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I am 31 years old and have just started to notice cellulite, particularly on my thighs. I have never had any trouble with this before. I have a healthy BMI and have no problems with my weight. Can you please tell me what I can do to stop this from spreading? >> Everybody has fatty reserve areas in the breasts, buttocks, thighs, upper arms, and belly. What happens with cellulite is that fluid waste products are accumulated in these areas, causing a dimpled appearance.
As you have discovered, cellulite does not discriminate when it comes to body size. It is more of an indication of diet and lifestyle than weight or BMI.
While men and women can develop cellulite, it is far more common in women due to the structure of the subcutaneous fat tissue. Men have a thinner top layer of subcutaneous fat than women, and their fat cells are constructed in an inter-crossed layer. In women, this layer consists of larger cells in an upright position which are separated by curved connective tissue walls. It is these walls that protrude and cause the “orange-peel” appearance on the skin.
Lymphatic fluid is an important consideration when it comes to cellulite — there is almost triple the amount of lymphatic fluid in our bodies as there is blood. It not only helps to remove cellular debris and toxins, it also helps with fighting off disease.
Dry skin brushing each morning with a natural bristle body brush will help activate the lymph and reduce cellulite. Use brisk strokes and always work towards the heart. You can also stimulate the release of fluids that can cause cellulite build up by adding essential oils such as juniper, grapefruit, fennel, cypress, and eucalyptus to a base oil and massaging them into your skin — for extra lymph stimulation you can add sugar to make a scrub.
Movement is also crucial in the prevention of cellulite since the body uses fat as fuel. When we don’t get enough exercise, the fat is stored. Great anti-cellulite exercises include skipping, jumping on a trampoline, walking, cycling, swimming, and other forms of aerobic exercise. Foods to avoid include excessive sugar, dairy, meat, deep fried and processed/refined foods.
Whole foods, locally grown and organic where possible, with a high intake of raw fruit and vegetables, will help to move the toxins and wastes from your entire system, including the fatty reserves. Pure water is also essential in helping to flush out toxins.
I bought some maca recently to help increase my energy levels. How much should I be taking, and what is the best way to take it? >> Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a cruciferous root vegetable found in the Peruvian Central Andes. It has been used nutritionally and medicinally in South America since Incan times. You are quite right in that maca can help to improve energy levels, but it also helps as a mood booster.
A powerful antioxidant, maca root contains approximately 100 times the levels found in other cruciferous crops. Not only is it a complete protein, it is rich in vitamins and minerals — including zinc and calcium. Maca is also great for balancing hormones, enhancing sex drive (in males and females), and supporting fertility.
You can easily add this superfood to a smoothie or bliss balls. As far as a daily dosage goes — start with half to one teaspoonful and increase little by little each day until you can comfortably take a daily dose of one to two tablespoons. Combining maca powder with banana, four to six dates, vanilla, honey, cinnamon, one teaspoon of tahini, and a cup of water makes a lovely smoothie loaded with health benefits.
To make bliss balls, combine the maca powder with a cup of any soaked dried fruit, half a cup of soaked nuts, quarter of a teaspoon of ground cloves, one teaspoon of cinnamon, and an optional quarter to half a teaspoon of flavour essence. Blend in a food processor and roll in coconut, carob or cacao. Store in the fridge.