New Year, New You: Use a Raw Cleanse to Rid Your Body of Toxins

Welcome to New Year, New  You, our month-long series that is dedicated to helping you reach your body, mind, beauty and health goals for 2014. 

If your goal is to be more healthy in the new year, one way to get off on the right foot is to rid your body of all the toxins that have built up over the past year.

In this excerpt from her forthcoming book, Raw and Simple Detox, author Judita Wignall explains how the body benefits from a detox program, why raw foods are great for detoxifying the body, and the specific toxins that her raw and simple detox plan will target.

RawandSimpleCleanse

Juditha Wignall, author of the Raw and Simple Cleanse.

“Detoxification simply means to remove toxins—the environmental and man-made chemicals that accumulate in our body over time through our modern lifestyle.

Our bodies are self-healing and will take care of foreign matter as needed all day long, but there can still be an overload as more toxins than we can eliminate enter the body. It’s an unfortunate reality of our chemical-filled world.

This overload results in reduced energy and organ function, inflammation, nutritional deficiency, accelerated aging, and disease. There are many methods and opinions on how to move the junk out, but the way that I’ve helped my clients do this gently and with the least amount of side effects is to eat your way to health with raw foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, avocados, coconuts, nuts, and seeds.

A raw food diet consists of eating foods that have not been heated over 118°F (48°C), thereby preserving their full nutritional content. At 118°F (48°C), we start to break down the enzymes, and at 135°F (57°C), we begin to lose the vitamins and phytonutrients in the food.

A typical cooked meal only has around 50 to 70 percent of the nutrients it had before it was heated. No heat means that the carbohydrates (sugars) haven’t caramelized, fats are not adulterated and sticky, and the protein amino acid chains are intact and bioavailable.

Every raw meal gives you more bang for your buck, nutritionally speaking, and is packaged in the way Mother Nature intended for us, not stripped, processed, and refortified, with added preservatives and artificial chemicals like most of the food on grocery store shelves today.

Besides eating more nutrient-dense meals, we’re also lightening up the digestive load. It takes a lot of energy to digest food from our stomach to, well, the finish line. Our digestive tract is 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 m) long and involves several major organs, such as the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.

In [the plan in my book], we’ll be enjoying lots of easy-to-digest foods like juices, smoothies, and soups. Eating light gives our body more energy to work on removing toxins and repairing tissues and cellular function; in short, we are supporting the natural cleansing process of the body.

Other great benefits to raw food are that it also contains fiber to help sweep out waste in the digestive system and water to hydrate the colon and tissues. Having great digestion is the heart of great health, as you’ll see later on in this book.

Because raw foods are so high in antioxidants, they are anti-inflammatory foods. Inflammation is an immune response that occurs when cells are signaled to respond to an injury or foreign stimuli like carcinogens, toxins, fungi, or pathogens. This is the body’s way of protecting itself and is an important part of healing.

When inflammation is coming from a toxic environment or diet, eating antioxidant-rich raw foods can help neutralize free radicals that cause damage within the body, like in the arteries (such as plaque), joints (such as arthritis), and eyes (such as macular degeneration).

So consider this an anti-inflammatory diet as well as a detox and a major step in slowing degenerative disease.

But the power of a raw food detox lies not in just what we eat, but also what we don’t eat. Let’s face it. The Standard American Diet (SAD . . . sad indeed) is quite toxic.

IN THIS DETOX WE OMIT

  • Processed foods that have been stripped of nutrients
  • Industrial seed oils that are rancid and inflammatory
  • High-fructose corn syrup that is linked to obesity, diabetes, and fatty liver disease
  • Artificial sweeteners that are neurotoxins
  • Trans fats that cause inflammation and heart disease
  • MSG, which is a neurotoxin and linked to diabetes
  • Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives that are neurotoxins
  • Genetically modified foods that cause tumors in lab rats and are linked to liver failure and infertility

RawandSimpleDetoxRaw & Simple Detox is a guide to help you detoxify your body with simple, nourishing foods. Get your detox started with information on how to set up your kitchen, raw food techniques, and lifestyle advice. Then, use the 100 recipes included to improve your health, energy, immune system, memory, and digestion. Shopping lists, meal plans, and menus are included to help you easily plan meals and combine recipes for maximum effect. Whether you want to go on a day-long, multiple-day, or week-long cleanse, or add detoxifying meals to your regular diet, Raw & Simple Detox will help you reset your eating habits and live a healthier life!

Judita Wignall is a commercial actress, print model, and musician from Los Angeles. She discovered the healing power of raw foods after health challenges made her reassess her diet and lifestyle. Her passion for great-tasting food, holistic health, and wellness brought her to Living Light Culinary Arts Institute, where she became a certified raw food chef and instructor. In between her many creative projects, she continues to teach classes, coach, and personal chef for clients around the country. Learn more at www.rawjudita.com.

New Year, New You: Are You Considering Going Vegan But Worried About Protein?

If your New Year’s resolution for 2015 is to adopt a vegan diet, there’s a good chance that one of the first questions that people will ask you is, “Where are you going to get your protein from?”

We’ve all become so accustomed to connecting meat with protein, that the prospect of finding protein from vegetable sources seems unlikely to some—and inconceivable to others.

This misconception is so prevalent, in fact, that authors Celine Steen and Tasamine  Noyes have dedicated an entire book to helping vegans find plant-based foods that can replace the proteins they would normally receive from meat.

Here is an excerpt from “The Great Vegan Protein Book.”

PROTEIN AND A VEGAN LIFESTYLE

“If you’ve ever even considered going vegan, one of the first things you might have heard from well-meaning folks is, ‘But where will you get your protein?’

It seems that no one gives much thought to anyone else’s protein intake until the moment you vaguely mention adopting a vegan lifestyle.

After getting asked the “big question” so many times, we decided to write [our] book so everyone would be able to spout off loads of flavorful, satisfying, protein-packed recipes in one fell swoop (er, book).

We’ll take a closer look at some of the most common sources of protein that are popular with both herbivores and omnivores alike, such as beans and grains, as well as some sources that may be new to you, such as seitan.

We’ll also demonstrate that there’s no deprivation of any kind involved in going vegan. And, of course, we’ll share creative and mouthwatering recipes that are packed with both protein and flavor!

But to start off, let’s answer a few of the most frequently asked questions that come up when people start talking about plant-based diets in general and protein in particular.

Plant-Based Protein FAQs

You probably have a ton of questions. Protein can be a tricky issue, and we’re going to try to simplify it so that you’ll have a better understanding both for yourself and for those previously mentioned folks with good intentions.

Best of all, you’ll see that getting enough protein from a plant-based diet is easier than many people think.

It’s vital to note, however, that if you have serious concerns or questions, you should consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian. Bodies aren’t all identical, and nobody knows your body better than you do.

Why Do We Need Protein?

Protein is what makes our bodies work! We use it to build cells and maintain our bodies’ systems. Our organs, bones, blood, muscles, and skin all require protein. It is also the building block of neurotransmitters, the messaging cells in our bodies that allow all of our systems to work and interrelate.

These neurotransmitters are made of—you guessed it—protein. Our very DNA is made from protein, in fact, and so are all the cells in our bodies.

As our cells die off and need to rebuild, our bodies use protein to complete that necessary process.

To be even more precise, our bodies need the amino acids found in protein. There are twenty amino acids, eleven of which are manufactured by our bodies. The remaining nine come directly from food.

While most foods contain amino acids, those found in protein-rich foods are the most usable.

When we consume such foods, our systems break the protein down into the component amino acids. Then our bodies magically restructure the amino acids into the different patterns we need to address the various needs of our bodies.

In short, we need protein for all of our physical functions.

Is Plant-Based Protein as Efficient as Animal Protein?

Animal-based proteins contain all nine amino acids in the perfect proportion for human bodies, making them complete proteins (which we’ll explain more as follows). The downside is that animal-based proteins are often also high in cholesterol
and saturated fats, which can be detrimental to our health and well-being.

While most plant-based foods are not complete proteins, it’s easy to get all the amino acids we need from plants while following a balanced vegan diet.

In fact, it can be better for you because plant-based proteins are naturally cholesterol-free, lower in heart-harming saturated fats, and contain more healthful antioxidants and fiber than animal protein.


GreatVeganProteinBook

THE GREAT VEGAN PROTEIN BOOK

“How do you get your protein?” As a vegan, you’re sure to get asked this question often. Most likely, you’ve even thought about it yourself. Vegan protein comes from things like tofu and tempeh, to beans, nuts, and protein-rich whole grains like quinoa. There are loads of options out there, but how to prepare them? What to put them in? These are questions that can feel daunting, especially if you haven’t used these ingredients before. Never fear, Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes to the rescue! The Great Vegan Protein Book takes you step-by-step through each protein-rich vegan food group, providing you with valuable information on how to prepare the ingredient along with more than one hundred delicious and easy recipes (many of them low-fat, soy free, and gluten-free!). Each recipe uses whole food ingredients that can be easily found at most grocery stores or farmer’s markets-no hard-to-find ingredients or things you can’t pronounce. Say yes to protein and eating better with The Great Vegan Protein Book!

Celine Steen is the co-author of 500 Vegan Recipes, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions, Hearty Vegan Meals, Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!, Whole Grain Vegan Baking, and Vegan Finger Foods. She is the founder of the award-winning blog Have Cake, Will Travel (www.havecakewilltravel.com) which brings in an average of 15,000 hits a week.

Tamasin Noyes is the author of American Vegan Kitchen, Grills Gone Vegan, Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!, Whole Grain Vegan Baking, and the upcoming The Great Vegan Protein Book. She is the founder of www.veganappetite.com and has worked as a committed cookbook tester for many well-known vegan cookbook authors (such as Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero, Robin Robertson, Dynise Balcavage, and Kelly Peloza) and has cooked in several restaurants.

New Year, New You: How Will You Feel After a 4-Day Greens Cleanse?

At the age of 33, Shauna R. Martin was diagnosed with breast cancer. With a very young family to care for, Shauna had an extremely difficult time recovering from multiple surgeries and chemotherapy.

The effect on her body was toxic, and she began eating raw fruits and vegetables and drinking a green juice every single day to promote her health and well-being.

Eight years later, Shauna is still cancer-free, and she credits her recovery from breast cancer, in part, to her current healthy lifestyle, which includes a regiment of drinking green juice every day. She has since dedicated much of her efforts to promoting the benefits of a healthy, greens-based lifestyle.

In this excerpt from Martin’s forthcoming book, Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse, she explains how a successful cleanse can help the body eliminate toxins.

Green Smoothie (3652108873)

Smoothie image by Kari Sullivan courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL CLEANSE

Antioxidants

Consuming a variety of antioxidants is essential to cleansing well. Each type of antioxidant serves a specific purpose. None of them complete the same task in your body, which is why consuming a variety helps to ensure that your body is ridding itself of toxins thoroughly.

All antioxidants protect your cells, but each type targets specific cell groups and body systems. For example, beta-carotene, found in leafy greens and carrots, targets the cells of the prostate, digestive tract, and eyes, helping to protect from cancer and degeneration.

The Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse incorporates a wide range of fruits and vegetables that provide you with a broad repertoire of vital antioxidants to support and improve your body’s cleansing process.

Hydration

Adequate hydration is essential to cleansing well. The 4-Day Cleanse ensures that you stay hydrated with lemon water and green tea when you first wake up, the three green juices throughout the day, and plenty of cool, fresh water. All these fluids will assist the kidneys and intestines in moving the toxic buildup out of your body.

Give your Digestive Tract a Break

Doctors and health-care professionals frequently stress the need for whole grains and protein in our diets, as well as noting the beneficial resveratrol in wine and the mental benefits of caffeine.

So why should we remove these items during the 4-Day cleanse? While it’s true these foods and substances provide valuable nutrients or benefits on a daily basis, they can place a heavy digestive burden on your body.

In fact, did you know that digestion can require as much as half of your body’s available energy on a daily basis? Animal protein, alcohol, and caffeine in particular require increased energy to break down and absorb the available nutrients in those foods.

Additionally, with mass agricultural practices as they are today, many animal proteins, alcoholic drinks, and caffeinated sources contain hormones, chemicals, and additives that simply add to the toxin buildup in your body.

The Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse gives your digestive tract a break from these hefty compounds by incorporating simple juices throughout the day that require no breakdown in the digestive tract. So raw fruits and veggies can be consumed as needed, decreasing the energy required for digestion and allowing it to be funneled elsewhere—like recharging your body!

The Raw Difference

Raw fruits and vegetables naturally contain large amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, and phytonutrients.

When fruits and vegetables are cooked, many of these vital nutrients are lost, either through heat or water, decreasing
the concentration of nutrients in a given amount of fruit or vegetable. While incorporating some cooked fruits and veggies on a regular basis is perfectly fine, it is important to maximize your body’s cleansing process with a high intake of raw fruits
and veggies.

The consumption of specific raw foods during your cleanse can potentially decrease some of the negative side effects that often accompany cleanses and detox diets, like headaches, fatigue, and stomachaches.

What makes the Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse different from many other cleanses is that it incorporates raw foods high in fiber, plant protein, and healthy fats at the end of each day for your dinner meal.

Many cleanses simply provide your body with the tools to gather toxins from your body’s tissues and move them into your digestive tract; however, a vital part of successful cleansing is the elimination of those gathered toxins from your body altogether. Fiber, plant protein, and healthy fats do just that.

They provide the bulk, or the “glue,” to help your digestive tract bind and eliminate the toxic buildup. Without these vital macronutrients at the end of the day, the gathered toxins will sit in your digestive tract. This can potentially cause cellular damage to your tract and other bodily tissues, as well as constipation and unnecessary digestive discomfort.

You might even know someone who has tried a cleanse and has complained about headaches or skin breakouts, crankiness or irritability.

Eliminating the gathered toxins at the end of each day on the Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse will allow your body to expunge maximum buildup without causing unnecessary discomfort.

After completing the 4-Day Cleanse, you should feel light, energized, and de-bloated. Your digestion will be easier and improved (as well as your bowel movements, if you want to go there!), and you’ll likely get a better night’s sleep.

Providing your body with nutrients in their natural, raw form is ultimately fueling your body to cleanse and heal as it needs to. Your body is an incredible machine! Feed it well, and enjoy the energy and life you get in return.


DailyGreens4DayCleanseDAILY GREENS 4-DAY CLEANSE

Are you craving junk foods? Feel sluggish and tired all the time? Fueling yourself on caffeine and sugar on a daily basis? Then it’s time reset your mind and body with the Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse.

Jump start your body and give yourself a “spring cleaning” during the week so you’re refreshed and looking amazing for the weekend. The book features four key cleanses: one for each season of the year (Spring, Summer, Fall, and New Year). The vegetables and fruits in each cleanse are selected to coincide with fresh, delicious seasonal produce so that you can juice right in your own home. Try the 4-day cleanse or if it’s right for your lifestyle, try the 7- or 10-day cleanse.

The best part? You don’t have to eliminate food on the Daily Greens cleanse. Founder Shauna Martin recommends a raw diet while you juice, so you’re not just limited to just liquid, and you’ll still be able to refresh, rejuvenate, and reset as you would with other cleanses. So you get the same benefits of a cleanse without starving yourself! No more cleanse headaches or irritability, and you’ll feel the results almost instantly.

New Year, New You: Get A Healthy New Start to 2015 with the Mediterranean Diet

Welcome to the fourth and final week of New Year, New You, our month-long series dedicated to helping you achieve your goals in 2015.

If your New Year’s resolutions call for improving your health and diet, than we have some great posts for you. Today, we have an excerpt from Amy Riolo’s book “The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet” that explains what the diet is all about, how it incorporates both eating decisions and lifestyle changes, and what you should eat the most of.

“The Mediterranean diet is known as the healthiest in the world because it is not truly a diet, but rather a lifestyle that prescribes a lot of what we should eat, and a little of what we shouldn’t, along with shared physical and social activities.

MediterraneanDietPyramid

Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization that features the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid (shown above), refers to the Mediterranean diet as “the gold standard eating pattern that promotes lifelong good health.”

The base of the Pyramid shows the importance Mediterranean cultures place on enjoying meals with others and being physically active. Regardless of religion, ethnicity, or language, the people of the Mediterranean region share a common desire to spend time eating and socializing with friends. In the Muslim countries of the Mediterranean region, there are even prophetic sayings encouraging believers to choose who they eat with before they decide what to eat.

The Mediterranean diet, then, is a modern eating plan based on the traditional diet and lifestyle of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Best of all, while many of the recipes, ingredients, and traditions celebrated in the Mediterranean diet have been around for centuries, they are easily adaptable into today’s busy lifestyle and suitable for modern palates.

There are no fads, special “diet” foods, or modern technology needed to achieve successful results. There are no formulas, exchanges, or point systems to master. Best of all, you don’t need a nutrition label to determine what fits into the lifestyle. Centered on healthful, whole foods eaten in moderation, sticking to the Mediterranean diet becomes second nature.

One glance at the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid reveals the majority of items that should be eaten or practiced at the wider, bottom portion of the triangle. The items that should be eaten sparingly appear at the top.

All you need to do to successfully follow the Mediterranean diet is switch your mentality to traditional means of preparing and eating natural, whole foods, getting regular physical activity, and making a commitment to prepare and eat foods in community whenever possible.


UltimateMediterraneanDietyCookbookThe Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

More than a mix of rich history, gorgeous beaches, and warm blue waters, the countries along the Mediterranean Sea and their people have a history of living longer and healthier lives and you can too! By simply following a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, even drinking wine with meals, you can prevent diseases and prolong your life.

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook is the only book needed to unleash the power of one of the world’s healthiest diets. It integrates the latest research and clinical findings with 100 delicious, authentic, easy recipes and Mediterranean lifestyle tips while dispelling any myths and misinformation.

Using the Mediterranean Pyramid as a guide, cuisine expert Amy Riolo gets to the core of the Mediterranean lifestyle, and explains what is eaten, when to eat it, and why. Each recipe in The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook contains a cultural tip from the Mediterranean region. Fun historical facts, legend, and lore, as well as nutritional information accompany each recipe.

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook features recipes from all countries in the region to include perennial favorites, little known treasures, and recent discoveries.

Get ready to enjoy a healthy lifestyle that includes enticing, satisfying, recipes- great for family dinners and entertaining, for any and all occasions, to be appreciated by any palate.

Winter Blues

New Year, New You: Transform Your Look This Winter With These Stunning Eye Makeup Designs

This is one of our favorite posts in this week’s New Year, New You, our month-long series dedicated to helping you reach your New Year’s goals for 2015. This week, we focused on beauty.

When it comes to eye makeup, it is easy to get stuck in a rut. Once you find a look that works for you, it is tempting to stick with it through thick and thin.

But, if you are  looking to transform your look in 2015, author and popular blogger Kendra Stanton believes that updating your eye makeup can make a big difference.

In her book, “500 Eye Makeup Designs,” Stanton writes that “by simply using different shades and colors of eye shadow, in addition to contouring and highlighting, you can make your eyes appear bigger, smaller, brighter, darker, and of course, give yourself that added pop that every girl is looking for.”

So if you are ready to kick off 2015 with a bold new look, here are five winter-themed eye makeup designs from Stanton’s book to get you inspired.

Winter Blues

Eyes_Winter23

Eyes_Winter45


500 Eye Makeup Designs500 Eye Makeup Designs is a collection of gorgeous eye looks for every occasion! From everyday “work-looks” that never get boring, to fantasy-inspired eye shadow with glitter and rhinestones, this guide provides amazing looks for breaking out of the neutral eye shadow-black mascara rut. Filled with designs for every skill and patience level, you can play up your most important feature with looks from different eras, a perfect smokey eye, theatrical looks, and even wild nature-inspired looks! With 500 Eye Makeup Designs, you’ll always have the stunning look.

Kendra Stanton is a nationally renowned make-up artist and beauty blogger. Her work can be seen on seen on the covers of Fast Company, Los Angeles Magazine, and in the pages of Muse Magazine, Runners World, The New York Times and many others. Kendra now serves as a freelance makeup artist and has worked for companies such as Estee Lauder, Aveda, and Clay de Peau. She serves as a beauty ambassador for Bloom.com and is a regular beauty expert featured on a local Portland morning show. Kendra’s blog, CitizensofBeauty.com, is the witty girl’s guide to honest beauty. It focuses on reviews and teaches women things about make-up they never heard from their mothers. Her blog is an extension of her passion to empower and educate women to look their best at any age.

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New Year, New You: Soften Your Dry, Chapped Winter Lips with this Beeswax Lip Gloss

BeeLipBalm

How to Make Beeswax Lip Gloss-  Lip gloss is generally a softer balm that is stored in a jar or tin rather than a tube and usually has ingredients that add a bit of shine as well.

In her new book, “Beeswax Alchemy,” Petra Ahnert explains that she inherited her love for making things by hand from her parents.

The only child of German immigrants, Ahnert’s mother was a former kindergarten teacher who—as a housewife—was a creative, incredibly resourceful cook, gardener and seamstress for the family. Her father was an engineer who built the family’s first set of furniture by hand.

It was from this dual background that Ahnert inherited her “do-it-yourself” approach to making soaps, lotions, candles and other items from beeswax. In Beeswax Alchemy, she shares the tried and true recipes she has used to create many useful items, including this beeswax lip gloss—a great way to restore natural softness to chapped winter lips.

How to Make Beeswax Lip Gloss

Lip gloss is generally a softer balm that is stored in a jar or tin rather than a tube and usually has ingredients that add a bit of shine as well.

MATERIALS

  • Yellow Beeswax (10 grams)
  • Castor Oil (20 grams)
  • Sweet Almond Oil (30 grams)
  • Shea Butter (25 grams)
  • Cocoa Butter (15 grams)
  • Lip Safe Flavor Oil (.3 grams)
  • Knife
  • Digital Scale
  • 20 lip balm jars

Yield: Makes 12 1/4 oz jars, or six 1/2 oz tins

1. Coarsely chop the beeswax or use beeswax pastilles. Weigh the beeswax, butter, and oils and put into a small pot or heat-safe bowl and gently heat in the top of a double boiler until the beeswax and butters have melted.

2. Once melted, remove from the stovetop and add essential oils and Vitamin E oil. Immediately pour the mixture into lip balm containers. Allow to cool completely before placing caps onto the lip balm containers.


BeeswaxAlchemyModern beekeepers—take notice! Here we have the answer to one of the most common questions related to beekeeping: what do I do with all of this beeswax? In fact, the possibilities are seemingly endless! As beeswax has multiple holistic and decorative uses, projects can vary from beauty and health products to household items. Beeswax Alchemy is your first step towards using excess beeswax to make beautiful, useful gifts for friends, family, and even yourself. It offers a basic introduction to the art of extracting and purifying beeswax, as well as countless ideas for what to make with it. These include skin care creams, candles, and other home products like beeswax ornaments and wax fabric. So, get ready to suit up and collect some beeswax. There’s so much that you can do with it – and now you know how!

Petra Ahnert is the creative force behind Beehive Alchemy (beehivealchemy.com), a growing artisan soap, body care, and home goods business. After a serendipitous meeting with a beekeeper at the library in 2002, Petra soon had a couple hives of her own and extra honey to sell. Of course, with the honey, comes beeswax, too so she sought out ways to make good use of the wax she had on hand. Since that time, Petra has first looked to her own life and products she uses to replace them with items she could make herself with the honey and beeswax she had on hand. Eventually, those products made their way into the product line-up for Beehive Alchemy.

 

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TattooExamples

New Year, New You: Is 2015 Your Year to Get Tattooed?

If you are considering a tattoo in 2015, you are not alone. As the statistics in this post will show you, tattoos are an incredibly popular form of self expression. 

But even though they have a lot of popular appeal, the decision to get a tattoo is a  very personal one.

If a tattoo is on your to-do list for 2015, we recommend that you think carefully about the design, and do your homework on the tattoo artist before sitting down under the needle. 

The right design and the right artist can go a long way toward transforming a tattoo into an artistic statement that you’re proud of, rather than a mistake you want to forget. And as you can see from the examples below, an image of a koi fish can look very different depending on the personal style of the tattoo artist.

The forthcoming book Custom Tattoo 101 is a great place to get inspiration for design components of your tattoos in 2015, whether it’s your first tattoo ever, or simply your first one of the new year.

TattooExamples

 

TattooExample2

FAST FACTS ABOUT TATTOOS IN THE UNITED STATES

  • One in five U.S. adults (21%) has at least one tattoo
  • Tattoos seem to be most prevalent in the Western United States, with 26% of adults in that region having at least one tattoo compared to fewer in the East (21%), Midwest (21%), and South (18%)
  • Adults aged 30 to 39 are most likely to have a tattoo (38%) compared to both those younger (30% of those aged 25 to 29) and (22% of those 18 to 24) and older (27% of those 40 to 49, 11% of those 50 to 64, and just 5% of those 65 and older)
  • For the first time ever in a tracked poll, women (23%) are slightly more likely than men (19%) to have a tattoo

And among those with a tattoo:

  • Most (86%) have never regretted getting a tattoo
  • 30% say having a tattoo makes them feel more sexy
  • 25% say having a tattoo makes them feel rebellious
  • 21% say it makes them feel both attractive and strong
  • 16% say it makes them feel spiritual

CustomTattooWhen it comes to permanent ink, you want something both personal and unique. You want a representation of yourself. Most of all, you don’t want any surprises.

Custom Tattoo 101 highlights the best ways to custom design your perfect tattoo so it’s the correct size, the perfect design, and entirely unique to you. Reference stencils are essential when getting a tattoo, translating the exact specification to a tattooist so the result is precisely what you envisioned.

The Editors at TattooFinder.com provide a collection of over 1000 stencils, tips, and designs to help you craft your own unique tattoo including: 50 popular category stencils and hundreds of stunning tattoos for inspiration.

Find out how to combine different tattoos to make one cohesive design, and even how to draw your own perfect reference piece if you are artistically inclined. The result is a design that you can bring to a tattoo studio and get inked–less time in the chair, lower overall cost, and best of all, no more tattoo mistakes!

So design your personalized tattoo today, and get ready to get inked!