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Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

WebMD – Expert Q&A: Fighting Midlife Weight Gain

Posted by 4love2love on July 26, 2011

An interview with Pamela Peeke, MD
By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

First, you notice shopping for clothes isn’t as fun or simple as it used to be. Next comes the “muffin top” spilling over the jeans. Then the scale delivers dire news: You’re 10, 15, maybe 20 pounds beyond your “normal” weight.

Midlife weight gain is common. Many Americans gain a pound or so every year as they make their way through young adulthood, ending up fat and flabby at age 40 and beyond.

But it is not inevitable, says Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, the author of the best-seller Fight FatAfter Forty. Peeke also serves as the chief medical correspondent for Discovery Health TV and often appears as a medical commentator on television news and talk shows.

Why do so many people gain weight in midlife?

Blame it on hormones in convergence with poor lifestyle choices, overeating, not exercising enough, and stress.

But hormones only account for about 2 to 5 pounds. The rest is the result of overeating, poor lifestyle choices — such as not exercising enough — and stress.

How can I not be one of those people who gains?

The keys are three: mind, mouth, muscle.

Use your mind to control stress. If you walk around and everything is stressful, you have a problem. You may respond to stress by making poorer lifestyle choices, such as not eating healthfully and not exercising enough.

Look at your nutrition — in terms of quality, quantity, and frequency of eating. You should eat often.

Quality is all about eating whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein.

Processed foods are bad. Anything that comes in a family-size bag, turn in the opposite direction and run.

Quantity is where a lot of people fall. The majority are baffled by what a serving size should look like. When eating out, and in doubt, eat half of it or less.

Be accountable for calories. You need a general idea of how many calories you need. An average woman, not an athlete, in her 40s or 50s, needs about 1,500 to 1,600 calories a day, on average, if she is exercising. A middle-aged man, average height and not an athlete but exercising, needs about 1,800 to 2,000.

Muscle, of course, refers to the need to exercise and, of course, to weight train.

Should my goal weight increase when I hit midlife?

A better goal than focusing on scale weight is to keep track of body fat. The goals should be to decrease body fat and optimize bone strength.

For a man, a body fat percentage of 18% to 25% is not bad for 40-plus. For women 40-plus, 22% to 27% is not bad.

To get that body fat percentage, you need to have excellent fitness to maintain a good muscle base.

Also, a man should have a waist circumference below 40 inches and a woman below 35 inches.

I’m 40-plus, eating right, and exercising but not losing weight. Why do I have midlife weight gain?

If you have tailored your portion sizes to ones that are appropriate, look at the frequency of your eating. Eat every three or four hours. But not too late at night. The later you eat, the lighter you eat is a good rule.

Eat a balance of lean protein, fats, and carbs. Make the fat good fat, not palm oil or hydrogenated oil, but high-quality good fats [such as those in nuts]. The protein should be lean — a turkey burger or a veggie burger.

Most people have been doing the same exercise routine for years, and your body acclimates. Fat cells at 40 are reticent to give it up. Mix up the exercise routine. Exercise at least five times a week, and I mean cardio.

Add intensity. Add some level of weight training, and challenge yourself with the weights. [Getting professional instruction is advised if you’re a novice.] Weight train two or three times a week.

Building muscle gives you that metabolic edge, since muscle mass burns more calories than fat.

Does HRT cause midlife weight gain, is that the culprit?

You can’t blame the low doses of HRT in use today for midlife weight gain, at least not for any more than a few pounds. You do get a little more bloated on it, but it does not cause body fat accumulation. Overeating, not exercising, and stress do.

What’s up with this belly? I never ever had one before.

I call it the menopot. On a man, it’s the manopot.

Excess body fat occurring in the lower abdomen is associated with aging, after 40. This excess body fat in the normal range is usually only 2 to 5 pounds. And you do get a little pooch.

How can I lose this belly?

You minimize it by following the mind-mouth-muscle concepts.

But it’s probably unrealistic to expect a stomach as flat as your 20-something stomach.

Can I boost my metabolism?

Absolutely. You can optimize your metabolism throughout life relative to your age by maintaining the highest level of training you can, within the limits and constraints of your life.

If you lose muscle mass [by not exercising], obviously your metabolism is going to drop.

Of course strength or weight training is crucial.

What workout or workouts are best for midlife people?

Creative cardio. Burn 400 to 500 calories a day in cardio. On the elliptical, for instance, you can burn about 400 calories in about 35 minutes. Cross train as much as you can. Burn the 400 to 500 calories all at once or accrue it.

And don’t forget the weight training.

What’s your weakness? What’s the hardest part, for you, of staying on track and fighting flab after 40?

Because of long days and all my commitments, getting enough sleep. I remind myself: the poorer your sleep, the wider your girth.

Eating dinner not too late. Sometimes I am on a plane or a train, I don’t have the control I want over how late I eat. In general, do not eat dinner past 8:30. I like to eat right about 7.

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WebMD – You Asked! Expert A’s to Your Beauty Q’s: Pretty Feet

Posted by 4love2love on July 24, 2011

Step into spring with our expert picks for softer, more radiant feet.
By Ayren Jackson-Cannady
WebMD the Magazine – Feature
Reviewed by Karyn Grossman, MD

In each issue of WebMD the Magazine, our experts answer your questions aboutskin care, beauty, makeup, hair care, and more. In our March-April 2011 issue, Daphne LaSalle, 30, who lives on the U.S. Air Force Base in Altus, Okla., asked about beautifying her feet for summer. We ran her question by two doctors: Eric Reynolds, DPM, a podiatrist in Jersey City, N.J., and Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, who is co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C., as well as an assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: What can I do now to get my feet soft and ready to show off by sandal season?

Tanzi’s top picks:

A: Thick, dry patches pop up on heels during winter months because feet are often crammed into heavy socks and boots that don’t allow for effective exfoliation of dead skin. To loosen up that scaly epidermis, use a nightly cream likeDr. Scholl’s Ultra Overnight Foot Cream($6.99), containing aloe and palm oil to soothe tough skin.

To buff the dead skin away once it’s been softened, try the PedEgg Pro Pedicure Foot File with Handle ($12.99). It’s better than a pumice stone for gently sanding down thick skin on the heel and ball of the foot because its stainless-steel micro files stay sharp. Once the bottoms of your feet are smooth, keep them hydrated with an emollient-rich lotion likeL’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream ($26), which is packed with moisture-locking shea butter.

If you painted your toes in rich, dark hues throughout the winter, you may be noticing some nail yellowing. Take a break from polish for a week or two, and the discoloration will slowly fade. Once you’re back to coating your toenails in polish, be sure to start with a clear base coat without formaldehyde, a chemical that can react with the keratin protein in nails and make them change colors. The formaldehyde-free OPI Start-to-Finish Base & Top Coat ($12.50) is a good one to try.

Reynolds’s top picks:

A: During winter months when humidity is low, skin dries out more rapidly. In some cases, feet get so dry they peel or crack. While there are plenty of prescriptionmedications that work wonders, I like to start with home remedies, which are inexpensive and can be just as effective.

To soften super-dry areas, soak your feet in original Listerine AntisepticMouthwash ($4) (yes, Listerine!) once or twice a week. Mix one part Listerine with two parts warm water in a basin and soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes, then apply a moisturizer like Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Foot Creme ($5.59), which contains hydrating urea. In addition to skin-sloughing benzoic acid, Listerine contains ethanol, which kills bacteria, fungi, and germs that can lead to athlete’s foot.

Coating feet in a cream like Burt’s Bees Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Bilberry Foot Creme ($10), which is loaded with moisture-replenishing honey and jojoba oil, and wearing socks to bed is an excellent way to lock in moisture for softer feet. If you can’t stand to sleep in socks, place a humidifier at the foot of your bed to keep feet hydrated. Treat thick, dry patches on your feet by massaging them with Vicks VapoRub topical ointment ($3) in the p.m. to battle bacteria while you sleep.

Symptoms of Common Foot Problems

A normal nail bed is pink and smooth. Anything other than that may be a sign of a serious medical condition, Reynolds says. Here’s what to be wary of.

Are your nails brown or black?

See a doctor ASAP. A black or brown spot on your nail could be an indication ofmelanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

Are they green?

This might be a bacterial or fungal infection caused by trauma to the nail. The tint could be from trapped fluid or pus underneath the nail.

Are there horizontal ridges?

Bumpy lines that run across the nail may be an indication of chronic eczema on the skin under or around the toenail.

Are there vertical ridges?

Some people with rheumatoid arthritis or problems with circulation have lines running along the length of their toenails.

The opinions expressed in this section are of the experts and are not the opinions of WebMD. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

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FDA Alert – Public Notification: Slim Forte Slimming Capsule and Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules – Undeclared Drug Ingredient

Posted by 4love2love on July 24, 2011

July 8, 2011

ISSUE
: FDA is advising consumers not to purchase or use Slim Forte Slimming Capsule and Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules. FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that these products contain sibutramine. Sibutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the U.S. market in October 2010 for safety reasons. These products pose a threat to consumers because sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. These products may also interact in life threatening ways with other medications a consumer may be taking.

BACKGROUND: Slim Forte Slimming Capsule and Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules are products marketed for weight loss, sold on various websites and distributed by LA Beauty Store, Inc. This notification is to inform the public of a growing trend of products marketed as dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals.

RECOMMENDATION: Consumers should stop using these products immediately and throw them away. Consumers who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a health care professional as soon as possible.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[07/08/2011 – Public Notification – FDA]

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WebMD – Everyday Fitness

Posted by 4love2love on July 18, 2011

with Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

Living life to the fullest is all about striving for a mind-body balance every day. Achieve a mental, nutritional, and physical transformation for life with tips from wellness expert Pamela Peeke, MD.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Glorious Glutes for a Sunsational Summer

Your Best Beach Body, Part Three

Welcome to Week Three of our “Back to the Beach” six week campaign. If you’ve missed the first two weeks, or need a refresher, click here. We’ve begun our Beach Mind Beach Body journey, but this time with a mental and physical twist.

Instead of obsessing about body parts, I’m asking you to engage your mind to see how your lifestyle behaviors are reflected in how you look and feel. If you do, you’ll experience a royal win win — by being more mindful of your body all day, your body will benefit by all of that attention. You’ll look great and feel so much better. This week we’ll use your beautiful behind as a case in point.

Hey, call it what you want — behind, booty, derriere — those soft pillows of feminine flesh serve you well all day. They power you out of chairs, up the stairs and straighten you up after tying your sneakers. I’ll bet you didn’t know that the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body. Keep in mind, that, like all other muscles, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Simple routines that anyone can do will keep your rear end from sagging into those less than attractive rolls of bountiful butt straining your pant seams.

Many of you have a love-hate relationship with your butt. Well, that ends now. It’s time for you to express your own Glute Gratitude. Yep, let’s take what you’ve got and appreciate and optimize it.

Staying consistent with my MIND MOUTH MUSCLE template, you’re going to enter this third week with Power MIND. As I’ve noted in the previous blogs, you’ll fight any urge to default back to self-denigrating comments about your body. We’ll have none of that! Instead, this week you’ll say, “I’m smart, beautiful and fun and this week I’m going to practice body gratitude.” Every day, wake up and appreciate all of the body parts that work. Stop concentrating on what you can’t do, and pay attention to what you can do. This is especially true for as you age. Joints are creaking and there’s that recurring pain. Adapt and adjust and be happy you’re here today to rock and roll through another 24 hour life adventure.

Moving to the MOUTH, how about a few simple tricks to help you with the cravings that can destroy your best beach body intentions? Get over the urge to splurge by:

1) Medicating with Movement: Stop using food to anesthetize your stresses. Instead, get up and move. Research has shown that when that creepy craving starts to hit, you should hit the road. All it takes is 15 minutes of walking to increase levels of both the pleasure chemical dopamine as well as the mood modulator serotonin. In combination, they help you win the food fight.

2) Pound down the Protein: Got a craving? Grab lean protein all day long — for meals and snacks. Protein helps to curb the “I’m starving and I need to eat everything that’s not tacked down” hunger hormone, ghrelin. Avoid only eating protein at main meals. If you include protein in your snacks (low fat dairy, peanut butter on apple slices), you’ll keep this hunger hormone in check all through the day.

3) Substitute: Hey, it’s OK to have a treat every now and again. When you do, how about creating a tasty, healthy “cheat” by doing simple substitutions. Instead of grabbing something with boatloads of addictive refined sugar, make a fruit parfait with fresh berries and yogurt. Forget the potato chips and instead have hummus and carrots.

Now it’s time to honor that gluteal MUSCLE. I love these exercises because most are simple and easy to do throughout the day. Remember to always check with your medical team before you engage in any physical activities, especially if you have a medical and/or physical condition.

1) Stop Sitting So Much: Get up more often throughout the day. Walk while you talk on the phone. I always recommend standing and moving every 30 minutes. You’ll increase your fat burning metabolism as well as engage your muscles to keep them firm and fit.

2)  Stay Mindful of Your Rearful: As many times as you can, become mentally aware of your behind and as you do, contract your glutes. You can be standing in line, walking up stairs or running to the bus. Pay attention to how they feel as you move. As I noted in a previous blog, engaging your core throughout the day keeps your posture upright and makes you appear taller and slimmer. The same is true for the glutes. Become glute aware!

3) Burn Your Butt Fat: As you proceed to do some of the glute exercises, just remember that in addition to strength training and good nutrition, you absolutely need to be doing regular cardio (goal is to burn 400 calories each session) with intensity intervals. That means when you hit the hills by increasing your treadmill’s incline, you’ll cook a ton of calories compared to simply walking on the flat. Crank up your treadmill’s incline to 5%, walking at a pace of around 3.5-4MPH and you’ll burn at least 350 calories per hour, which is a 64% increase over walking on a flat surface. Or ramp up the speed with which you walk. Intensity intervals simply mean adding hills and/or speed every now and again to your workout. Check out the WebMD resources on how to do interval training.

4) Butt Blasters:

  • Backward Leg Toe Touch and Lift: Stand behind a chair, toes facing forward, with both hands placed on top of the chair for stability. Keeping both knees straight, extend your left leg back pointing your toes with your big toe is touching the ground behind you. Gently lift your left leg about 30 degrees off the ground without bending your knee. Tighten your glutes and hold for a count of 10. Bring down and touch the ground with your pointed big toe and lift right back up for another count of 10. Repeat this 5 times and switch sides.
  • Donkey Kick Crossover: Grab a mat and get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders. Keep your left knee and ankle flexed as you lift your knee to hip level behind you. Hold for a count of 5 and bring down, touching the mat briefly and lift again. Repeat 5 times and switch sides.
  • Butt Bridge: Lie face up on a mat with knees bent and feet flat, arms by your side. Left hips slowly off the floor, forming a straight line from knees to shoulders. Tighten your glutes and maintain this bridge position for a count of 10. Bring your butt down for 10 seconds and lift back up again into bridge position for a count of 10. See if you can do it for a count of 20. Repeat 5 times.
  • Sizzling Squat: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your core abdominal muscles. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out to the side. Squat down, never going beyond a 90 degree angle to your lower legs. For novices or anyone with knee issues, just squat down enough to feel your glutes engage well and hold for a count of 3. As you stand up, for an added twist, rotate your trunk to the left and lift your bent left knee in front of you. Return to squat again. Switch sides and repeat. Do this whole set 5 times.
  • Invisible Chair Wall Squat: You can do this anytime and anywhere there’s a wall. Standing straight, place your back on a wall. Squat down as previously described, and imagine you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Squeeze your glutes. Hold for a count of 5-10 (or 20 for the advanced), and stand up. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.

Everything I’ve described is simple and doable. So, do it already! Summer’s around the corner. That’s your “bottom” line! Next week, we’ll move upstairs anatomically to help you with your right to bare strong and fit arms for a sensational season. Keep it going everyone!

Read the Series:

© 2011 WebMD, LLC.

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WebMD – Raising Healthy Kids – Ways to Keep Kids at a Healthy Weight

Posted by 4love2love on July 18, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed By David Ludwig, MD, PhD

If your child is at a healthy weight now, you may wonder what you can do to help him maintain it.

If your child is currently overweight, you may wonder how you can help her stick to a serious diet and exercise plan.

Well, according to experts, rigorous diets and exercise plans are not the healthy habits to be striving for. Singling out an overweight kid will just make him feel persecuted and unhappy. It also won’t work.

Instead, you can help your overweight kid move toward a healthy weight in much the same way you can help a healthy weight kid maintain that healthy weight. How? By making it easy for everyone in your family to make healthy choices and encouraging them to make those choices so consistently that they become your family’s healthy habits.

Making healthy choices can help an overweight kid who is still growing hold his weight steady so he can grow into his weight as he gets taller. Small healthy choices also give healthy weight kids the habits and foundation to maintain their weight.

Healthy Habit 1: Choose to eat dinner as a family.

You can encourage family health by having the whole family sit down to dinner together as often as possible.

It might seem like an indirect way to help with your child’s weight, but experts say it can help. Studies have found that family meals are associated with a healthier diet and lower rates of obesity.

Why? Experts say that social eating is good for us. Family dinners are a healthy habit that help us stay emotionally connected.

Plus, when kids eat on their own — especially plopped down in front of the TV — they might not pay attention to their hunger and absentmindedly overeat.

Finally, when you cook at home, you control the menu, so it’s easier for everyone to eat healthy.

Healthy Habit 2: Don’t let your child set the menu.

It’s potentially a disservice to your family’s health to let a child’s limited tastes dictate the family’s diet. If you do, you might wind up eating hot dogs and mac and cheese every night.

When you’re cooking healthy meals — filled with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy — your child might not like the vegetables that show up on her plate. But keep offering them anyway. Studies show that the more kids are exposed to a food, the more likely they are to try it.

When you’re making a healthy entrée that your child might not like, experts recommend that you include a healthy food that she does like — fruit, for instance — as a side dish. That way, there’s something familiar for her.

If she protests, experts suggest that you be firm: Make it clear that her choices are limited to what you’ve served. Resist the temptation to cave in and make her a separate meal. In time, she’ll come to accept the limits that you’re setting — and will start trying some healthier foods.

Healthy Habit 3: Choose to reduce TV time.

Because many studies have found a clear association between television-watching and obesity, experts say that reducing your kids’ TV time makes sense. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 1 to 2 hours of TV watching a day for kids aged 2 and older. It’s best if children younger than 2 not watch TV at all.

Of course, the most effective way to curb your child’s TV watching is for you to also limit your time in front of it. The easiest way to successfully have a healthy family is for you to lead by example.

Afraid such healthy goals will challenge your poise and patience? If you’re swooping in every 15 minutes, scowling, and clicking off the TV, you might face a revolt — or your kids will just scurry off to a different screen — a computer, video game, or TV in another room.

To keep your cool and remember your goal to have a healthy family, don’t focus on what your kids can’t do, but what they can do. For instance, don’t even mention after-school TV. Instead, create a list of activities — rain or shine — that can be done after school instead of TV watching, like dancing to favorite songs or biking in the neighborhood. Then, help your child pick 1 to try.

Healthy Habit 4: Buy a pedometer for everyone in the family.

It’s not enough for you to demand that your child exercise. Instead, inspire your whole family to move more.

Outfitting each family member with a pedometer encourages healthy habits. Once a kid starts to track how many steps he’s taking, it’s pretty natural to want to take more. At the end of the day, everyone can compare the number of steps they took and chart their progress. It can become a fun competition that leads to better family health. Studies have found that pedometers can be effective in kids as young as 6.

How many steps should your child be taking? While many adults aim for 10,000 steps per day, researchers say that a child’s target should actually be higher. One study found that for kids aged 6 to 12, a healthy goal for girls was 12,000 steps a day and 15,000 steps a day for boys.

That might seem like a lot, but kids are naturally more active than adults. Of course, a child’s stride is much shorter, so they won’t walk as far as you will.

Start slowly. Begin by aiming for an additional 2,000 steps to what each person takes on an average day now. Even that modest increase will help with family health.

Healthy Habit 5: Choose not to micromanage your child’s eating.

As a parent, you don’t want to be watching every bite of food that goes into your kid’s mouth. You don’t want to be swatting her hand away from the cookie jar all the time. That sort of micromanaging will just make everyone miserable.

Instead, the easiest path to raising a healthy family is to remove the source of conflict. Replace the cookie jar with a fruit bowl. After all, kids do most of their eating at home — that’s true even for many teens. Because parents are the ones who shop, you have control over the food that’s in the house.

When you’re at the grocery store, swap the chips and cookies you normally put in your cart with healthier options. Don’t buy sugary drinks like soda and juice-like drinks, and limit the amount of 100% fruit juice you buy.

Buy only foods that you want your child to eat. It will boost your family’s health, and you won’t worry so much about which food she’s choosing for a snack.

Healthy Habit 6: Choose healthy ways to manage stress.

Some studies have shown that kids with stressed-out moms are more likely to be overweight. The cause of the stress can be anything from health problems in the family, money issues, or problems with their mate.

So, here’s another reason to enlist help to find solutions to your stressors — to help your kid’s weight stay in a healthy range. Try these healthy stress relievers:

  • Talk it out with a friend, counselor, or religious advisor.
  • Use exercise as a way to burn off stress.
  • Tell your kids about your stress, using words they can understand.
  • Look for support to help you with the things causing you distress from family, government programs, hospital classes, and so forth.

By handling stress in healthy ways you set a great example for your kids, too.

Healthy Habit 7: Choose to make sleep more important.

Studies have found that a lack of sleep is associated with weight gain. When kids are overtired, changes to hormones and metabolism seem to increase the risk of obesity.

To raise healthy kids, enforce a routine bedtime. You can make the transition easier by trying to make the time before bed relaxing. A helpful way to do this is to remove distractions from your child’s bedroom — including TVs, cell phones, and computers.

Sticking with the same routine even on the weekends can help eliminate fluctuations in mood from fatigue and avoid that Monday-morning angst from trying to get back on schedule.

Bedtime may get harder with teens. As kids hit adolescence, their body clocks reset, and they become biologically wired to stay up late. Because high school starts so early, many teens are chronically overtired and at higher risk of obesity as a result.

As a parent, the best you can do is to work with your teen to encourage healthy sleep habits before bed. Help them see just how much better they feel when they do get enough sleep and how much easier it is to concentrate in school.

A healthy amount of sleep helps reduce the risk of obesity in adults too. So prioritize sleep accordingly to set a healthy example for your family.

Healthy Habit 8: Choose to be consistent about family health.

Consult with an expert — like a dietitian or childhood weight loss expert — to adopt basic, sensible changes to your family’s diet and exercise routine and stick with them.

If after a few months you don’t think these healthy habits are helping — if, for instance, your child has been gaining weight — check in again with an expert and tweak your family’s plan.

The most important thing to help your family adopt healthy habits is to stick to your plan. Stay consistent: about the foods you have in the house, about family exercise routines, and about bedtime.

If you do, your kids are more likely to accept your rules in the long run. If they sense any hesitation on your part, they’re more likely to argue and push back. With persistence, you will be able to help your kids adopt healthy habits, and they will benefit for the rest of their lives.

 

© 2011 WebMD, LLC.

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Huffington Post – What Is ‘Smelly Hair Syndrome?’

Posted by 4love2love on July 6, 2011

Perry Romanowski

Cosmetic chemist, co-creator of BeautyBrains.com

Posted: 07/5/11 08:12 AM ET

Everyone has an occasional “bad hair day,” but for those unfortunate people stricken with a condition known as “Smelly Hair Syndrome,” a bad hair day can mean relationship problems, taunts from coworkers and even expulsion from school. Consider these examples:

“I wash my hair and by the middle of the day it has a sweaty, muggy smell … I’m a sophomore in college, never had a boyfriend, never even kissed a guy, all because of this smelly demon that I have had to cope with since eighth grade.” — Corrin, The Beauty Brains Forum

“I go to work everyday because I have no choice, but my co-workers are very cruel to me because of the bad odor they smell coming from my head. They don’t know how hard I try to take care of this problem.” — Sierra, The Beauty Brains Forum

“An 8-year-old girl said she was removed from her classroom at a Seattle school because of the way her hair smelled. She has now missed a full week at Thurgood Marshall Elementary.” — KIRO TV report

What’s going on here? What is “Smelly Hair Syndrome” and can it really be so socially stigmatizing? After receiving hundreds of questions about this issue we were intrigued to find out more.

The symptoms of smelly hair
We discovered that Smelly Hair Syndrome manifests in one striking symptom: a horrific odor that emanates from the hair and scalp. According to the people who have commented on our blog, the olfactory character of the smell varies from person to person. Some describe it as “… stinks like a diaper.” Others have compared the smell to “sour milk, wet dog, moldy hay, potatoes, an old shoe or dirty socks, a jacket that’s never been to the dry cleaner, and an oily smell mixed with vomit.” The most unusual description we’ve heard was “… sort of a cross between Dorito’s Bold BBQ chips and cinnamon (and not a sweet smell, actually kinda foul) and maybe a hint of cheese.” And, finally, one unfortunate reader told us that “my hair is so smelly that sometimes flies buzz around my head.”

The odor is so strong that other people can easily notice it (“I know my co-workers could smell it and I was so embarrassed.”) Spouses and significant others have also told us that the odor is problematic because it can transfer to towels and pillow cases. For some people the smell is noticeable right after showering; for others it starts a few days after they’ve washed their hair. We received several comments from people who shower before sleep and wake up with a smelly scalp. Interestingly, one person pointed out that their hair starts out with one scent right after washing and changes to a different odor about 12 hours later. In addition to the malodor, some people experience increase in oily hair and scalp. One woman notices a “thick, oily, flour-like substance on my scalp.”

Causes and cures
These secondary symptoms made us wonder if a potential cause of Smelly Hair Syndrome could be seborrheic dermatitis (seb-o-REE-ik der-muh-TI-tis), because it causes an increase in oil production and flaky scalp residue. However, according to Mayo Clinic’s webpage, scalp odors like those described above are not typically associated with seborrheic dermatitis. Furthermore, our readers tell us that in many cases their doctors have not been able to identify a definitive cause. Many said that their doctors didn’t take the problem seriously: “I even went to the dermatologist. Twice! He never heard of such a thing and seemed to not even believe me which made me very angry! Why don’t these doctors have a clue?!” “I went to see a dermatologist. Which was of no help! I got prescriptions and so forth but nothing worked.”

Without a satisfactory medical explanation, people are left to figure out their own cures. Our readers have tried just about everything you can think of, including medicated shampoos like Nizoral, Selsun Blue, Neutrogena T/Gel, Head & Shoulders and Denorex. They’ve used tea tree-based products (like Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat conditioner) because of the alleged anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil (unfortunately, most tea tree oil shampoos contain very little of the actual oil). In desperation, some people have even tried medicated pet shampoos.

Others have forsaken commercial products for home remedies like lemon juice, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, aloe vera, neem oil, chlorophyll supplements and a mixture of honey and cinnamon. One person even uses hand sanitizer on her scalp two or three times a day. Then there’s the most elaborate of all the treatments we’ve heard of: “I go to this salon where they rub a liquid into your hair, wrap it in plastic wrap and steam it. This is followed with something they call ‘frequency treatment’ — it is a glass rod attached to a machine and they deliver something like an electrical impulse.”

What really works to treat Smelly Hair Syndrome? Of all the solutions proposed by our readers, two seemed to provide reasonably consistent results: Dial antibacterial liquid body wash and sulfur-containing soaps. These treatments make sense from a scientific point of view, if the cause is bacterial or fungal. An antibacterial agent (like the Triclosan used in the Dial bodywash) could prevent bacteria from growing, while sulfur could reduce scalp oiliness thereby eliminating the “food” that bacteria or fungi need to grow. For those who haven’t had success with other treatments, these two options maybe worth a try. Of course, you should consult with a dermatologist to ensure your symptoms aren’t caused by psoriasis or some other condition.

Conclusion
From the comments we’ve received, Smelly Hair Syndrome appears to be a real problem that is unresolved for many people. Based on our readers’ input, the medical community has not yet provided a satisfactory solution. According to our understanding of chemistry and hair and scalp biology, shampooing with sulfur and Triclosan-based soaps may offer some relief. We hope that more definitive treatment options are identified by the medical and cosmetic science communities.

 

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Free Face Moisturizer – Printable Coupon

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

These are in-store JCPenney’s free samples. Stop by the Sephora inside of any JCPenney with this coupon to receive free samples of Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer. This product is meant to improve the firmness, elasticity, and radiance of your skin.

 

Click Here to get it now!

 

From Free Samples 4 All

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Free SOYJOY Bars

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

Walmart has teamed up with SOYJOY to give away free samples of their great protein bars. These great protein bars are made with real fruit and ground soy beans to naturally deliver protein, fiber, and antioxidants. These are great as a snack or with all the protein packed into each bar they can actually fill you up for lunch. Walmart samples go fast so hurry in and get yours.

 

Click Here to get it now!

 

 

From Free Samples 4 All

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Free Stiletto by Nicole Amy Fragrance Sample

Posted by 4love2love on June 22, 2011

Ladies, if you’re on the hunt for a new favorite fragrance, you might want to consider the new Nicole Amy fragrance Stiletto. Click on the link below to request a free sample.

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