Tag Archives: Health

Double Duty Beauty Foods…facials and hair treatments

I am still traveling down the road of healthy eating.  Therefore certain tweets and posts catch my attention quicker than others.  Recently it was a tweet by Prevention Magazine.

Prevention Magazine
PreventionMagPrevention Magazine
Coffee is a well-known pick-me-up, but a cup of joe may help you reduce cellulite. See how to apply it! http://ow.ly/61Tx4
Needless to say reading that coffee can help with that pesky problem of cellulite intrigued me.  The rest of the article was just as fascinating, 7 Double-Duty Beauty Foods.   
The 7 Super Double-Duty Beauty Foods are:
  • Avocado – Could be considered the over achiever of super foods.  Not only is it full of proactive antioxidants and essential fatty acids that help hold moisture in and keep the skin from dehydrating it is also reported to be one of the foods that will help shrink unwanted belly fat.  The article also recommends whipping up a face mask of avocado and sour cream and smearing it on your face for ten minutes. I guess if there were left-overs you could serve it with some pita chips. 
  • Tea – All teas boast skin boosting antioxidants.  Green and white tea are known for protecting the skin from exposure to the sun and pollutants.  All varieties of tea also double as hair color boosters.  Now I don’t know a single woman who wouldn’t like to refresh her  hi/lo lights in between visits to her favorite colorist. 
  • Almonds –  This super food rivals the avocado.  The Almond is a super snack that helps the body burn fat.  It is also reported that eating almonds builds up hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle keeping the hair from turning gray.  Also finely ground almonds added to coconut oil make a great natural exfoliant.  Almonds may turn out to be a girls new best friend.
  • Cocoa –  Another food product full of skin protecting antioxidants.  According to the spa in Hershey Pennsylvania add 1/8 cup of cocoa and non fat milk to your bath water to help with dry skin.  Now this sounds like a recipe for chocolate milk and trouble.
  • Yogurt – Especially Greek Style Yogurt is full of protein which is the essential nutrient for the production of collagen a fibrous substance that keeps your skin looking young.  Yogurt can also be used as a facial scrub or hair treatment. 
  • Strawberries – These tasty treats contain a double dose of Vitamin C which is essential to the production of collagen.  A medical study reported that high intake of vitamin C was associated with lower likelihood of wrinkles and skin dryness.  Again it is suggested that strawberries be added to an at home facial treatment. 
  • Coffee – Is a very popular pick me up.  It is full of anti-oxidants that help prevent the breakdown of elastin and collagen that leads to sagging and wrinkles.  You can also enjoy the flavor of coffee by adding finely ground coffee to your spice rub for your steaks or beef dishes.  But the piece de resistance is the recommendation to use cooled coffee grounds as a scrub on areas that are affected by the appearance of cellulite.  The caffeine in coffee is a topical diuretic and removes the moisture from the skin giving it a temporary smoother appearance. 

After reading the article that inspired this post I have a vision of a woman standing in her bathroom in front of buffet of leftovers.  She is concocting her facial creams and hair treatments in an effort to re-capture her youthful appearance. 

google image

*Note to self do not let the kids see you do this it could be misinterpreted as permission to have a food fight. 

The best part about this list of 7 double duty foods is they are already part of my eating plan.   The fact that they have the potential to double as part of a beauty regimen just makes them more appealing.

The twitter link also referenced a book by Joy Bauer “Food Cures-Look Younger Live Longer”.  I believe that many of our current health concerns can and should be treated naturally.  Fruits and Vegetables in their natural state are very healthy, it’s when we altar and add man-made chemically induced ingredients to the foods that they become “bad” for us. 

A couple of years ago my husband and a few friends took a cultural tour into the mountains of Jamaica.  Most of the residents of Jamaica can not afford modern medicine to control high blood pressure and the sort.  They use foods and herbs to naturally control health issues.  I have even had my doctor recommend different foods to help control some of my own personal health issues instead of writing me a prescription and sending me on my way.


Filed under All Things Foodie, Eat to Live, It's a Girl Thing

snack attack…

Why do we eat?  We eat for a myriad of reasons.  We eat when we are happy, sad, bored or even due to peer pressure.  Sometimes we eat when we aren’t even hungry.  This is considered emotional eating and it will result in unwanted weight gain. 

Here’s how to tell if your body really needs food.

Real Hunger

  • Your hunger grows gradually
  • You will eat anything
  • You can wait
  • You stop when you feel full
  • You feel good after eating
  • You feel energized

Emotional Eating

  • You are hungry all of sudden
  • You typically crave foods that are high in fat
  • You need to be satisfied instantly
  • No amount of food fills you up
  • You feel guilty after eating

I use these tips to determine if I am really hungry or its a passing craving. 

Until recently I didn’t know it but I am an emotional eater.  If I do not take the time to plan what I am going to eat during the day it will end in disaster.  I will end up eating foods that are high in calories, fat and sugar.  Which will only leave me craving something else to eat in no time. 

However, Now I plan, plan and plan some more.  I start everyday with breakfast.  I eat a mid-morning snack, usually a banana.  I pack a healthy balanced lunch to take with me to work,  a salad, protein(leftovers from the previous nights dinner) and fruit.  Then I have a mid-afternoon snack, a protein bar or a hand full of almonds or trail mix. 

I have to admit that since making the changes I have not found myself craving the sugary sweet or crunchy salty snacks that were a regular part of my everyday eating habits. 

Now, I will admit that I think about consuming cookies, mocha lattes and french croissants from time to time.  However, I always stop and think what is this simple indulgence going to cost me in calories.  Then I think about what I will have to do to work it off.  By the time I process all of this information the craving has passed and I am better off for it.


Filed under Eat to Live, postaweek2011

never give up…

Since embarking on this new healthy eating lifestyle I have read lots of articles about healthy eating, healthy recipes, healthy this and healthy that. 

Tonight I was cleaning up my in-box and came across an article from sparkpeople.com.   The article is titled “Going through the Emotions” by Mike Kramer.  It’s a great article very encouraging and inspirational.  I hope you will jump over and read it in its entirety. 

It caught my eye because I am feeling a little bit emotional about my new eating plan.  I keep telling myself I don’t miss those sugary sweets or crunchy chips or the savory steaks.  But truth be told I do kind of miss a few of my bad eating habits. 

 I am also feeling very emotional about my trip to NOLA that is coming up.  I have worked so hard and given up so much these past 5 weeks to lose weight and live healthier.  I know the temptations may be too great to overcome.  I am concerned that discouragement and disappointment will settle in and I will revert to my old bad eating habits.  

My husband has lost twice as much weight as I have in the past 5 weeks so he has more wiggle room than I do.  He has decided that he is going to eat whatever he wants on the trip (within reason, I am sure) and I want to do the same. 

 But NOLA is home for me and going there always brings back warm comfy memories of food loaded with butter served over rice with side of warm bread pudding and sweet tea.  But my heart is telling me that I don’t have to give in to my old ways.  I can still make delicious healthy eating choices and enjoy my trip to one of the greatest culinary cities in the world. 

I do not believe in coincidences. I know that God’s plan was for me to read this article right when I needed it most.  Mike’s words encouraged and inspired me.  (I think I will print this on a few 3X5  cards and put them in different places so I will come across them randomly and be encouraged and inspired all over again.)

“There will be good days and there will be bad days – sometimes several in a row. There will be lazy days and discouraging days. But there will also be days of revelation, days of making a breakthrough, days of being proud of who you are becoming, days of wanting to climb on top of your success and reach for the stars, because you just know that anything is possible.

 These are the days that make it all worthwhile. These are the days that let you deal with those other, not-so-great days. Once you know those bad days will be there, it’s easier to accept them at face value and deal with them. But you have to keep kicking on those bad days to get to the good ones. If you’re not kicking, you’re sinking.

Don’t let the world or your own doubts take away one of the most positive things you have going for yourself – your determination to create a healthier, more energetic, more vibrant, more wonderful YOU.”


Filed under Eat to Live, encouragment, postaweek2011

Diet…is a four letter word

Diet is a four letter word…yes I know it is literally a four letter word.  However, when I usually think of four letter words I think of the ones that I don’t say in front of my mother and the ones I try not to say when I am cut off in traffic.   Sometimes the word Diet is said with such contempt that it carries the same weight as profanity.  As many times as individuals have tried and failed at dieting it is no wonder the word carries such negative connotations.

If you have stopped by over the past few weeks you have probably read a post or two on my new eating regime.  I refuse to call it a diet…diets conjure up mostly negative thoughts.  Thoughts of things I will have to give up or go with out.  The biggest negative that comes to mind when I think of dieting is that I must admit that I am not in control.  I have to admit that I have gained weight and I am out of shape.  (Hey, pear is a shape!)

If you google diet you will get 575,000,000 results; everything from diet plans, pills,  recipes and tips.  WebMD.com lists the facts on the most popular diets so you can decide which one is best for you.  There are at least 90 popular diets listed on their website. 

My husband and I are on this journey together and we talk entirely too much about what we are going to eat.  However, in order to eat right, that is eat foods that are good for us, it takes planning.  We must discuss the weekly meal plan, look up recipes, find alternative ingredients to stay on our chosen eating plan of low to no sugar. 

Foods that are easy to prepare or are quick fix meals usually are packed with plenty of empty calories. Oh but they do make the taste buds dance and sing.  However, these empty calories are the reason Americans, this one included, are overweight!

I have read more articles, followed more tweeters and liked more Facebook pages in the past 3 weeks on healthy eating than I have read in my entire life.  It is no wonder the health and fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. 

I especially enjoy reading the articles that go against the grain.  The ones that offer up tips on breaking the rules or articles that suggest a few sneaky tricks that can help shed the pounds with just a minor adjustment in your eating plan or your exercise routine. 

Recently on Shine, the Yahoo on-line community for women,  posted under the Healthy Living tab just such an article.  To read it in its entirety and see the visuals follow this link or for the condensed version.

Here you go, the meat and potatoes, the cookies on the bottom shelf, everything in a nutshell…ok, enough of the food references.  Here is the readers digest version:

  • Limit your liquids to herbal tea and water only. Drinking even light juices or diet coke will still pack on pounds over time, says Borden. If you need a sweet fix, eat your fruit, don’t drink it. You’ll get more fiber and less sugar that way.

  • Eat with chopsticks. “People who use chopsticks tend to eat way less and get fuller quicker because it takes longer to eat — [chopsticks] slow you down,” says Borden. This is one of the biggest rules of thumb when it comes to eating right. If you eat too fast your body doesn’t register that it’s full, so you’ll keep eating unnecessary calories.
  • Take your workout to work. No time to exercise before or after work? Burn a few calories during your lunch hour instead. Borden likes the virtual jump rope for this purpose (try Airope Original, 34.95). It’s easy to tote, you won’t whip any colleagues, and two simple minutes of jumping will get you out of your chair and help to burn a few calories. Bonus: It’ll give your back a much-needed break from hunching (and hurting), she says.
  • Avoid low-fat diets. “Fat is your friend, it will help you get fewer calories cravings,” says Borden. Find good-for-you fats in avocado, olive oil and fish.
  • Do an activity that jumpstarts your lymphatic system, says Borden, like running, jump rope, and rebounding (jumping on a mini trampoline). These activities boost your circulation to help release built-up toxins, which in turn speeds up your metabolism. And you know what that means: More calories burned without any extra effort.
  • Sprinkle on the cinnamon. Flavoring your oatmeal, cereal, coffee — you name it — with cinnamon may actually control the insulin spikes that often occur after you eat, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture finding. These spikes can make you feel hungry, which isn’t exactly ideal if you’re trying to cut calories.
  • Avoid creamy foods. Example: Dairy or creamy dressings like ranch have more unhealthy fats and are harder to digest than olive oil-based fats found in vinaigrette-like dressings.
  • Add more weight to your weight-training workout. It’s a myth that women “shouldn’t lift more than three pounds,” says Borden. “The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be,” she adds. So, don’t be afraid to pile on the pounds (to your weight room routine, that is) and don’t worry, contrary to popular belief, it’s actually hard to add bulk. If you can do 15 reps of an exercise easily, add more weight until your last rep is an effort, she says.


Filed under All Things Foodie, postaweek2011

Tweets 2 hlp U stick 2 ur diet…

Image found @ Planet Sonia Blog

Words to Live by...

As my healthy food choice journey continues I have found very helpful and encouraging tweeters to follow.  The tweets I am sharing are the actual thread that was posted on my twitter timeline this past week with the links in tact. 
There is really something to say about 140 characters or less…little bitesize morsels filled with yummy goodness. 
A few have made me smile, a couple have been encouraging and several have given me helpful tips just when I needed them. 
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko  EAT RIGHT RULE: The word “muffin” was invented so people wouldn’t feel guilty about eating cake for breakfast.
Eat This, Not That! EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  EAT EGGS: Folks who eat more protein-based calories burn 71 more calories a day, study says! 6 Foods to Flatten Your Abs: http://ow.ly/5tNP6
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko  DOUBLE YOUR DIGESTION: Chewing gum settles your gut by creating more natural bicarbonate, which helps stomach-acid flow
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko  WAIT IT OUT: Most temptations last about 20 minutes–the time it takes for serotonin to bounce back and kill the urge.
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  Opt for 1% milk. Some of milk’s nutrients are fat-soluble, so a touch of fat helps you absorb the benefits!
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  Love granola? Avoid the sugar attack. Eat Kashi GoLean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble instead! Best Supermarket Breakfasts: http://ow.ly/5uK1J
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko HEALTH MYTH: Though we spend more on food labeled “natural”, it usually means nothing. (Tornadoes are natural, too.)
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  PERFECT TRAIL MIX: 2 c mixed nuts + 1 c raisins + 1 c chopped dried apricots + 1/2 c sunflower seeds!
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  Eating a high-protein, high-fat snack can boost your calorie burn for up to 3.5 hours! We like almonds. 15 Superfoods: http://ow.ly/5uMuo
Julie NewNewJulieJulie New  Discover the benefits of Good Nutrition… control your weight. Eat More Often, Lose More Weight! http://t.co/WFblikC
SHAPE magazineShape_MagazineSHAPE magazine  Half a cup of cucumbers has just 8 calories. We love dipping them in salsa. Crispy, crunchy, spicy, guilt-free. http://ow.ly/5kntd @FitSugar
Keri GanskerigansKeri Gans stop thinking about all the foods u shouldn’t b eating & start thinking about the foods u should :) #positivethinking

1 Comment

Filed under Life..such as it is, postaweek2011

pull up a chair…no robes, no chanting, no incense required


Lately I have been feeling as though my mind has gone on vacation and it forgot to take my body along for the ride.  I am not sad or depressed I just lack focus. I sit at my desk and stare at the computer screen and nothing happens.  I look at the stack of papers on my desk and I can’t decide what to do with them. 

What is my problem?  Could it be that my mind is so filled with clutter or could it be a lack of inspiration?  Maybe it’s the fact that I will turn 50 on my upcoming birthday and I am in denial and the best way to deal with that is by zoning out.  Or do I hear you screaming at the computer screen “it’s menopause!” (Say it ain’t so Joe)

Whatever it is…Its time for a change…

I think what I need is to carve out some time for meditation…extreme quite time, controlled breathing and a clear mind. 

Meditation was once considered extremely flakey, practiced by hippies in incense filled rooms.  It is now being used by the military, corporate america, students and patients. 

Meditation can help control your heart rate, breathing and relaxation. 

Health care providers are increasingly suggesting that patients use meditation to improve their health. 

Here’s how:

  • Find a comfortable seat.
  • Just breathe!
  • When your mind wonders as it will just gently return to your breathing.

Carving out 30 minutes a day will reduce your blood pressure, boost your self-confidence and make you a nicer person.  Now who couldn’t use a little bit more nice in their life? 

No Robes, no chanting, no incense, no fees or mats and no religious groups required.  Just breathe!

Google image

1 Comment

Filed under encouragment, Life..such as it is, postaweek2011

Take care…not to lose your mind

How is your mental health?  Caring for your mental health is as important as caring for your physical health.  If you are sick your mental state can be affected by feelings of discouragement, listlessness or unhappiness.  On the other hand your mental health can affect how you function physically.  If you are worried, tired or depressed your body can begin to show signs of aches, pains and ultimately illness. 

Everyone encounters stress and/or anxiety at some point in their daily life.  Knowing how to deal with it is the key to maintaining good emotional and physical health. 

Taking time off to relax and re-charge your battery is essential to maintaining good health.  You should arrange time away from your job, housework, little league commitments or whatever is cluttering up your life.  Try unplugging your laptop and turning off your phone for at least a day or two.  

Time away doesn’t require an elaborate plan, an airplane flight or even an exotic destination.  It just requires a change of scenery.  Here are a few suggestions that may help you re-charge, re-focus or relocate the smile that is missing from your reflection in the mirror. 

Take a Walk…in a park you have never visited

Visit the Beach…breathe in the fresh sea air

Take a Ride…in the country or on a ferry-boat 

Stop and smell the flowers…at the local garden center or nature center

Pack the car with an overnight bag, a cooler of healthy snacks.  Point your car in the general direction you want to go and head off for a quick weekend getaway. 

Take care of your mental health…The mind is a terrible thing to waste…


Filed under encouragment, postaweek2011