized through this lifestyle that I needed to amend how I was doing life.  People may complain that I go to bed too early, but if you had no choice but to wake up at 3:30AM, no matter what time you go to bed, you’ll change your bedtime to make sure you get enough sleep knowing you have to be up at 3:30AM no matter what day of the week it is.


The realizations did not stop with my sleep schedule.  There were a lot of things I needed to change in my life.  For instance, I hate the commute, so I decided to get around it by going to work earlier…before traffic begins.  I can’t write at home, because Matthew sits on the laptop or the piece of paper I’m writing on.  So I took my laptop to the office and scheduled two days a week for writing the novel and two days for blogging.

Mondays are research days for the book.

I have to say, getting to work 2.5 hours before I am scheduled to begin has been wonderful.  I get so much writing done.  It’s quiet.  I answer a few emails from my bosses when I get in (because they are up too), and wait for the first one to arrive at 8:45AM.  He usually leaves me alone, so I can still get 15-45 minutes more writing time in before my scheduled work day begins.

These early work mornings also mean that I get to punch out at 5:30PM every single day.  I don’t have to stay late as much as I’ve been doing for the last 10 years.  My guys got so used to me being at the office after 6PM, they would call me after 6PM, knowing I would be there.  Now, everything is done long before and they don’t feel the need to contact me after 5:30PM.

I found through all of this that I should stop creating excuses for why things are not turning out the way it should.  I needed to change my narrative.

If I’m tired of the neverending issues with the commute, I should just start my commute before the traffic begins.  Ever since I had this realization, I swear to you, I am not pissed off every single morning now that I get to work early.  The correct word to express my morning glow: RELIEF.

Instead of fighting with Matthew over who gets to use the laptop, I brought the laptop to the office to work on my book.

This is what it means to change the narrative, and let me tell you, I am a much happier person because I did something right for myself.  We need to find what works for us, and that usually requires us to change the way we think.  Instead of bitching about how life isn’t working out for us, we should ask ourselves: 1) What is not working, 2) What it is we want, 3) What solutions are available, and 4) Implement that solution.

For instance, say you’re late for work all of the time.  No matter what you do, it’s not working out.  There’s traffic, the bus is late, there’s a disabled vehicle, the trains are not running…basically, it’s the commute from hell and you are not winning.

What you want is to get to work early or on time.  So how do you do that?  What solutions are available to you?  For me, I tested out the train schedules.  I discovered that if I took the 6AM train (or bus), there are always seats (all to myself).  The morning commute rush hour hasn’t even begun yet and it is quiet.  There are also less people I have to deal with.

If I took the bus or train after 6:45AM, that’s when I run into problems, because that is when the commute gets crazy.  Too many people on the train.  You’re lucky to get on the train.

So the solution here would be to take the 6AM train.  I get in early.  I can write in peace and quiet without Matthew sitting on the laptop or typing up his own story.

With Glow 15, Naomi helped me tackle every single issue I was having with aging to reverse it.  It allowed me to contemplate what I wanted out of life in my meditations and gave me more time to live the life I’ve been wanting by adjusting my sleep schedule.

Most of all, this whole experience has been about learning how to live a healthy life for the 40s and beyond.  Just a few changes to my life from Glow 15 turned into so much more…living my life happy, healthy and with purpose.

I highly recommend this for every single woman out there.