Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Why you shouldn't use eyeglasses with false UV filter


Why do some types of sunglasses damage your eyes? Why is it very essential that sunglasses must have ultraviolet protection (otherwise it is better not to use them at all)? What are ultraviolet rays?...




The UV rays are not visible to our eyes, but they are emitted from the sun together with the visible and non visible spectrum. In other words, they are sun rays that we don't see, but are pretty damaging to our skin and eyes. When we stay too long in the sun we get sunburn from these rays. 

Now imagine these rays inside your eyes, or like it is otherwise called, in the retina. Retina is one of the most sensible part of our eyes. The light is captured there and thanks to the retina it is translated in neurological messages, which are deciphered by our brain and voila the images are seen. Do not think that the ultraviolet spectrum is bad, by any means! It is also good and thanks to it, we can produce the vitamin D in our skin.) 

The lenses of sunglasses are composed of filters that form a barrier to a part of the sun’s visible spectrum rays, so in this way we can comfortable see in sunlight. But, when we put on the sunglasses the amount of light entering in our eyes is, in this way, reduced, resulting in the eyes being physiologically dilated. The major part of the sunglasses are so dark that even when our pupils are fully dilated, the amount of visible sunlight entering into our eyes doesn't make us uncomfortable. 


The problem is the absence of ultraviolet filters in some cheap sunglasses, because if these kind of rays are not stopped and the pupils are dilated, the amount of UV-rays entering the retina will increase dramatically, resulting in damaging it! So, you can get retina burn just like sun burn of the skin! Especially if you use sunglasses without UV-filters in high latitude and snowing areas. Because the higher we are, the bigger is the amount of sun radiation that we take, especially UV-rays. 

So, when you go skiing, sunglasses with UV protection are a must and if you like to wear normal sunglasses, be sure that they have the UV- protection filters, or don't use them at all.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Autumn-Winter fashion for 2013/14

There's no way to deny, that the 90's are very much present in the Autumn-Winter design for 2013/14. From metallic glam to grungy flanno shirts, slip dresses and combat boots... See below the latest trends for this fall and winter right from the runways.

1. Oxblood red

Fall Winter 2013-2014 Trends

Red will be the color of fall and winter in 2013 and 2014. This color is made even more dramatic with deeper, darker undertones. 

2. Doctor's bag


The doctor bag is here to stay. Major designers are giving this classic a twist to match diverse and sophisticated tastes and requirements.


3. Turtleneck

Fall 2013-2014 Fashion

The turtleneck will be a mainstay during fall and winter 2013 and 2014. Fashionable tight turtlenecks will mix nicely with a skirt or dress.

4. Chill-out metallic



Evening dresses and tops in shimmering metallic colors create a chillingly sexy look. These will be complemented with cool accessories such as minaudieres and handbags in similar styles.

5. Seductive lace

2013-2014

Who can resist the romantic and feminine look of lace? Intricate crochet and delicate adornments will seduce this fall and winter. Besides the classic black and white lace, the item will be available in oxblood red, golden hues and other fashion colors. Evening-wear came with a wealth of dramatic effect thanks to the incorporation of sheertulle and chiffon layers

6. Pastel temptation

Runway 2013-2014

Pastels certainly brighten up a winter's day. Very feminine and chic, soft shades of blue and pink will conquer wardrobes. Lush sweaters and coats will be complemented with bags and belts.


7. Pattern

Runway 2013-2014
Pattern is such a big component in fashion at the moment and when it came to Autumn- Fall 13/14 design, there is an air of traditionalism. Emphasised shoulders, animal print, stripes and leather are still hot on the runways, so don't go clearing any of these staples out of your closet just yet. 

Studded and tassled shoe boots, equine-chic rider boots and poppin pumps in cobalt blue and hot pink were also spotted on runways from New York to Paris. 

Skirts were predominantly maxi or just over the knee in length. The wrap skirt also featured in a number of collections

When it comes to pants, variety is the keyword, which is great news as this means there is literally something to fit every body shape. From wide-legged bell bottoms to tightly cropped cigarette pants, harem styles are also still very current. Pattern is the main feature that unifies and there are many; stripes (tending wide), floral, digiprint, polka dots or 'polka hearts'. Keep your look clean by teaming with a minimal top or rock it out with a patterned top (remember to co-ordinate with color) or novelty knit. 

The silhouette for coats the Fall-Winter 13/14 is oversize. 

Dark navy is the new black and ecru the new white. Different shades of grey are present.

So... Now you've got the idea, what colors should you be looking for? This Autumn Winter we've noted a range of hues that encapsulate much of the spectrum from Red to Blue. Stick to this range of colors and you're assured to be on trend this fall and winter. See below the Autumn Winter 2013/14 Colour Guide for an idea.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Is Make up with Sunscreen effective or not?

SPF containing make up
I love being practical and all, so it is clear that I love combination products, too. Make up containing sunscreen is a perfect example, since there are fewer layers to apply, less time needed to get it done and SPF protection, which is a must for your skin always!... 

But, is the sun protection offered by the SPF containing make up, enough to protect your skin? Is the sun protection we get really up the alley, or are we just being fooled? 

Actually, it is none of the above... Keep in mind the golden rule that insufficient amounts of sunscreen, causes the SPF to fall dramatically to the root of the labelled SPF on the product bottle. So let's say we have a foundation marketed with an SPF of 15. If insufficient amounts of the product are used, the SPF will be the square root of 15, being reduced to 4, and SPF 50 will be reduced to 7!

types of foundation
If this isn't enough, there are a lot neglected areas when we put make up on... Even the amount of make up we put on tends to be minimal, to avoid the cakey face, or the clown face...

Do you apply your make up uniformly and in the right amount needed to attain the goodies of the labelled sunscreen? Also a lot of make up contains protection just against UVB rays, so against sunburn. 

Since both UVA and UVB are harmful, you need protection from both kinds of rays. Do not forget that UVA rays are long ultraviolet rays, known to cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. If you want to spot a make up that has UVA protection, it must be labellet "UVA protection", or "Broad spectrum protection". 

It doesn't mean that just because your make up has SPF it will give you the sun protection you need. So do not rely solely on your make up for your sun protection. Or, use it uniformly, in generous amounts and everywhere that you need protection. Be aware that it must contain UVA protection as well. 

Otherwise just use a broad spectrum SPF containing cream underneath your make up. If you do this, it's hard to tell how a sunscreen will react with another sunscreen, unless you know specifically what the active ingredients are, and how they would react with each other. But we aren't all PhD holders. 

So the easiest way is to just have only ONE product with SPF in your routine and apply that properly. That way, you can be sure it won't have any other sunscreen ingredients to interfere with its effaciacy. Don't get a moisturizer with SPF, a foundation with SPF, and try to layer them both with a sunscreen. That's just a waste of all that sun protection in the product. 

If I were you I would get just a cream with broad spectrum SPF and no SPF make up...

Stay well!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Homemade face spray, to hydrate and protect your skin

I find it best to have a face spray handy during the day, not only for dry skin issues, but to refresh your make up, too. I go through face sprays like drinking water, so I find this formula that I am going to share with you, easy, cost effective and a very good addition to your skin care regime during the day.

Even if you slather a good face cream in the morning, with all the pollution, wind, weather, UV rays, and so on, it will not be enough. A soothing spritz, some moisturizing mist may be just what you need to hydrate and nourish your skin. Do not forget, dry skin along with UV rays are the major causes of wrinkles. 

So here it is the formula:

You Need:

¼ cup of distilled water
2 teaspoons of vegetable glycerine 
1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil
5 drops of Vitamin E oil, or one gel capsule
10 drops of essential of  your choice (try Apricot Kernel Oil)

All you have to do is mix all of the ingredients in a small spray bottle, about 3 oz should suffice. Then simply shake and take. Give your skin a quick spritz whenever you feel the need for a quick refresher. It is good even over make up, whenever you think you need to touch up. But be sure that you shake before each time. Also, this face spray is actually great all around. It is natural with no added chemicals and very good for your skin.

Glycerine is hygroscopic, which means that it can actually absorb water right from the air. Basically, glycerine draws the moisture to your skin leaving it soft, supple, and smooth. It mixes well with water too.

Grapeseed oil is amazing for your skin. First of all, when it comes to hydrating, this oil actually mimics the sebum in the way that it moisturizes your skin.  It is also a great source of antioxidants. And you know what that means. Antioxidants = anti aging. And a third benefit is that it is that aside from keeping your skin dry, it also keeps it from being uneven in skin tone.

Vitamin E oil has skin brightening properties. It has basic antioxidant properties that everyone needs. It is unavoidable that we are all suffering from environmental stress. Vitamin E oil protects the skin against cell mutation in the sun and pollution. It's also an anti-inflammatory, so it calms and hydrates sensitive skin. It is a long list this with the positive properties of vitamin E oil for the skin. I will only add the SPF protection (especially when combined with vitamin C oil they form a natural sunscreen) and it also helps with acne scarring...

Apricot kernel oil is found in many different types of cosmetics and personal care products, including soaps, creams, lotions, ointments, shampoos and conditioners. Unlike some oils that remain on the surface of the skin, apricot kernel oil is readily absorbed without leaving a greasy residue. If you tend to experience dry, itchy skin after bathing or showering, this is the perfect oil to lightly apply to damp skin.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Warning signs, days before a heart attack

Warning signs days, or weeks before a heart attack


Do not neglect these signs the body is giving to warn you of a possible heart attack. 

1. Rapid and irregular heartbeat

Sudden, unexplained episodes of rapid, irregular heartbeat and pulse can predate a heart attack by days, or even weeks. An irregular heartbeat accompanied by an increase in the number of beats per minute (more than 120 beats per minute) can indicate a serious problem. The symptoms are easy to confuse with a panic attack. Your heart may feel like it’s pounding, as if you’d just run for the bus or had a terrible fright. The episodes are likely to come on suddenly. Typically, there’s no obvious trigger for the sudden heartbeat acceleration and arrhythmia. Just call the doctor right away.

2. Nausea or stomachache 

This symptom is particularly common in women, over the age of 60. Although most people associate angina with chest pain, in many cases the body sends those pain signals down into the abdomen. Poor circulation and lack of oxygen circulating in the blood (caused by a weak heart or blocked arteries) can lead to ongoing nausea, indigestion, or vomiting. Watch your symptoms for a few days to rule out a stomach virus or food poisoning. If symptoms persist, get a checkup for gastrointestinal illness, but make sure to ask your doctor to consider heart health as well.

3. Exhaustion

A sense of crushing fatigue that lasts for days, weeks, or even months can signal heart trouble months before a heart attack occurs. This isn’t run-of-the-mill fatigue but the debilitating kind you’d typically associate with having the flu. Fatigue comes on suddenly, without any clear explanation such as extreme exertion, lack of sleep, or illness. Typically you’ll start the day with close to normal energy but become increasingly tired, feeling exhausted by afternoon. A heavy feeling in the legs is another sign. Women should be particularly alert for unexplained, long-lasting fatigue.

4. Insomnia and anxiety

Sudden onset of insomnia when you haven’t experienced this problem before is a signal to watch out for. It may be the way of your body telling you that something is not right. Ask yourself whether the anxiety is related to recent events or triggers, or whether it seems abnormal in proportion to life events. Sudden, unexplained anxiety or insomnia should be discussed with your doctor.

5. Pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw or arm 

The pain may travel up the neck to the jaw and even to the ear, or radiate down the shoulder to the arm and hand, or it may center between the shoulder blades. The pain may feel sharp, or it may be a dull ache such as you’d feel with a pulled muscle. The pain comes and goes, rather than persisting unrelieved, as with a pulled muscle. Pain that doesn’t go away after several days merits a medical checkup. If the pain seems to move or radiate upward and out, this is important to tell to your doctor.

6. Breathless, or difficulty taking a deep breath

When you can’t draw a deep breath, you probably assume it’s your lungs, but it could be the result of too little oxygen circulating in your blood from a weakened heart. Officially known as dyspnea, shortness of breath is often the first sign of serious heart disease. 

7. Excessive sweating

Flu-like symptoms, like clammy skin or sweatiness, that aren’t accompanied by a fever, that last longer than a week, or that come and go over a long period of time, are signs that there’s some other underlying cause, which may be heart disease.

These are the 7 warning signs your body gives you before a heart attack. Understanding the language your body talks to you, is vital. 

Stay well!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Poolside hair care

Since pools are the most visited in summer, along with the beaches, I’m sharing some tips on how to keep your hair protected, after all that chlorine exposure. What is chlorine damaged hair?  If chlorine has damaged your hair, you'll know it for sure. Chlorine damaged hair is very dry, frizzy, especially at the ends, bleached out, and often feels a little like straw (ever see the green tinge in some swimmers’ hair? Blame chlorine for that!). So consider this 3 tips to protect your hair.

Rinse off: Shower before entering the pool. Do not forget to dampen your hair with clean water, too. Rinsing off beforehand is not only for sanitary reasons, but it is the best way to protect your hair, because your hair follicles will open up and absorb the clean water of your shower, leaving less “room” to soak up any drying, chlorinated pool water. 

Condition: Use a spray or cream-based leave-in conditioner before you hit the pool. Look for the ingredient “dimethicone”, because it creates a barrier between your hair and the chlorine water. It also gives shine to your hair and smooths it out.

Clarify: After a day at the pool, make sure you immediately rinse off again so the chlorine doesn’t have a chance to settle into your hair and dry. 

And there you have it in 3 simple steps, to protect poolside hair.

Stay well!

DIY ice cucumber pads

DIY
This is a great idea to eliminate those puffy eyes. It’s easy, natural and all you need is cucumber juice. There is a saying that "if you can not eat it, then don’t put it on your skin".

All you need is cucumber juice, cotton pads, and a ziploc bag. 

Soak the cotton pads in the cucumber juice, squeeze out the excess, lay them flat in a ziploc bag, and freeze! Simple, easy, and so refreshing for your eyes. 

So, when you get up in the morning, take 2 pads out and let them thaw for a little bit (maybe while you shower), pop them on your eyes for about 10 minutes, and that's it! Your eyes will feel much more awake and hydrated!

Now go on and start juicing those cucumbers tonight for a refreshing start in the morning! 

Stay well

Monday, July 22, 2013

Prince William's wife Kate gives birth to royal baby boy

Kate and Prince William
The Royal Baby boy weights 3.8 kilograms and was born at 4.24 pm. The boy's name will be announced in due course, the statement said but bookmakers make George the favorite name, followed by James.

As the birth was announced, a loud cheer went up and media gathered outside St. Mary's Hospital in west London, where William was born to the late Princess Diana in 1982. 

Westminster City Council celebrated the announcement of the baby boy's birth with blue lighting in the fountains in Marble Arch and the Golden Jubilee bridge. 

London mayor Boris Johnson said Trafalgar Square's famous fountains will be lit with blue lights for the next seven days in celebration of the royal birth.

London's Living Room at the top of City Hall will also use blue lighting over the next seven days to celebrate the royal birth.

In Sorrento, Italy, for example, free ice cream was given today to all the English people, just for the occasion.

Soon after the the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the hospital, they will publish family photos, with the baby. You can check out the photos of previous royal babies in here.

Congrats to the royal couple! 

How to manage stress?

Stress... When I was a child and heard the word 'stress', I was like: 'How can it be that everyone seems not to be able to control stress... How come this 'stress' is so powerful. . What is this feeling I don't have?'

Though I was lucky enough, not to know at those times what stress was like, I was curious and I though of stress as a game that only adults were allowed to play... In fact, later on I found out that indeed stress in excess, is a very dangerous state of mind... The only way for me to deal with stress, is to imagine what my inner child would do with it and act upon in.

Think of stress not like an enemy to combat, but as an ally that will help you to play the chess of life.  BUT, do not give it any power... Stress is just a soldier in your inner field. 

If you are torn out because of your stress and you seem to lack energy and determination, or you are fed up the the situation life put you in, just pause everything in your head, clear your thoughts and take it slow. Try to find the cause of your problems... Is it you, or is it that the behavior of other people around you is not up your league and is causing you to feel drained? You can not control how others act, but you are in charge of you! No one can control your life, except you. Know this and do not give other people more power than they should have. Learn to say "No" and avoid the unnecessary stress. Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities when you’re close to reaching them. Taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.

Avoid people who stress you out. It is as simple as that. If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely. 

Avoid specific topics that you repeatedly argue about. If it is the same subject, the topic of your arguments with the same people, stop bringing it up or excuse yourself when it’s the topic of discussion.

Also, don’t take a backseat in your own life. Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them.

When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for inner growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes. 

And the best advice I can give you on how to manage stress is to develop your sense of humor. I am not saying to make fun of everything, just to be able to see the lighter side of them...Having a sense of humor will help you to diffuse even the most difficult of situations. 

Oh, and do not forget to pamper yourself!!!

Stay well!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Myths about Ulcerative Colitis

Hey guys, check out this list below! In this list, which you can find in nearly all the web pages that talk about this disease, you can see the foods to avoid in order to not aggravate your colon condition! The source of this list seems to be the WHO (World Health Organization).



The list of foods to avoid: 

· alcohol
· caffeine
· carbonated beverages
· dairy products, if lactose intolerant
· dried beans, peas, and legumes
· dried fruits, berries, fruits with pulp or seeds
· foods containing sulfur or sulfate
· foods high in fiber, including whole-grain products
· hot sauce, pepper
· meats
· nuts, crunchy nut butters
· popcorn
· products containing sorbitol (sugar-free gum and candies)
· raw vegetables
· refined sugar
· seeds
· spicy foods, sauces

Now let me explain you something. First of all, the etiology (cause) of the Ulcerative Colitis is not very well known to us. We know what happens in the large intestine (colon) and the rectum, but we don't know what caused this syndrome or disease, when it is in its aggravated form. We don't know if the cause is some kind of bacteria, a virus, a genetic disorder, social conditions, climacteric conditions, if it is autoimmune or not (which is one of the main hypothesis) or some of these things altogether. 

But, we do know that some of the patients become very irritated, when they take one or some of the foods mentioned in this list. 

Usually all who suffer from this disease, know very well the foods that cause them problems, so they tend to avoid them, but what I am trying to say in this post is this:

You know your body better than your doctor, so if you are suffering from this disease and you have one special food that triggers your illness, then try to avoid it as much as possible, but do not avoid all the foods in that list at once, because it is nonsense! 

In that list there are some of the most indispensable foods that you will need for your well being. How can we live if we don't eat raw vegetables, meats, seeds, hot soups, spices and don't drink a little of wine?!

To not eat these things is like a second illness for all who suffer from this disease! So what can you do then?

Like I said, it is not the food that causes ulcerative colitis and if you did find out that a special kind of food triggered the condition of your disease, than avoid only that kind of food , but I will advice you another technique. 

For example: Does coffee trigger your colitis? Find out if it does, when you are drinking it in the morning, without eating the breakfast or not, or in any other situation when you are on empty stomach. If this is the case, then try to drink coffee after breakfast, or when you are full. 

The same logic applies to any food. If nothing happens when you eat/drink the "dangerous" food this way (on full stomach), then "bon app├ętit"! The basic logic here, is that you avoid the "dangerous" food for you, to enter in contact with your bowls all alone. Instead you firstly eat the food that doesn't cause you problems and then you can eat the "forbidden ones" for you. Hope this advice helps. But it is important to note that if you are sure that a kind of food may cause you problems then it is wise to eat it in low quantities or even avoid it, if the way I showed you doesn't help.

But we know one thing for sure about this disease! The stress factor! In all of the chronic bowl problems (ulcerative colitis, crohn disease, irritated bowl syndrome) the stress factor is the number one trigger! 

When the patients suffering from one of these diseases are under stress conditions (lets say something negative happens in their life) their disease becomes active and more problematic.

So, first of all try to reduce the stress factor as much as possible, the only true cure for these kind of diseases, is life style change. Basically you have to get away from the factors that cause you stress. 

There are a lot of techniques to reduce stress and I can't list all of them now , but try to do some sport. You can do sport by just walking in the street or in the park, just walk a little away from your problems and if you can jog than jog. You will find out that physic activity is the best way for your bowl to feel better, because it enhances not only your activity, but even the activity of your intestines. 

Stay well!

Monday, July 15, 2013

How to cure Athlete's foot

Athlete's foot, or scientifically known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the foot’s upper skin layer that causes scaling, flaking, and itching of affected areas. This infection is caused by Trichophyton fungi and it occurs by picking up the fungi while walking bare footed in an contaminated area, using contaminated towels and most commonly by using contaminated shoes. After you pick up this fungus, it requires a warm moist environment, such as the inside of a shoe, in order to incubate. 


Now, I want to keep this post constructive, because i am aware that if you are reading this post either you suffer or you have suffered in the past from this infection and you want to get rid of it.

Although there is a cure for this disease, which is usually given even by a general practitioner, not even by a dermatologist, you have to remember same basic rules in order to get rid of this fungus from your feet!

Seems that some of us tend to have this problem and some not. These doesn't mean that those who have this dermatological infection have problems with their immunity or do not care very well for their body or feet. The real reason for this to happen, is that the fungi, in order to grow, needs an incubation time and very specific conditions, such as a warm moist environment, like the inside of a shoe of a person who is wearing it for an entire day, especially if this shoe is not on the quality side and does not let the air circulate. 

If you are wearing nylon socks, this will help the fungus to grow, as well. But, most of all, the main cause of this problem (like we said the fungi needs moisture) is your sweat! And you can't do anything about that! Some people's feet tend to sweat a lot and there is nothing substantial they can do to stop it. But they can prevent the athlete’s foot from occurring to them.

If you are suffering from the symptoms that I mentioned, the skin on the foot, especially between the toes, becomes itchy and there is also a sensation of stinging or burning. The skin may also become dry, flaky, red, scaly and may also crack, there may be oozing or crusting blisters, and swelling. The sole and the side of the foot may develop scaling patterns. In sever cases the toes, soles and the sides of the feet may be affected. 

- In the majority of cases, athlete's foot symptoms are mild and the patient does not need to see a doctor. OTC (over-the-counter, no prescription required) medications can be bought at pharmacies which are effective in clearing up the infection. I recommend you to go to a doctor to examine the severeness of the infection and take the medication if needed. In some cases, especially if the toes are affected, you will need to take the antimycotic drugs, even for three months. After that, you will need to take special care of your feet, in order to not allow the infection to repeat itself.

- After you are diagnosed with athlete’s foot take special care for the others that are living with you, or if you are in public places, because this is a contageous infection. Do not share your shoes, sandals, socks, towels... (anything that your shoes came in contact with) with no one! If the patient scratches the affected area and touches other parts of his/her body, the infection can spread. After touching the affected area, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water

- The infection tends to repeat after some time if you do not change your habits. Try to wear as little as possible shoes and socks. And when you wear them wear quality shoes (loose-fitting, well ventilated shoes). Thick, tight shoes are more likely to trigger athlete's foot because they squeeze the toes together, creating ideal conditions for the fungus to thrive. Change the shoes you wear regularly, so that your footwear is relatively dry. Shoes need time to dry out between wearings. Never share footwear.

- When you come tired from work do not just take out your shoes but take out your socks too and wash your feet! Yes, daily wash of your feet is advisable. Make sure you clean between your toes each time. Make sure your feet are dry before putting your socks, stockings or tights on. 

- Wear socks made from material that draws moisture away from your feet, such as cotton, silk or wool.

- If it helps, apply (antifungal) talcum powder to your feet

- Try to stay as much bare footed as you can, change socks every day and every time you wear shoes for a long time and wash your feet daily. You have to do this because if you are suffering from this issue, you are a person whose feet sweat a lot and the things that I mentioned are the only ones you can do to minimize the ideal conditions for the fungus to grow.

Treatment 

Most topical medications can be bought OTC at your local pharmacy. Topical means it is applied directly onto the skin.your pharmacist may give you one of the following drugs:

- Clotrimazole

- Econazole

- ketoconazole

- miconazole

- terbinafine

- sulconazole

These oral medications may be prescribed by your doctor, either because your symptoms are severe, or perhaps the topical medicines did not work:

- griseofulvin

- terbinafine 

- itraconazole

Stay well!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to reduce bloating?

How to reduce bloating?

I am going to tell you how to reduce bloating, which can be pretty uncomfortable... But firstly, what is bloating? 

Bloating is a swelling in the abdominal area. It happens because you may be overeating, or eating too fast. Here is a tip from me. Try to chew your food as much as you can and take your time. If you eat too fast, you will trick your body in thinking that you are not yet full and you will be still hungry, but if you eat slowly that will not happen. Try to chew your food at least 15-20 times, before swallowing it. Do not forget that it takes about 20 minutes for the signal that you are full, to reach the brain! So, if you eat faster, your brain will think that you are still hungry. 

Also eat in a smaller plate, because again, you will trick your mind that you are still eating a plate full of food, but on the other hand the portion size is much smaller. That's it for tricking your brain. :) Now comes the difficult part... Try to avoid junk food as much as you can and eat healthy. 

1. Try to minimize the consumption of carbonated drinks, because the air bubbles in them cause bloating. Instead of soda try ice tea, which is a diuretic and cleans your body from inside out.
2. Substitute chips for a healthier alternative. Snack on something healthier.
3. Avoid overeating refined carbs, such as white flour bread. Instead try brown rice,whole wheat grain and similar.
4. Avoid table salt as much as you can. The sodium in it is not good for your body.
5.The same is valid for canned food. If you can not avoid it, opt for low sodium ones and do not eat canned food every day.
6. Try Probiotic Yogurt (like Kefir) instead of your daily dairy products. I know I can not give up on cheese, but at least I can substitute milk and yogurt with a healthier alternative. Probiotic yogurt will boost the bacteria in your gut, helping you to digest in a healthier way.
7. Always remember that a good diet reduces bloating and do not neglect drinking plenty of water! 8 glasses a day should be enough. 
8. Add some lemon to your water and drink it first thing in the morning. It helps to clean your body. 
9. Again same with salt, try to avoid refined sugar and choose a healthier alternative, such as brown sugar, agave nectar or even honey.
10. Juice often.
11. Say farewell bloating! ;)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Vinegar wash for your fruits and veggies



You can reduce to minimum your exposure to pesticides and bacteria found on fruits and veggies, with the help of a vinegar and water wash. Experts have discovered that a mixture of white vinegar and water wash kills 98% of bacteria and removes pesticides. Plus, it is really easy to make.

Just fill a bowl with water and add 1/8 to 1/2 cup of vinegar, depending on the size of your bowl and place your fruits and veggies there. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse with water and you are done. Water will be dirty, but fruit will have no  wax or nasty film. This method is great for strawberries, too. If you wash them this way, they will last for weeks.

Simple but effective ;)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dangerous foods for your wellbeing


Artificial sweeteners 

Trying to skip the calories of sugars with artificial sweeteners? No, thanks! This shortcut is not as safe as you may think...

Think basics... In nature there are no artificial sweeteners, so first of all it is not natural! We have invented them with the idea of skipping calories and lowering the cost of the foods. No one can say for sure how healthy these sweeteners are. There are a lot of studies that put a loads of doubts in sweeteners like aspartame. 

According to these studies aspartame increased cancer risk in animals and affected the brains of the mices. Of course, we are talking of big amounts of this chemical. I do not think that taking a coke, which is known to contain aspartam, will have any undesired effect at all, but drinking tons of it every day ... We’ll have to see what happens... 

Artificial sweeteners are sweeter than the sugars, consuming a lot of them each day will increase the level of sweetness that we’ll want to eat with our food. Instead eating honey and brown sugar in low quantity would be the ideal choice for your health. 

On the other hand I think that artificial sweeteners are a good choice for the diabetics and the guys suffering from reactive hypoglycemia.

Table salt

A little salt sprinkled on your plates won’t do a anything bad, but remember that all the foods we use already have their own salt. Try eliminate salt as much as you can, because after all, the table salt is not like the natural sea salt. It is refined, meaning that it doesent have the trace minerals found in the sea salt, even the iodine found in it, is added. We need those trace minerals, found in the unrefined sea salt, if we want to be in good health, but we don’t need too much sodium chloride (found in the table salt) because it tends to increase the blood pressure.

Margarine 

Margarine is not like butter, which is a sub product of milk (basically you take out the fats that are in the milk). Margarine is made from vegetable oils, like the one we use to fry or cook. 

Many years ago, in some parts of the world, for example the eastern communist countries, margarine was prepared even from the crude oil. This is the oil from which diesel is made and is used to run the cars! 

But nowadays the problem with margarine is that it is just too full of trans oils. Beside that, margarine has so many calories that it increases the bad cholesterol. Cholesterol and trans oils accumulate in the blood vessels, especially in the coronaries, being so the cause of a cardiovascular disease, such as a heart attack or a myocardial infarct. Margarine is vegetable, but it is not a good choice for the vegetarians.

Microwave popcorn

Before you sit down to watch your new favorite movie, pop a bowl of kernels in the stove, not in the microwave . 

The bag's liner contains PFOA, a proven intoxicant and carcinogen in animals. This chemical clings on to popcorn and studies have linked it to infertility.

Microwave food

Use your microwave oven to heat and not to cook your foods. Drinking a hot soup from the microwave, is ok, but cooking with the microwave oven is not the same. It is belived that the microwaves tend to destroy the natural shape of the food molecules, because the range of these waves is at the molecular level. This is believed to happen only if you are cooking the foods for a long time, so be confident that nothing will happen, if you use the microwave ovens to just warm up your food. 

GMO-s (Genetically modified organisms or known as genetically modified food)

World population has passed 7 billion people and is still growing. All these people are hungry at one point or another. Feeding them is not easy, because it is well known that the earth resources have a limit. Plus the crops tend to be very vulnerable to diseases and aridity, or even wetness. 

So, the need for genetically modified crop, to resist these kind of challenges, has aroused. It is difficult these days to distinguish the GMOs from the natural food. They can be found in all kinds of processed foods, used to feed the animals, whose products we consume. In some countries, it is not even obligatory to write on the labels, if the food is GMO or not. You really can’t find out the truth, but there are countries where GMOs are forbidden to enter. If you live in Europe, avoiding GMO foods is easier, since laws require labeling. In the US and Canada, however, food manufacturers are not required to label if their food is genetically modified or not. 

Genetically modified foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. The effects on humans that consume these new combinations of proteins, produced in GMOs, are unknown and have not been studied.

The only negative side proven about the GMOs, is the allergenic properties that these kind of foods have, to some people, causing even death. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Top foods for thyroid health


The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in the human body. It controls the way you metabolize food, the way you use energy, lose and gain weight, how well or poorly you sleep, and much, much more.

It is well known, but worth mentioning that your thyroid simply can’t function without iodine, and if you are iodine-deficient, higher iodine intake could make all the difference for your thyroid. 

Selenium is another indispensable element to healthy thyroid function. An array of selenium-based proteins and enzymes help to regulate thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism and to maintain just the right amount of thyroid hormones in the blood and tissues, including the liver, kidneys, and thyroid gland, as well as the brain. Selenium-containing enzymes also function as a protective “detox”, preserving the integrity of the thyroid gland when we’re under all kinds of stress.

Zinc, iron, and copper play vital roles in healthy thyroid function as well. Check their levels for a healthy thyroid gland's function. 

In hyperthyroidism, oxidative stress can be particularly high. This happens because the thyroid is more active, and it is using more oxygen, which leads to an accumulation of oxygenated compounds that can harm your cells. 


This is why antioxidants are recommended, especially in hyperthyroidism. The B vitamins (B2, B3, and B6) are also important for thyroid function because they are involved in manufacturing T4.

Foods that support your thyroid gland's health:

IodinePrimary sources: sea vegetables, and seafood, as well as iodized sea salt.
Secondary sources: eggs, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, sesame seeds, beans, garlic
SeleniumBrazil nuts, tuna, organ meats, mushrooms, beef, sunflower seeds
ZincFresh oysters, sardines, beef, lamb, turkey, soybeans, whole grains, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, ginger root, maple syrup
CopperBeef, oysters, lobster, dark chocolate, tomato paste, nuts, beans (soybeans, white beans, chickpeas), sunflower seeds
IronClams, oysters, organ meats, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, white beans, blackstrap molasses, lentils, spinach
Vitamin A
(beta-carotene form)
Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, liver, lettuce
Vitamin CPeppers, kiwifruit, citrus, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, papaya, parsley, greens
Vitamin EWhole grains, almonds, soybeans and other beans, sunflower seeds, peanuts, liver, leafy green vegetables, asparagus
Vitamin B2
(riboflavin)
Almonds, mushrooms, egg yolks
Vitamin B3
(niacin)
Rice bran, wheat bran, peanuts (with skin), liver, poultry white meat
Vitamin B6
(pyroxidine)
Sunflower seeds, wheat germ, fish, liver, beans, walnuts, brown rice, bananas

Stay well! 

How much protein is good for your heart?



When we think protein, the first food that comes into our minds is meat, but we tend to forget that along with proteins meat is full of fats. This can increase the levels of LDL, or known as the 'bad cholesterol' in our bodies, resulting in heart problems...

So, remember that meat is not always the best source of proteins for us...Try to choose low-fat foods with high levels of proteins such as skim milk and lean meat. You can even substitute lean meat with legumes, a cup of legumes gives you about 16 grams of proteins. When making a plate, it is best to combine meat with vegetables,  so you will be getting proteins from different food groups.

The daily recommended doze of proteins required by your body is in short known as RDA or recommended daily allowance and to calculate that, you will have to take into account your weight and age.

There are some special categories that require more proteins than normal. Pregnant women require 10 grams more protein than the amount they consumed before. Lactating women require 20 grams more than their usual consumption in order to support milk production. Athletes require 50% more proteins in comparison with normal people.


Stay healthy! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Essential nutrients for your diet


Essential nutrients are called all the nutrients needed for the normal function of our bodies that either can not be synthesized, or are made in small quantities in our bodies.  We need these nutrients in the right amounts at the right time, if we want to live a healthy life. 


Essential nutrients are divided in four big categories: 
  1. Vitamins,
  2. Dietary minerals,
  3. Essential fatty acids,
  4. Essential Amino acids.
Before entering in details on our needs for each class of nutrients, let's start with a brief explanation.

Vitamins
Vitamins can not be synthesized in our bodies, but they play a very important role in our metabolism. Without them we can not function, because of their role as enzymes and co-enzymes in chemical reactions,  and in the removal of free radicals from the cells. 

Without vitamins, chemical reactions in our body, can not happen. In other words, if the cell needs 'X' molecule, let's say, it gets this molecule, by combining A+B= X, with the help of enzymes. These enzymes work only if the specified vitamin exists. So, if low quantities of the needed vitamin are found in our body, then our organism can not satisfy its need with X molecules. The absence of these X molecules can even cause a disease or an unhealthy condition in our bodies.

The vitamins are never needed in big quantities, they are needed in small amounts at all times. Especially when we get sick, we need more of them, since our metabolism increases its rhythm, when fighting a disease or an infection. 

Dietary minerals

Dietary minerals, or mineral nutrients are the chemical elements required by all living species, other than the four elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen present in common organic molecules.

Minerals, in order of abundance in the human body include the seven major minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. Important "trace" or minor minerals, necessary for our life, include iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, molybdenum, iodine, and selenium. For more information on this topic, you can read my other post entitled 'Elements of nutrition, indispensable for you', if you haven't already. 

Essential fatty acids


Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must eat, because the body requires them for good health but can not synthesize them. The term "essential fatty acid" refers to fatty acids required for biological processes but does not include the fats that only act as fuel. So, do not use this as an excuse to eat at MC Donald's... ;)

Only two fatty acids are known to be essential for humans: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid)

Essential Amino acids


An essential amino acid or indispensable amino acid is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized from scratch by our organism and therefore must be supplied in the diet.

Daily requirements

The amino acids regarded as essential for humans are phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, lysine, and histidine. Additionally, cysteine (or sulphur-containing amino acids), tyrosine (or aromatic amino acids), and arginine are required by infants and growing children.

Stay healthy!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Anemia, causes and symptoms

Anemia is linked with iron and specific protein deficiencies. Broccoli is full of these nutrients, so it forms an excellent choice for anemia treatment through food. The components of broccoli are carbohydrates, fatty acids such as omega-3, proteins, A vitamin, B complex, C and E vitamin, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, chrome, potassium, manganese, water, fiber etc. 


According to statistics one in five people on earth, is suffering from anemia. The first anemia symptoms are the feeling of tiredness, fatigue, pale skin, a fast or irregular heartbeat,shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, cognitive problems, cold hands and feet, headache and similar. Firstly anemia can be so mild that it goes unnoticed. But symptoms increase as anemia worsens and the iron deficiency aggravates.

Since iron enters our body through food it is very important to eat regularly iron enriched foods, such as liver, red meat, mussels, ton fish, mushrooms, dried fruits, egg yolk, green vegetables etc. The absorption of iron increases with consumption of vitamin C, but the consumption of calcium decrease iron uptake by the body, so be careful about that.

It is very important to consult your doctor, if you think you have anemia. This disease is discovered by doing a blood test and a physical exam. The doctor then may give you iron medicine with some B complex vitamins, or similar,depending on how advanced is the stage of anemia you have. Sometimes even blood transfusions may be necessary.

If you have anemia, it means that your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body. As I mentioned earlier, the most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, which is an iron-rich protein that gives the red color to blood. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

Anemia has three main causes, known to be:
  • blood loss, 
  • lack of red blood cell production, 
  • high rates of red blood cell destruction.
Conditions that may lead to anemia include heavy menstrual periods, ulcers, colon polyps, pregnancy, colon cancer, inherited disorders, a poor diet in iron, folic acid or B12 vitamins deficiency, blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, or even cancer.

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