Back for seconds: Roaring Fork Restaurant Week gets cooking Feb. 1
From Snowmass to Glenwood Springs, roughly 50 eateries plan to participate in this year’s Roaring Fork Restaurant Week.
Beginning Feb. 1 and running through Feb. 9, participating restaurants in Snowmass, Basalt, Willits, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs are offering a smorgasbord of cuisines at special rates.
“Restaurants, let’s face it, are pretty much the backbone of any community,” said Beth Albert, Aspen Times advertising account manager and one of restaurant week’s organizers. “It’s a good way to promote trial of places that you’ve never tried before.”
Now in its second year, Roaring Fork Restaurant Week’s is sponsored by Glenwood Insurance. Participating businesses will offer prix fixe or á la carte menus at $10, $20 and $40 price points.
A prix fixe menu may include an appetizer, soup, salad, entrée and dessert all for a set price per person whereas a á la carte menu may include a course at one of the three price points.
“No matter what your budget is, you’re going to be able to find something that you’re going to want to give a try,” Albert said.
Additionally, among the various restaurants, breakfast, lunch and dinner options are available.
In addition to restaurants, Roaring Fork Restaurant Week also includes a handful of participating brewpubs, distilleries and tasting rooms.
“We are offering a branded glass promotion where customers, when they buy a full pour, can keep the glass after finishing their drink,” said Taylor Matson, Casey Brewing Taproom assistant general manager. “We are right in the restaurant area in downtown Glenwood, and we wanted to give something back to the community.”
Not wanting to compete with Valentine’s Day crowds, organizers selected Feb. 1 through Feb. 9 for restaurant week due to it being a slightly less busy time.
“There isn’t anybody that doesn’t like to go out to eat,” Albert said. “It also gives people the opportunity to support their local restaurants during a slower time of the year.”
Roaring Fork Restaurant Week’s community sponsors include: Visit Glenwood, Basalt Chamber of Commerce, Carbondale Chamber & Tourism, Willits Town Center and Snowmass Colorado.
Hungry for change: Elk Creek Mining Company rebrands to 88 Grill in New Castle
In 1999, John Webber opened Elk Creek Mining Company Bar & Grill at 502 Main St. in New Castle.
Over two decades later, the Colorado River Valley resident and restaurateur was hungry for a change.
So, Webber recently rebranded Elk Creek Mining Company into 88 Grill. As its name suggests, the eatery on the west end of main street downtown, boasts all things ’80s.
However, while 88 Grill’s bar area transports diners into the realm of Pac-Man and pinball, the restaurant’s dining room showcases the year New Castle was incorporated – 1888.
“Most of the decorations in the dining area are from New Castle at the turn of the century,” Webber said.
Additionally, 88 Grill’s menu includes seven signature burgers, Mexican food, salads, sandwiches and a variety of cocktails such as Flanagan’s Pink Squirrel.
A throwback to the 1988 film “Cocktail” starring Tom Cruise who plays a New York City bartender named Brian Flanagan, the Pink Squirrel combines white crème de Cacao, amaretto, raspberry liqueur and cream, chilled and served in a martini glass.
“It’s like a chocolate covered, cherry milkshake,” Webber said. “That’s a unique ’80s drink.”
According to Webber, several of 88 Grill’s menu items were retained and revamped from Elk Creek Mining Company with one example being the burritos and bowls.
Webber said that one of Elk Creek’s most popular dishes was its Dos Hombres burrito.
Although not specifically listed on 88 Grill’s menu, customers can still enjoy all of the Dos Hombres’ fixings by creating it themselves.
Topped with cheddar-jack cheese, lettuce, candied jalapeños and pico de gallo, customers can then select their own protein like the tequila lime shrimp as well as their choice of beans and rice. Lastly, the burrito or bowl gets smothered in a pork green chili, jalapeño cream sauce or vegetarian tomatillo sauce.
“There’s one item that people can still get exactly the same,” Webber said.
Additionally, directly above 88 Grill, Webber recently put the finishing touches on five themed hotel rooms known collectively as the Ore House Inn.
Previously, Webber rented the rooms out as apartments. However, after transforming one of the dwellings into an O.K. Corral themed room, it wasn’t long before the rest of the rooms received their own identity too.
From the “Game of Thrones” themed Winterfell room to Area 51 and the comic book-laden Iceberg Lounge, the Ore House Inn combines comfort and character.
“The fifth [room] I was just torn on,” Webber said. “It could’ve been skiing; it could’ve been winter sports; it could’ve been a lot of different things.”
After bouncing ideas around with his sons Johnny and Treigh Webber, John Webber went with a dinosaur and Pokémon themed room known as Jurassic Pok.
“Dinosaurs in the bedroom and video games in the living room,” Webber said of the Jurassic Pok room.
Although separate business entities, Webber wanted the Ore House Inn’s character to complement 88 Grill’s cuisine.
Grateful for Elk Creek Mining Company’s loyal customers over the years, Webber hoped those same regulars would still enjoy all of 88 Grill’s offerings.
“We didn’t close while we were redoing this, so we got to talk to all of our customers every day about what our intentions were,” Webber said. “We changed because we needed to. We changed because you have to evolve.”
Webber said converting Elk Creek Mining Company into 88 Grill would not have been possible without his wife Cori, his business partner Nicole Moore and the entire kitchen and wait staff that stuck around despite the change.
88 Grill is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Weekend Dish column: You are what you eat, both physically and mentally
Every new year, we face ourselves and ask certain questions. Am I happy? Am I successful? Am I where I want to be in my life?
Many of us find the answers to these questions lacking. So, we resolve to be better, eat healthier, work out more or to take better care of ourselves overall. The dawn of a new year brings us hope that we can change the things we don’t like about ourselves.
Usually, our resolutions center around food, which can be crucial to our overall health. Science also backs this up, and common sense agrees. Healthy diets can lead to healthy minds and strong bodies. They can also help heal broken hearts and brains.
These resolutions become apparent when one goes to the gym, and every machine is taken, or when our friends openly vow to abstain from alcohol or junk food. Sadly, many of these resolutions fall flat by the end of the month. Ironically, it has been said that it takes 30 days to start or break a habit.
We need to hang in there. Maybe this time can be different?
But let’s face it — we live in tumultuous times. It can be challenging to become stable islands unto ourselves when the dark, choppy waters are rising around us. Nearly half of Americans will carry an additional burden at some point in their lives, which makes it difficult to survive, let alone thrive.
This burden is mental illness, and I have a personal history with it. Although many people suffer from mental health issues, there is still a stigma that surrounds it.
I usually keep my struggles private, because I don’t want people to think I’m crazy or maladjusted. But not talking about it is also part of the problem.
So, let’s talk
By publicly “coming out” with my struggles, I hope to add to the growing conversation about mental wellness. My story is another drop in a bucket that is already threatening to overflow. You and I are not alone. I hope this ongoing dialogue changes the way our society treats those with mental illness.
I am not crazy, and neither are you. Instead, our brain chemistry is off-kilter from a combination of genetics and life experiences. This potent combination of nature and nurture change the way we process things.
I struggle with depression and anxiety because my brain has been conditioned to respond to stress with a combined fight and/or flight response. My instincts overpower my rationality, while my lizard brain kicks in with survival instincts to overcome high-stress situations.
Oftentimes, I can keep my anxiety and depression in check with exercise, therapy, and a robust social network. Sometimes, these things are not enough, and I feel like I’m drowning in a lonely ocean. In these times, I seek additional help with prescribed anti-depressants, sleep aids, and anxiety reducers to help keep my head above the waves.
The life-saving anti-depressants I take are somewhat of a mystery. We know they can be useful, but how they work is not completely clear. Even in the year 2020, we have not unraveled the mysteries of the human mind. While I hold out hope we can cure these debilitating conditions during my lifetime, we aren’t there yet.
Fortunately, modern science is moving closer toward a better understanding of the human body. It may seem obvious, but we are finally beginning to understand how truly interconnected our internal human systems are. Indeed, several studies have found that our mental health and gut health are intrinsically linked.
A recent study by the Harvard Medical School has found that imbalanced guts are associated with increased risks of mental illnesses.
The gut, or digestive tract, is the largest organ in the human body and plays a critical role in health. The secret sauce that keeps our guts healthy is the billions of organisms known as microbiota. According to Harvard, around 95% of cells in the gut are bacteria, viruses and fungi.
While many people view such microorganisms as germs, the gut microbiota is essential for a functional digestive and immune system. If they are unbalanced, our health can suffer. Factors such as stress, poor diets, antibiotics, and other chemicals can decrease healthy gut microbiota.
The Harvard study found that depressed patients have less diverse and healthy gut microbiota. This can disrupt brain function, immune system regulation, hormones, and neurotransmitter levels.
Of course, neurotransmitter dysfunction is directly related to mental illness, so gut health is necessary for optimal mental health.
Good mental diet
The study mentions probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids as the foundations for healthy gut microbiota. Omega-3 can be found in cold-water fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel, and can also come from non-animal products like seaweed, flaxseed, walnuts, and supplements.
Omega-3 promotes healthy gut microbiota while reducing inflammation, which, in turn, positively benefits our mental health.
Probiotics help reduce gut inflammation while infusing our digestive tracts with healthy microorganisms that promote gut health. Patients who were given daily probiotics for 30 days had “significantly” reduced symptoms of mental distress. Probiotics can be found in yogurts, fermented foods and drinks, and as health supplements.
Other foods can also improve mental health. These include fatty fish, whole grains, lean protein, leafy greens and yogurt with active cultures.
Fatty fish contain those essential omega-3 fatty acids discussed earlier. Since our bodies can’t really produce these fatty acids, we must get them through the foods we eat.
Whole grains such as whole-wheat, bulgur, oats, wild rice, barley, beans, and soy can fuel the brain with complex carbs. Lean proteins from fish, turkey, chicken, eggs and beans contain the amino acid tryptophan that helps produce the essential neurotransmitter serotonin. Leafy greens such as spinach, mustard greens, and broccoli contain folates and B vitamins. These nutrients can improve depression, fatigue, and insomnia.
Lastly, but not least, yogurt with active cultures improve gut health with good microbiota.
While this is a lot to keep track of, some experts suggest following the Mediterranean diet.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean diet is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the World Health Organization as a healthy and sustainable diet that promotes overall health and wellbeing. This diet typically encourages eating a lot of vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
If you are thinking of trying a new diet, then be sure to speak with your doctor for personalized recommendations. Even if you don’t want to start a new diet, there are certain foods that you should avoid that are detrimental to optimal health.
These foods are the mainstays of a Western diet. They include processed and fried foods, refined grains (such as white bread), sugary products, and beer. These foods are unhealthy for us in many ways, so they should be avoided if you want to have a healthier mind, gut, or heart. They can also lead to other serious health issues.
Studies show that a combination of diet, exercise, medication, sleep, and social support are all critical in addressing mental health. Individually, we can’t expel the darkness of the world around us, and it can sometimes feel impossible to tread water when we feel like we are drowning. It’s easy to give up and peacefully drift away as we sink beneath the waves.
I say this as someone who has been there: Don’t give up, because you are not alone. Odds are that you or someone you love faces this struggle. Many of us face it silently, but it’s essential to reach out to those around you, so you don’t have to suffer alone.
There is no silver bullet for mental illness presently, but we know what can help. Don’t drown in despair. You’re strong because you’ve made it this far, so throw yourself a life preserver because you’re worth saving. You are what you eat, and the foods outlined above are one of the easiest ways to address your mental health.
They may not cure your illness, but they will promote overall health, which will make you feel better. A healthy body can lead to a sustained mind. You can become an island that rises from the dark waters forever, bathed in sunshine, and hope for a better future. Sometimes even hope is enough to keep us fighting the good fight.
Jordan Callier is an avid foodie and business owner in Glenwood Springs.
If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741. Both work 24/7. Additional resources are available at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.
Frida Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant opens in Glenwood Springs
The Chicken Enchiladas plate at Frida. Chelsea Self / Post Independent
The A La Diabla Shrimp plate at Frida. Chelsea Self / Post Independent
Jose Luis Rico has lived in mountain towns and worked in Mexican restaurants for the better part of his life.
After owning and operating El Pollo Rico in Carbondale for 16 years, the restauranteur and his wife Emma Rico recently opened their second eatery in the Roaring Fork Valley – Frida Authentic Mexican Food.
Located at 1814 Grand Ave., near Sayre Park in Glenwood Springs, Frida welcomes customers for lunch and dinner seven-days-a-week.
Raised in Michoacan, Mexico, it was there that Jose Rico learned the ingredients that go into authentic Mexican recipes while working alongside his mother Argelia and father Alberto in their restaurant, Argelia’s Senaduria.
“Every chef has their own taste and their own dishes,” Jose Rico said. “But, you’re still going to find tacos, carne asada and chile relleno.”
Like the colorful dishes that emerge from Frida’s kitchen, the dining area’s flashy booths, flowers and mariachi figurines make for an equally colorful ambiance.
After all, Jose and Emma Rico named Frida after legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.
“[Frida] is part of our culture,” Jose Rico said. “And, we were looking for a name everyone could pronounce.”
While Frida’s menu offers an assortment of seafood, steak, chicken, pork and vegetarian options, the Ricos – throughout their tenure in restaurants – have never looked past the “easier dishes.”
“If a customer asks for chile relleno, it’s got to be good. If a customer asks for enchiladas, it’s got to be good,” Jose Rico said.
Ironically, the Ricos said chicken enchiladas were the most popular menu item at Frida since the restaurant opened in December.
Other customer favorites included: chile relleno, pork and green chili burritos, fajitas, fish tacos, homemade tamales and fried ice cream.
“We’ve been practicing these dishes for 16 years,” Emma Rico said.
Additionally, Frida’s bar offers frozen and on-the-rocks margaritas made with specialty tequila and fresh limes.
Well aware of the large number of Mexican restaurants already in Glenwood Springs, Rico said he was not looking to compete but instead hoped Frida’s cuisine would complement the city’s already thriving dining culture.
“We have two communities here; we have the Anglo community and the Hispanic community,” Jose Rico said. “We’ve been working so hard over the years trying to make great food for everybody.”
Locals’ Choice nominations are under way
From your favorite bank to top-notch rafting company, nominations for the best of what our area has to offer have begun.
Major changes include moving the contest up earlier in the year, going to a glossy magazine format and limiting people to one nomination or vote for each category.
“Our goal is to keep improving the section annually, and we think these are some positive steps to that end,” Raehal said.
Voting will go from Feb. 2 to Feb. 14 with the winners being announced in March.
Carbondale restaurants reimagined and rearranged
As one Carbondale restaurant shifts from lunch to dinner, another cafe is opening for breakfast and lunch two blocks away.
Eclectic locavore lunch spot The Beat will shift to a dinner-only restaurant for the winter, and The Landmark Cafe has sprung from the ashes of The Way Home.
Finding a new Way Home
Someone waiting for the bus in Carbondale walked up to The Way Home in October to look at the menu, and Aaron Rogers had to give him the bad news: The Way Home restaurant would not be reopening.
“Is this building cursed?” he asked.
“No, it just hasn’t found the right person yet,” Rogers said.
Rogers and her husband Flip Wise believe they are the right people, and they’ve opened Landmark Café in the old Victorian mansion with a bold vision to turn the property into a gathering place for locals and visitors alike.
Before The Way Home opened in the fall of 2018, the century-old building had sat empty since the 2012 closure of Mark Fischer’s popular Six89 restaurant. Before Six89, the restaurant was called Landmark, inspiring the new café’s name.
Rogers started working with The Way Home in June planning events. When the restaurant’s investors pulled, she saw an opportunity on bringing a café to the space, to capitalize on what appears to be prime real estate at the entrance to Carbondale’s downtown corridor.
Wise, who was The Way Home’s chef, said he’s not sure why the restaurant didn’t make it. But he thinks the space could find a better use than a traditional sit-down restaurant.
“I envision it more as a free-flowing place. It turned into a sit-down, eat, and get out thing,” Wise said.
Landmark Café opened Dec. 15 with little publicity, but the foot traffic has steadily increased, Rogers said.
The couple had to shut down the café over the holidays, but reopened it this Sunday for breakfast and lunch.
The vision is to turn Landmark into a hangout and snack stop, while renting out The Way Home’s rooms to overnight guests and hosting events in the evenings.
The cafe is open for coffee, breakfast and lunch until 2 p.m., serving breakfast sandwiches on house-made English muffins, vegetarian quiches, polenta and poached eggs, breakfast bowl, French toast and more.
The café will rotate ingredients and toppings seasonally, but currently Landmark features a locally made persimmon jam.
Rogers has long envisioned running a café, and getting Landmark to the starting line has been a labor of love.
“We were counting on some funding from a local foundation, but that didn’t come through, so we’re still having to work other jobs,” Rogers said.
Beginning later this month, The Landmark will host live music on Friday nights, starting with Callin’ Old Souls on Jan. 17. Snacks, cocktails and beer will be available.
Wise and Rogers are also creating a supper club that will meet twice a month, offering three-course dinners, wine pairings, dessert and coffee to members on the second and last Wednesdays of each month.
The Beat goes on
Another home-turned-restaurant in Carbondale is shifting from a lunch spot to a dinner and drinks hangout.
The Beat, on Main Street a block east of the roundabout, will start dinner service Tuesday.
The winter hours Tuesdays through Saturdays will be 5-9 p.m., though the bar at The Beat may stay open later “if the mood strikes,” according to a press release.
Restaurant owners Lucy Perutz and Tobyn Britt said the shift will help the spot survive the winter lulls.
“Closing wintertime lunch service was a very difficult decision to make but ultimately, we know it is the right choice,” Perutz said in the press release. “Sometimes we have to do less in order to achieve more.”
The Beat will restore lunch service in the summer months when it’s warm enough to sit on the restaurant’s ample patio space.
New Castle Diner closes, at least for the time being
For New Castle Diner owner David Souders, the end of 2019 was bittersweet.
After owning and operating the Diner for nearly a decade, Souders decided it was time to move on.
“I am just feeling tired,” Souders said. “And, I wanted to go out on top.”
On Dec. 27 the New Castle Diner served its last meal — at least for the time being.
Souders, who rents the space at 820 Castle Valley Blvd. in New Castle near City Market, said he plans on selling the business.
“It was a turnkey operation,” Souders said of when he purchased the eatery in 2010. “I own everything that is in here; the landlord just has the building.”
From the neon-lit memorabilia to the red-and-white barstools and soda fountain, Souders plans on selling the ’50s-themed diner just like he bought it — ready to rock and roll.
“I have somebody now that is supposed to be interested,” Souders said. “I can’t guarantee [anything] because we’ve just talked a few times.”
Having worked in restaurants practically his entire life, Souders said the 14- to 18-hour days of cooking and cleaning had taken its toll.
“I love my staff,” Souders said. “That was the hardest part.”
As for Souders, the New Castle resident said he had no plans other than to take some time off.
“I’m all finished. I’m moving on,” Souders said. “I don’t know what I’m doing; no plans … it’s all going to take its place and work out.”
According to Souders, over the years, the Diner’s most popular dishes were its biscuits and gravy and huevos rancheros.
Holiday Weekend Planner, Dec. 27-29
Friday Afternoon Club: Huck 5 p.m. Friday — Hop on the Glenwood Gondola for Friday Afternoon Club featuring Huck Fynn, whose gentle, raspy voice, and signature guitar style may well have you howling at the moon. Free with the Friday Coupon from the Post Independent for up to four people after 4 p.m. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs. Free with coupon
Vaudeville Dinner Theatre Holiday Show 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday — The Glenwood Vaudeville Revue Holiday Show is a two hour family fun dinner theater show with professional talent performing a variety of holiday themed comedy skits, jokes, high energy dance numbers, unique novelty songs and original comedic presentations. Reservations recommended. Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, 915 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs. | $16-$25
Feeding Giants 7 p.m. Friday — Live music with Feeding Giants at the Black Dog Saloon in New Castle. Black Dog Saloon, 219 W. Main St., New Castle. Free
Live Music with Bradman 9 p.m. Friday — Song collector and multi-instrumentalist Brad Manosevitz uses a loop pedal to weave together acoustic guitar, bass, mandolin and percussion into an eclectic mix of handmade Americana, folk rock, bluegrass, classic rock and originals. Glenwood Springs Brew Garden, 115 Sixth St., Glenwood Springs. Free
Holiday Entertainment: John Riger 5 p.m. Saturday — Continue the holiday festivities at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with live holiday entertainment by John Riger — a pianist, composer and recording artist from Somerset who has released countless recordings of various genres. Gondola tickets are $14 for kids (3-12) and $19 for adults. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs. Free with gondola ticket
Painter’s Stage 9 p.m. Saturday — The gypsy sound and reggae rhythm is the heartbeat of the local Painters Stage trio of Noemi, Kristof and Max Kosmowski. They have been playing together for more than 25 years with same contagious pleasure and passion. Glenwood Springs Brew Garden, 115 Sixth St., Glenwood Springs. Free
Valle Musico 7 p.m. Saturday — With a musical mission to bring a fusion of new interpretations of classical, jazz and world-beat music to audiences, Valle Musico has a musical focus that explores the confluence of these genres in exciting and new musical ways. Heather’s Savory Pies and Tapas Bar, 166 Midland Ave., Basalt. Free
House Concert with Willis Alan Ramsey 8 p.m. Sunday — Willis Alan Ramsey performs songs from his legendary 1972 masterpiece album that generated radio hits for The Captain and Tennille, and America with Muskrat Love, for Sam Bush with Ballad of Spider John, and for numerous others. Mr. Ramsey will include new songs from his long-awaited second release. Tickets and directions at www.houseofmustard.com. Missouri Heights Schoolhouse, 498 County Road 102, Carbondale. $35-$65
Rifle gets even sweeter with new Sweet Coloradough location
When Aaron and Anne Badolato moved from the Denver area to Glenwood Springs, the financial planner and registered nurse realized something was missing.
“‘There are no doughnut shops,'” Anne Badolato recalled her husband saying. “So, that’s how it began.”
In 2014, Aaron and Anne Badolato opened Sweet Coloradough at 2430 S. Glen Ave. in Glenwood Springs.
Additionally, this past weekend, Sweet Coloradough celebrated its Rifle location’s grand opening.
Located at 234 Railroad Ave., Sweet Coloradough’s Rifle shop serves handcrafted doughnuts, coffee and breakfast burritos between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. exclusively on Fridays and Saturdays.
“That hopefully will increase,” Anne Badolato said. “We like to start slow to see how everything goes and see what the response is.”
According to Badolato, during Sweet Coloradough’s busier stretches, the mom and pop doughnut shop sometimes prepares between 2,000 and 10,000 donuts daily.
When over 40,000 people viewed Sweet Coloradough’s Facebook post promoting its grand opening in Rifle, Badolato, admitted being a little concerned.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my god,'” Anne Badolato laughed.
Luckily, not everyone showed up at once Friday morning.
Instead, consistent crowds throughout Friday and Saturday made for an opening weekend Badolato described as going “very smoothly.”
“It never felt really super crowded in there,” Anne Badolato said. “Everyone was so happy for us to be there and so nice.”
At Sweet Coloradough in Rifle, customers may choose from an assortment of sweet treats ranging from traditional, lightly sweetened cake doughnuts to eight-hour fritters and 11-layer “croughnuts” known for their crispy, flakey croissant texture.
“When we’re doing our cake donuts, we’re literally making the cake batter that you’d make a cake out of,” Anne Badolato said. “The yeast doughnuts, I call those my ‘pillows of love.’ They are so soft and the dough is fabulous.”
Located in the heart of Rifle, Anne Badolato said she was looking forward to watching Sweet Coloradough grow even more in the local community.
Additionally, with the exception of being closed on Tuesdays, Sweet Coloradough’s Glenwood Springs location remains open between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.
The Weekend Dish: Put your best face forward this holiday season
‘Tis the season to be jolly. But it’s also the season for dry skin and maybe a little too much alcohol. It’s hard to be jolly if you don’t feel good about your skin, and we all want to look our best for family photos.
There is so much to do this time of year, so it’s easy to start feeling run down. Between the gift-giving and merrymaking, we often don’t take care of ourselves properly. While our waistlines expand, our wallets also get skinnier.
Proper skincare is necessary year-round, but it seems extra important right now with everything we must face.
So many products and options saturate the skincare industry. According to CNN, the global skincare market is valued at around $135 billion. A large segment of this market includes pricey products that are out of the financial range for many of us.
You can still find many great products at different prices, but you can’t control the ingredients. Many products contain harsh chemicals and additives. While such products are a marvel of modern chemistry, they derive their power from nature, and nature knows best.
As we all know, healthy food is a foundation of looking and feeling great. You are what you eat. But many of these same foods are also powerful skincare ingredients. The power to exfoliate, soothe, protect, and prevent aging is delicious, natural, and found in your kitchen.
There are as many unique skin types as snowflakes. These types range from oily to dry and everything in between. I have combination skin, so I tend to have dry skin on my cheeks and chin, while my nose and forehead have more oil than a deep fryer. I am at the age when I still get pimples but have to worry about aging skin.
With all of the skin types out there, it is necessary to determine which skin care routine is best suited for you. A dermatologist can help, and there are also many credible resources online.
Most dermatologists recommend washing your face twice a day. Sunscreen, moisturizer, and occasional exfoliation are also important. A wide range of products is available at drug stores and beauty shops. But many of the same results can also be achieved with natural ingredients.
Examples of natural skin care products include avocados, bananas, cucumbers, oatmeal, lemons, yogurt, eggs, coffee, nutmeg, turmeric, honey, and more. Not only are these products inexpensive and accessible, but they can also treat many skin issues effectively.
Avocados, bananas, cucumbers, oatmeal, and lemons contain potent antioxidants that can moisturize, soothe, and brighten skin. The lactic acid in yogurt, and the caffeine in coffee, can minimize fine lines and energize the skin. Nutmeg can help with anti-aging too.
Honey has natural antimicrobial properties, while also being an excellent moisturizer, which is an essential balance for acne-prone skin. It is nature’s version of an anti-aging serum.
Using all of these ingredients addresses my skin issues and saves me a lot of money during the year, so I have more to spend on gifts at Christmas. These ingredients nourish my mind, soul, and body. If I have an important meeting or party to attend, I find the time for self-care beforehand. No matter what, taking care of my skin improves my overall sense of well-being.
Here I’ve included some of my favorite recipes for face masks. They may not be right for you, but surely with a little research on Pinterest or Google, you will find something that makes you glow. Even though these products are natural, they are still quite powerful. Consult a doctor if you have any concerns about adverse skin reactions. Also, always be sure to test a small area of skin before applying any mask to your entire face.
This holiday season, give yourself the gift of self-care. Let your face eat, drink and be merry, and start the new year with your best face forward.