Category Archives: Health

How clean are beauty testers?

All department stores have rows of different eyeshadows, lipsticks, blush, mascara, and other beauty products waiting for you to test them out.

But honestly, how clean can hey be after they’ve been sitting there daily for a while collecting dust, germs, and even worse: fecal matter… tiny bits of poop from those who don’t wash their hands after going. >:(

mac day 6
photo credit: Idhren

It is a fact that only about 80-85% of people actually wash their hands after using public bathrooms.

All department stores should offer plastic applicators to offer their customers, but sometimes fingers are used. It’s definitely better than applying directly from the bottle or container, but it can still cause problems. Serious infections can be spread from sharing cosmetics between women like  pink eye,e-coli and herpes (ocular herpes, it’s real). If a woman has a cut on her lip and tests out a lipstick shade at a store directly from the tube and five minutes later another woman tries on the same lipstick, there’s a chance the second woman will get a herpes blister on her lip soon after (quoted from an LA times article). Same goes for if she didn’t wash her hands and touched the lipstick, the second lady would ingest small fecal particles. Gross right? Most often than not, those beauty store testers are usually hoarding germs, bacteria, dust and occasionally infections.

If you must use the tester products be sure to use the plastic applicators, wash it off soon after and avoid getting it in your eyes, mouth, or nostrils. Then again, is it really worth it? What are your thoughts on this topic?!

on_the_shelf shot#2
photo credit: XcBiker

Tips to help prevent getting a cold

Winter time is also known as “the cold season” and for most people it’s hard not to catch one. Colds are caused by one of over 200 viruses, but by following these tips you can try and avoid getting sick. It’s always harder to enjoy the holidays when the weather gets you down.

  • Germs are spread from person to person, that’s why washing your hands often is vital. Wash with warm water and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Avoid sharing drinks with those who already have a cold, and if you have a cold stay home and rest for faster recovery.
  • Eat whole foods, they help boost your immunity level. Meats, poultry, dairy, fruits and veggies are great examples of whole foods. Build your diet around them and avoid sugars and starches. Probiotics improve your bodys’ ability to fight infections and raise immunity a perfect example is plain yogurt.
  • Stay hydrated and drink warm liquids around colder seasons. If you don’t like coffee try tea, there are also caffeine-free options.
  • Don’t skip breakfast. Skipping those early vitamins and proteins to get your day going make it easier for your immune system to slow down and allow germs and viruses to attack.
  • Take your daily dose of vitamin C. Whether you prefer it in pill form or eating an actual orange is up to you, but make sure you get between 500-2000mg a day. Echinacea is also said to be helpful in preventing colds. It’s a flowering plant found throughout the U.S. and Canada. It comes in the form of supplements, liquid extracts and teas made from it’s leaves, stem, flower and roots.
  • Avoid stress and remember the number 8! Get your daily 8 hours of sleep and drink your daily 8 glasses of water.

These are tips you should live by not just to prevent colds but for overall health as well. Do you have any tips you find useful to prevent colds?

Lose weight and keep it off

The hardest part of losing weight is getting started,

once you start seeing results you’ll get hooked and it will be smooth sailing from there!

Losing ten lbs overnight is unrealistic.

Losing ten lbs in one month can be accomplished. The recommended amount of weight you should loose is about 2-3 lbs per week. Daily exercise along with a healthy and balanced meal plan will give you that body you’ve been wanting. Keep reading for a few simple tips you can follow to loose weight and keep it off!

1. Drink water daily.

8 glasses a day is the recommended amount.

2. Workout for thirty minutes daily.

You have to do cardio and weight training in order to loose lbs and tone your body as well. You can trade off doing weights one day and cardio the next to give your muscles a rest.

3. Plan your meals in advance and try to eat at about the same time daily.

If you know what you’ll be eating in advance there’s less of a chance that you’ll eat junk or more than you should. Portion control is the key. Don’t restrict yourself, just eat in smaller portions. And remember, always eat breakfast and never skip meals. This aids in keeping your metabolism active throughout the day.

4. Keep a food journal.

Jot down your meals, caloric value, and physical activity done per day. Doing this will make you aware of everything that goes in your mouth and help you change your eating habits.

5. Weigh yourself at least once a week.

I know people say “don’t weigh yourself daily you’ll get obsessed!” but there’s a difference between being obsessed and aware. Remember being healthy and fit involves more than a number on a scale. Don’t freak out , run to the gym and starve yourself if you gained a pound. Your weight fluctuates daily between 5-10lbs because of a few reasons including weather and water intake. Also, muscle weighs more than fat so don’t give up if the numbers don’t go down right away.

6. Lifting weights means you have to get your protein.

Eat foods high in it like meat, chicken and fish. Eat your veggies as well, mom was right they’re good for you! Remember that food pyramid from back in health class?

7. To get sleek- well defined muscles use light weights and more repetitions.

For example, lift lighter or moderate weights and do about 5 sets of 10-13 reps.

8. Take up yoga or pilates.

These workouts are great in toning your entire body. They use your own weight for resistance and target specific problem areas. Circuit training is another great option. It’s a combination of light weights and exercises to help tone your body and burn fat.

Remember a healthy and balanced diet along with daily physical activity are needed for your success.

These tips have helped me out and I hope you enjoy them as well!

* This information is not intended to substitute medical opinions, seek a health-care professional for that*

Stop sugar cravings

Sitting around on an empty stomach is the perfect chance for those dreaded sugar cravings to arise. Imagine working late waiting around for the clock to tick faster with a vending machine inviting you to try its goodies. It’s hard to resist the temptation when your mind is occupied and the only thing around is junk.

The more sugar-filled foods you put in your body, the harder it is to resist them, but there are a few things you can do to stop your sugar cravings.

raspberry cake
photo credit: jonrawlinson

To stop first you must know why sugar cravings happen.

Two of the main reasons why you get sugar cravings are adrenaline which is pretty much when your body needs energy, and serotonin a feel good hormone which is released in short bursts by sugars. Usually sugar cravings are predominant when you’re distracted, stressed, or for some women before their period. Having some sugar in your diet isn’t bad. Your body needs some sugar to function, but most of the time we overdo it.

Sugar is found in lots of foods, here’s a few other names used to disguise it :

Brown sugar, corn syrup,demerara sugar,dextrose, free flowing brown sugars, fructose, galactose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup,invert sugar, lactose, malt, molasses, maple syrup, sucrose, and maltose.

Keep reading to learn a couple things you can do to stop your sugar cravings!

sugar packet
photo credit: TheTruthAbout…

-cut down your sugar intake over time don’t try going cold turkey. And if you do overindulge don’t beat yourself up for it, instead see why it happened and how you could change it. For instance, If your used to drinking a soda daily, try limiting to two sodas a week and keep cutting down as the weeks go by. Don’t try to live a sugar-free life we all need some sugar in our bodies. The key is portion control.

-drink more water. Drink at least eight glasses of water. Sometimes people mistake hunger for thirst, so before you go for that donut drink a glass of water! Keeping hydrated keeps you alert and prevents overindulging.

-exercise daily. Keep a balanced diet. Eat more veggies and fruits.This will help keep your body strong and healthy. Working out daily releases serotonin and prevents stress, which in turn will make it easy to prevent sugar cravings. Keeping a balanced diet and eating more veggies will keep you full longer and make it easier to skip that unnecessary sugary snack. Avoid processed foods. They are usually super high in sugar and salt.

-keep healthy snacks at hand. Such as sliced apples, baby carrots, nuts, dried fruits and berries. Avoid keeping too much junk food around. Instead of buying a gallon of ice cream and keeping it at home go out and buy a single serving when you want a sweet treat!

-get enough rest. If you skip your recommended eight hours a day you’re body will suffer overtime. You might experience health consequences Iike high blood pressure, trouble concentrating, and even high cholesterol. While you’re sleeping, you’re immune system and organs are working on cleansing and restoring.

-try to eat your meals at the same time everyday and don’t skip meals. This will help regulate your body and prevent eating when you’re not supposed to.

Hope you enjoyed and found these sugary tips useful. Are there any tips or tricks you use to fight sugar cravings? I’d love to hear them!

lollipop
photo credit: Flóra




Kawasaki Disease Awareness

Kawasaki Disease is a serious heart condition affecting young children.

Kawasaki Disease is an important issue facing children today. It is especially important to me because my beautiful niece is a kawasaki survivor and i feel urged to dedicate this special post towards raising awareness about this condition.

kawasaki_disease

First let me briefly explain what Kawasaki disease is.

Kawasaki disease is one that most often affects young children of Japanese and in some cases Latin/Hispanic descent. Symptoms of this disease usually start with high fever which can reach 104F or higher, bloodshot eyes, body rashes, cracked dry lips, red strawberry-like tongue, peeling skin, swollen lymph nodes, irritability, joint and abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and a rapid heart beat. It affects many organs including, the skin, mucous membranes, lymph nodes, blood vessel walls, and the heart.

If untreated Kawasaki can cause serious damage to the heart or in worse cases it can be fatal.

This weekend my sister, niece, and I attended the Kawasaki Disease Parent Symposium held in San Diego. We had the privilege of meeting Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki , who first discovered this disease in 1967. He was a very kind man and even though his English wasn’t great  (he brought his translator with him) he still got his point across and managed to throw in some jokes here and there! Mr. And Mrs. Dr. Kawasaki flew all the way from Japan to attend the symposium and gala afterward. It was held at the University of san Diego and attracted quite a few individuals looking to gain further knowledge. The point of this symposium was to teach about the disease as well as raise awareness on research that is being done. Since there haven’t been many cases it’s hard to fully understand it without research.

Overall this experience was great it gave me a better understanding of Kawasaki disease and I’m glad to know a team of specialists in San Diego is working hard to gain more knowledge in this issue.

Please show your support for Kawasaki Awareness!

Visit this blog to learn more about Kawasaki disease.

Raising awareness is the first step to battle this heartbreaking disease.

Eat to lose weight

Yes it sounds crazy but done correctly you will see a difference in how your clothes start fitting. The starvation diet never works it will temporary help you shed water weight but as soon as you go back to eating normal meals you will gain it all and sometimes more weight back. You’re better off eating multiple meals throughout the day.

loseweightfast

You can eat 6 meals including snacks every 2- 3 hours. Doing this will keep your metabolism working throughout the day and prevent over eating. Eat foods rich in protein and trade sugary snacks for fruits and veggies. Avoid sodas and processed foods. You can eat takeout and treat yourself once a week, If you try to completely cut it out you might end up over indulging and confusing your body with a sugar rush. Since your eating many meals throughout the day make sure they’re smaller. Try eating meals that are around 250-300 calories ( more or less depending on your weight, consult a physician before). Make sure not to skip meals as this can confuse your body and mess up your progress. The most important meal of the day is breakfast, so be sure you eat a hearty one. Another thing you can do to keep tabs on your progress is using a food diary to keep track of how many calories and meals you consume daily.
Remember eating food is what keeps your body fueled. It’s like gas for a car. With the proper nutrition it will be easier for you to attain that body you’ve always wanted!