The Downside of Spray Tans

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 by No Comments

I love the healthy glow of a tan, and spray tans offer the look without the sun damage. The thing no one told me about was the smell. It stinks and you can’t shower for 24 hours following the treatment. Even the spray tans that are scent-free have a faint odor of DHA.

The other downside is the sticky feeling. Your skin doesn’t feel clean, because it’s not.

The appealing thing about spray tans is that you escape the risk of sun damage and skin cancer, or so I thought. Now I learn that the DHA, the active chemical used in spray tans, also has the potential to cause genetic alterations and DNA damage and can increase the risk of cancer according to a report by ABC News.

While DHA is used in all self tanners, the problem with spray tanning is the fumes. I read an article that said Kate Middleton use to get spray tans before events, but had given them up during her pregnancy because the fumes could affect her baby. Even Snooki has given up her spray tans.

It’s hard not to inadvertently breathe in some of the fumes. This allows the DHA to enter the bloodstream, and this is where the risk lies. The studies cited by ABC did not involve human testing, so it’s not totally cut and dried, but it is enough to make me rethink spray tanning.

DHA was approved back in 1977 for external use, but now with spray tanning the FDA says, “The use of DHA in ‘tanning’ booths as an all-over spray has not been approved by the FDA, since safety data to support this use has not been submitted to the agency for review and evaluation.”

For now they recommend we ask that measures be taken to protect our eyes and mucous membranes. Instead, I think I’m going to forgo the tan for now.

Photo credits: Frank Kovalchek

Would You Wear a Crop Top Wedding Dress?

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 by No Comments

With Kim Kardashian finally ready to get married, the talk of wedding dresses has accelerated with people speculating what type of dress she might wear. Current trends include “fashion forward” crop top wedding dresses, what is called naked lace, dresses with embellished backs and more.

2014 Spring Summer Wedding Dress Styles

Before you say, “No way,” be aware that crop top wedding dresses were on display recently at the bridal market in New York City as part of the spring/summer 2014 collections. Other styles included capes, column beadwork, naked lace, which is lace work over a nude underlay, and sexier than normal looks including plunging necklines and embellished backs.

Other non-traditional ideas include color. While pink is the color currently being embraced by brides, it isn’t really new. In medieval times it was a popular color and especially considered suitable for a May wedding. However some superstitious folk thought the color to be unlucky. There was even a saying, “marry in pink and your fortunes will sink.”

It turns out that Kim Kardashian is planning a May 24 wedding. I wonder if she is superstitious.

Colored wedding dresses in general are not new, but they are making a comeback as seen the the series finale of the “Private Practice” when Addison wore a light gray-blue wedding gown. In ages past, the different colored dresses meant something, but just like now, meanings changed with popularity and trends.

For instance, bright yellow was a popular color for a wedding dress in the 1700s, but before it became a trend, it was thought to be an “unholy” color to wear in church.

Kim Kardashian isn’t the only big name planning to tie the knot in the near future. We have Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and Angelina Jolie looking at taking the plunge, too. All these women are trend setters, so it will be interesting to see whether they choose traditional, fashion forward, or something in the middle for their big day.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Kate Middleton Dispels Pregnancy Rumors

Posted on Apr 22, 2014 by No Comments

Royal watchers were licking their chops at rumors that Kate Middleton was pregnant for the second time. The source of the rumor happened to be Prince William himself. He and Kate are enjoying a visit to New Zealand along with 8-month-old Prince George, and people are eating up every tidbit of news and interaction including one short statement that clearly hinted baby number two may be on the way.

As the royal couple continued their tour this past week, they paid a visit to a war memorial. One British well-wisher who had been commissioned by New Zealand’s government to make a wool shawl for the baby prince took the opportunity to present the gift to Prince William. He thanked her and said that she might need to “make another soon.”

The rumors started flying immediately. The woman who had made the shawl spoke to reporters and said it was “like he was dropping a hint, letting me in on a secret.”

Royal Couple
When I heard it, my brain raced with all kinds of thoughts. “Prince George is only 8 months old…just when she’s got her figure back…well she is 32 years old, probably wants doesn’t want to test the old biological clock….” If those kinds of thoughts went through my mind, I know others thought the same. It’s hard to imagine living life under such an intense spotlight!

The rumors were further strengthened because, just the day before, Kate happened to choose water instead of wine to make a toast at the unveiling of Queen Elizabeth II’s official portrait at the Government House. Once the hint was dropped, many assumed her avoidance of alcohol to be confirmation that Kate was in fact pregnant.

As fast as William’s remarks sparked the rumor, the Duchess was quick to dispel them. The royal mom attended a winetasting event at Amisfield Vineyard on the following Sunday and let everyone know indirectly but clearly that she is not pregnant. She told the winemakers that she was “really enjoying being able to drink again after having baby George.”

During the event, Kate sipped a glass of white wine, but took sips from Prince William’s glass of red, too. I think they continue to walk the perfect line as royals willing to show a little of who they really are. They will be leaving New Zealand and heading for Australia next, and some say there’s a visit to the zoo in baby George’s near future. I’m sure royal fever is sure to follow.

Photo credits: Intertaiment, IBTimes UK

Study Reveals Correlation Between Diet Soda and Heart Disease

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 by No Comments

Trying to lose unwanted pounds or to maintain a healthy weight is challenge enough, but it seems with every study it becomes more challenging.

One recent study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual session shows that older women who drink two or more diet drinks a day are 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or another “dangerous” cardiovascular event. It also reveals that those women are 50 percent more likely to die as a result of the event, too.

I’m not a big diet drink person because I try not to consume a bunch of artificial sweeteners. I have a basic health rule. I can have a few cups of coffee or tea (unsweetened) but for the most part, until I drink my 64 ounces of water, nothing else is “allowed.” Not that I follow that rule like it is set in stone, but it is more a lifestyle choice.

This latest study was a big one and encourages me to stay on the dietary road of chosen. The researchers looked at almost 60,000 women ages 50-79. The lead investigator, Ankur Vyas, a fellow of cardiovascular diseases at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Cincs, said, “Our findings are in line with and extend data from previous studies.”

However, it is important to note this study doesn’t go so far as to say that the diet drinks “cause” the heart disease. Instead, it shows there is a correlation between drinking the diet drinks and heart disease. It is not evidence that one causes the other, but I tend to lean to the side of caution.

This news comes on the heels of a decline in diet soda consumption. According to the Wall Street Journal, Diet Coke sales dropped by 6.8 in 2013 and Diet Pepsi fell by 6.9 percent. I think with all the various studies that talk about potential negative effects of artificial sweeteners, more of us are consuming them less or not at all.

And I’m not saying turn to sugar, either! But that’s a story for another article.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Animal Planet’s “River Monsters” Most Watched

Posted on Apr 15, 2014 by No Comments

Every once in a while, a TV show does better than expected and takes everyone by surprise. This season’s premiere of Animal Planet’s “River Monster” is one of those surprises. Statistics show that last Sunday’s show turned out to be the most watched premiere in the network’s history.

If you’ve never watched the show, it centers around extreme angler, Jeremy Wade, and the deadly fish he catches. I mean, he pulls things out of the water fitting of a horror movie that makes you never want to go back into the water. Yet, for some reason, we sit and watch to see the next monster.

On the 6th, the show reeled in 1.7 million viewers during the two-hour premiere of the show’s sixth season.

Along with being one of the largest audiences ever to watch an Animal Planet season premiere, “River Monsters” also ranked as the most watched premiere in network history within the key demographics: 975,000 in the adults 18 to 49 category and 639,000 in the males 18 to 49 demographic.

Along with the viewers who watched the show itself, “River Monsters” also introduced its first live aftershow with Jeremy Wade at ll:00 p.m. ET. The aftershow drew one million total viewers and cited an 85 percent increase in Twitter activity over the season five premiere.

The show investigated stories of a creature rumored to swallow men whole; a fresh-water monster said to be the largest such predator in the world. He also searched for a fish rumored to have killed up to 200 passengers on a sinking river boat.

Along with “River Monsters”, 58-year-old Jeremy Wade is also a British television presenter and author of books on angling. He’s an adventurer whose been fishing since he was 7 or 8 years old and it translates in his on-screen personality.

He’s exciting to watch and entertaining at the same time. Last season he even let an eel-like lamprey suck blood from his neck! The record-breaking viewership shows he’s doing something right!

Photo credits: wikipedia

Corset Diet Is Really Not a Diet

Posted on Apr 10, 2014 by 2 Comments

What is being called the corset diet is all the rage. Women are squeezing into these tight fitting under garments in hopes of getting a smaller waistline.

This extreme slimming trend has nothing to do with diet, other than the fact that you may eat less when your insides are all squished and compressed. It reminds me of scenes from 100 years ago when women held on to the bedpost while someone tightened the corset for an unrealistic hourglass figure.

I’ve never had a small waistline for my size. It’s one of those elusive, “I wish I had…” kind of things. So when I saw there was a diet that can take 3-6 inches off your waist I was interested, until I saw that it really wasn’t a diet after all. It’s really corset training, and it’s even done under the care of a doctor!

Women who are tired of trying and failing to get a smaller waist through dieting and exercise are turning to “corset training.” One woman I saw interviewed actually said her goal is to have a “tiny waistline like a Barbie doll.” She already had a 26″ waist but was going for 23″ and her doctor said that it is a realistic goal. Makes me wonder what she’s paying for his help.

Wearing a corset is a way to “train” your waist to be smaller without exercise or diet. It compresses the bottom ribs up and in which makes the space between your ribs and hips look smaller. It makes me think of when I take off my wedding ring and how my finger is thinner beneath it because I wear it all the time.

I just can’t imagine wearing a corset all the time, though. However, I bet it could make you uncomfortable enough to eat less so maybe in a way it could be diet.

Photo credits: din_bastet

Diet Supplement OxyElite Pro Linked to Hepatitis

Posted on Apr 9, 2014 by No Comments

OxyElite Pro is a dietary supplement manufactured by USPLabs which claimed to help burn fat. Unfortunately, as of February this popular supplement has been linked to almost 100 cases of hepatitis in 16 states. Of these cases, 47 people were hospitalized, three need liver transplants, and one person died.

This is bad news for all who took this dietary supplement, and a good reminder that not all supplements are safe. The thing that makes situations like this even worse is that people started getting sick last May, but the Food and Drug Administration didn’t learn about these early cases until four months later after doctors reported a group of liver illnesses in Hawaii.

USPLabs stopped selling OxyElite Pro in October. That’s six months from the time it was known that people were getting sick – that’s a long time for people to be unaware of the problem.

So before we point fingers at the FDA for not doing their job, it’s important to understand that the FDA regulates supplements only after they come to market, so companies are not required to prove their products are safe and/or effective before they are marketed to the public.

In the case of OxyElite Pro, health officials suspect the cause of the liver disease may be linked to a new ingredient in the supplement called aegeline.

Supplements deemed dangerous are supposed to be identified and removed from the marketplace quickly, but the fact that it took the FDA months to learn about the hepatitis outbreak tells you something about the system is not working.

Doctors can report adverse effects related to dietary supplements through an online portal called MedWatch, but in most cases, the FDA doesn’t receive reports regarding harmful effects of supplements. Instead, those cases might be reported elsewhere such as a poison control center.

Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance has proposed a couple of changes:

  1. All dietary supplements should be registered
  2. Information about supplements and their ingredients should be incorporated into a database maintained by the FDA and poison centers

With such a database, adverse reactions to supplement would be reported to a response team composed of doctors, toxicologists, pharmacologists, and chemists. However, Cohen admits improved monitoring isn’t enough and suggests that Congress should make changes in the law regulating supplements so all ingredients undergo safety testing before they are consumed by the public.

Photo credits: Andrews & Thornton

Mork and Mindy Together Again After 30 Years

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 by 2 Comments

I confess, I was a “Mork and Mindy” fan. Hard to believe that sitcom was on from 1978-82. It was the show that made Robin William’s career take off as he played a wacky alien from Ork. He lived on earth with a sassy girl, Mindy, played by actress Pam Dawber.

Now after 30 years, the two are teaming up again on Williams’ new CBS comedy, “The Crazy Ones” next Thursday, April 10, at 9:30 when Dawber guest stars as Lily, Simon (Williams) new love interest. It will be fun to see the two of them work together again in another comedy.

Dawber admits that they worked well together on “Mork and Mindy” but she wasn’t always thrilled to play the straight man to Williams’ outrageous funny-man presence. Next to him, she felt “boring.” That goes to show you the difference in perception. People like me in the audience thought she was great and I loved her hair!

And let’s face it, without her “straight-man” part, Mork’s humor wouldn’t have worked like it did. Little by little, their working relationship grew to form a chemistry on film that made the show a hit and Dawber relaxed a little. So it will be fun to see the two of them work together again after all these years. Rumor has it that they had a lot of fun together in the “Crazy Ones” episode.

In real life, Dawber is married to “NCIS” star Mark Harmon. They married in 1987 and have two sons together. In 1989, Dawber started in “My Sister Sam” on  CBS, but after just two seasons, “Sam” co-star Rebecca Schaeffer was murdered by a demented fan. Dawber decided to take a step back from Hollywood and concentrate on family. Now she’s ready to return to the small screen with the “Crazy Ones.”

Photo credits: Dawberfan

Jessica Simpson Slips Back into Her Daisy Dukes

Posted on Apr 2, 2014 by 1 Comment

Jessica Simpson played Daisy Duke in the 2005 Dukes of Hazard. That scene in the bar with those legs is etched into the memory of tons of guys as well as girls who could only wish they looked like that. To say she was famous for her figure is an understatement.

When you think about it, that’s a hard thing to live up to, because when you’re weight changes the public can be rather unforgiving.

I’ll never forget seeing her on TV at a football game in which her then boyfriend, Tony Romo of the Cowboys, was playing. Somehow Simpson became the scapegoat for the worst game of his life. Fans were ugly and some started talking about her weight. She wasn’t “fat” but she wasn’t Daisy Duke.

Can you imagine trying to live up to that image?

Life moved on for her and when she became pregnant with her daughter Maxwell her weight skyrocketed. When she stepped on the scales at her first Weight Watcher’s meeting she couldn’t believe how much she had gained.

Just about the time she started to drop some of that weight, she found out she was pregnant with her son. She stayed more active during her second pregnancy and only gained half the weight she had gained with her first pregnancy.

Since the birth of her son, we’ve all seen a slimming Jessica on the Weight Watcher’s commercials. She’s reached her goal weight, and I for one am happy for her. She is a real person, but in her case she is still compared to her Daisy Duke role of a decade ago.

No matter who you are, there’s a difference in how you look at 23 versus 33! And having kids does make changes to your figure. However, with all that, she was caught out and about in a pair of Daisy Dukes last weekend, and her legs look great! Way to go Jessica!

Photo credits: Joshua Trend