Category: Health

Skinny Girl Bethenny Frankel Poses in 4-Year Old Daughter’s PJs

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 by No Comments

Former Real Housewife of New York reality star, Bethenny Frankel, has reinvented herself with her own line of “Skinny Girl” beverages and books, but her Skinny Girl lifestyle came under fire this week when she posted a picture of herself on Instagram wearing her 4-year-old daughter’s Hello Kitty pajamas…which fit.

Frankel is 43 and is thin enough to squeeze into her 4-year-old daughter’s pajamas. She posted the pic with the caption, “This is my daughter’s nightgown and PJ shorts. Think we’re ready to start sharing clothes yet?”

If the idea was to stir up a hornet’s nest of controversy, she achieved her goal! Some viewers had no problem with it such as user opinionsnotvalid who said, “Anybody who has a problem with this apparently doesn’t have kids or their kids are depressed because their parents have no sense of humor. Either that or you’re not happy with your self image. Pull the stick out you’re a**es and lighten up.”

Some think it was meant as a joke and others suggest that she has an unhealthy obsession with body image and dieting. Some of the back and forth on Instagram grew kind of heavy and sometimes a bit mean-spirited. While the picture itself isn’t offensive, it’s the various interpretations of what the picture means to individuals that is raising ire.

The concern for me is that Frankel confessed that she used to starve and binge back in 2011. I just don’t want to see her falling back into that pattern to fit into her daughter’s clothes. It could have been a joke, it could have been a PR stunt to promote her line of “Skinny Girl” beverages and books. Either way the controversy has gone viral and she is getting attention.

What do think of her posting this pic wearing her daughter’s PJs? Should we be laughing, concerned, or angry?

Photo credits: instagram

Why Jillian Michaels Is Leaving the Biggest Loser

Posted on Jul 22, 2014 by No Comments

Fans of The Biggest Loser were shocked to hear fitness expert Jillian Michaels is leaving the hit NBC show for the second time. She first announced she was leaving the show in 2010, and left after its 11th season because it was all consuming and she wanted to start a family.

At the time she said she was grateful for everything The Biggest Loser had done for her career, but said it was time to move on. Then she returned to the show in 2013 for season 14 to work with overweight youth.

Michaels talked with People magazine about leaving the show this time, and once again expressed her gratitude to the show and that she was “sad to leave.” However, she also admitted there were “some fundamental differences [with the producers] that have existed for a while.”

Her main complaint deals with how she was being portrayed in a negative light in the recent seasons. According to Michaels, “In the beginning of the show, it was tough love. You saw the tough, and you saw the love.” While in recent episodes, “you saw none of the relationships, none of the bonds that I build with my clients.” In her words, the show portrayed her as being “more harsh.”

While this makes for good reality TV, let’s face it, from Michaels’ perspective, it’s not the kind of reputation you’d want to have as a personal trainer, and that’s her concern. She says, “Millions of people have this warped negative perception of me.”

But that’s only part of it. Last year she was accused of cheating by the producers because she let her team take caffeine pills without the show’s permission. That’s hard enough to deal with, but the controversy hit home when her four-year-old daughter was confronted by another child who said, “I know who your mom is – she is a cheater. I saw it on TV.”

On top of all this, last year’s winner came under criticism for being too skinny when Rachel Fredrickson lost 155 pounds and weighed in at 105 pounds. Michael’s said, “I had to take a hard look at my work […]. I came to the conclusion that moving forward, I need to be able to have an impact on the outcome of what I do.”

And so that’s exactly what she hopes to do. Move on and have an impact on the outcome.

Photo credits: Entertainment Tonight

Smooth Skin May Equal a Longer Life

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 by 1 Comment

When I was 20, I couldn’t imagine what I would look like with laugh lines. At 53 I know all too well but so far so good, the rest of my face seems to be holding up well. People usually think I am younger than I am.

According to an interesting study carried out by researchers from Unilever in collaboration with Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, the younger you look the greater your potential for a long life.

They studied 260 women separated into two groups. One was a group that had a high risk of heart disease while the other group had a low risk. Then they assessed the youthfulness of the women’s skin, both on her face and her upper arm.

The women who looked more youthful had a lower blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease. To ensure that the study wasn’t skewed, they then studied a group of men the same way. They got the same results. The youthfulness was not from cosmetics or medical intervention. The scientists say they will need to study more to figure out why.

On the one hand, good DNA could be at the core. I think it is reasonable to expect that someone who has a family history of high blood pressure and heart problems might also have signs of aging in her skin. Then you have to wonder if it’s that the people with good skin take better care of themselves so that their whole body benefits.

I guess it’s the old which came first, the chicken or the egg question all over again. I will be interested to see what they come up with. Do you have a theory?

photo credit: ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser via photopin cc

Study Shows Smelling Farts Good for Your Health

Posted on Jul 17, 2014 by No Comments

We’ve all been there. You’re riding down the road and suddenly the smell of one of those “silent but deadly” farts creeps like an invisible shroud throughout the car. Windows unroll and if relationships of those in the car are close someone will dare to ask, “Who farted?”

A new study shows that maybe we should be saying “Thank you,” and breathe deeply of the…essence.

When I saw that the University of Exeter did a study on the benefit of smelling farts, all I could think was it must have been some guy’s idea of a joke. But the study is real and according to the findings, “Hydrogen sulfide is naturally produced in the body and could have significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases.”

The fart study was published in the Medicinal Chemistry Communications journal, and reports that flatulence could be a key factor in treating diseases including stroke, heart failure, diabetes and arthritis, dementia and ageing.

And according to a statement made by Dr. Mark Wood, a professor at the University of Exeter, “the pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence…could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases.”

While this sounds rather bizarre, according to the research small amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas preserves the body’s mitochondria – the “powerhouse” of cells that urge energy production in blood vessels. Mitochondria determine whether cells live or die and regulate inflammation.

According to Dr. Matt Whitman, another University of Exeter professor who worked on this study, researchers are replicating the natural gas to reap its health benefits. That’s right, manufactured fart-smelling gas that will turn into a product we would eventually be able to buy.

This new compound is thought to prevent or reverse mitochondrial damage by delivering very small amounts of the substance to key places inside cells.

Photo credits: wikimedia

Vacations Are Good for Health and Long Life

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 by 1 Comment

Many of us look forward to vacations, and when the economy is tough we can easily feel like vacation is a luxury we can cut from our budget to make ends meet.

However, a recent poll by the Society for Human Resource management shows strong support from personnel managers who believe those who take a vacation are better workers, especially if the time off is paid.

Just because you get paid time off, though, doesn’t always mean you can afford to go somewhere. It also doesn’t mean you should skip vacation all together.

Staying home for vacation offers opportunities to take day trips you never have time for in the busy day-to-day. In recent years, these stay at home vacations have grown popular enough to get their own tag – staycations – and they still provide benefits like stress relief and improved morale. Plus when you return to work refreshed, you enjoy greater job satisfaction.

But taking vacation does more for our health than reduce stress for a week or two. In one 1992 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers followed a group of 750 middle-age women for 20 years.

At the start of the study none of them had heart disease. Over time, it showed that the women who didn’t take vacation had a higher risk of heart attack and death. Other studies have reached similar conclusions.

I have friends in other countries including England and Australia and the people there are astounded that in the States we only get an average of two weeks. They get six weeks! The problem in the United States is that many of don’t even use the vacation we do get! In fact, almost 50% of people don’t use all their vacation time according to the Families and Work Institute.

To enjoy better health and longer life we should be taking advantage of our vacation time. Even if you can’t go somewhere, use the time to read or do those fun things you never have time to do.

“Fun” is a relative term, of course. It can be a physical, mental, or spiritual vacation. What’s important is that we actually take them!

photo credit: g-useppe via photopin cc

How To Get Rid of the Dreaded FUPA

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 by No Comments

In case you are wondering what the heck a FUPA is, you are in  luck because if you don’t know what it is, you probably don’t have one.

Unfortunately, I have an intimate relationship with the term. A FUPA is a fatty upper pubic area. Some people call it a pooch, or a pouch, a front butt or even the most dreaded gunt. Yeah, it’s not a pretty term no matter what you call it. Then again, a FUPA is not pretty and it is certainly no laughing matter.

Many women develop these after having children, especially if they had C-sections or gained a lot of stubborn weight during pregnancy. The worst part of all is that it is the most difficult place on the body to lose weight. And just because you don’t get pregnant does not mean that you can avoid the FUPA. It can still happen, you just can’t blame it on the kids.

But no fear, there are things that can be done to save you from the dreaded FUPA effect.

Lose weight: Obviously harder than it sounds. But with a solid change in diet, portion control and an increase in activity, minimum FUPA can be achieved.

Wear Spanx: This is not harder but it is certainly more uncomfortable than losing weight.

Then there are exercises that target blast your FUPA. Here are a few exercises that are supposed to get rid of your FUPA. I’ve decided to start doing them. I’ll let you know if they work.

1. Legs Up Straight Arm Crunch

This exercise will help tone your upper abs.

Lie flat on your back with your legs up at a 90-degree angle from the floor. With arms straight, curl your shoulders and upper back off the floor using your abs while pulling your arms up towards the ceiling.

Hold for a second; then slowly lower your shoulders and back down toward the floor. You will feel this. It hurts but if it gets rid of that stubborn fatty area, it is totally worth it.

2. Air Bike

Lay on your back. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows bent and your knees pulled slightly toward you.

Using your abs, curl your shoulders up off the floor and pull your right elbow to your left knee until they are touching (or almost touching). Then alternate. Do three slow reps of 10.

3.  Leg Raises

Leg raises will help you tone and tighten skin around your lower abdominal muscles. Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and up in the air (90 degrees from the floor).

Keeping your legs as straight as possible, slowly lower them out in front of you until they are almost touching the floor; then lift them back up to your starting position and repeat. If it starts to burn and make you cry, don’t quit; that just means that it is working. Beauty is pain.

These are just three of many. If you don’t like these, Google exercises to get rid of FUPA and you will have many to choose from. I am going to stick with these for now.

What’s your favorite exercise for keeping your lower abdomen tight?

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

Are You Who You Thought You’d Be?

Posted on Jul 11, 2014 by No Comments

When I was sixteen I had some very definite ideas about who I was and where I would be by the time I reached the ripe old age of 30.

By the time I was 20, my ideas about who I was and where I was going had changed again — and it wasn’t the last time. My ideas about who I was and where I was going changed several times after that. Sometimes the changes were consequences of my choices and actions, other times they were thrust upon me.

So many of the frustrations that I have had over the years have stemmed from my fantasy life — the long ago perceptions of who I would be, what I would do, and what I would achieve.  I have accomplished many of the things that I had always dreamed about, but somehow they never seemed to be the same as when I dreamed of them.

I find that I am in my fifties and am still waiting to feel successful, to feel grown up, and to feel that I have accomplished something — anything at all.

I have sold paintings in fine art galleries, some of the best in the Dallas area. I’ve parented eight amazing children. I was committed in a 30 year relationship that, if anything, I stayed in too long. I have written a book, written for magazines, had my photography purchased for magazines, and I’ve climbed Mayan ruins. All of these are things I had on my bucket list.

The problem comes in when I focus on the things I haven’t done.

You can change lots of things about your life but there are some that you can’t. The trick is to focus on the things you can change and take action while letting the other stuff go. Maybe you’re not who you thought you would be, but that isn’t to say that you’re not just as good or better.

photo credit: martinak15 via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Summer Recipes, DIY Projects, and More

Posted on Jul 10, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has summertime recipes, DIY projects, and more.

Suzy Sitcom showed us how to make an easy strawberry banana freezer pie.

I’m Topsy Turvy created a DIY party cup garland and showed us how.

View Along the Way showed us an easy way to create a faux fur rug.

link_ru_strawberry_tea

The Neighborhood Moms taught us how to make Southern strawberry iced tea.

Kalyn’s Kitchen showed us how to make chicken salad with basil and parmesan.

Sweet and Spicy Monkey shared a recipe for lemon coconut ice cream.

A Mom’s Take shared some tips for creating healthy eating habits in kids.

Photo credit: Suzy Sitcom and The Neighborhood Moms

Parsley Helps with Water Retention

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 by No Comments

Water retention and bloating used to make me choose stretchy jeans at certain times of the month, but I have found something that really helps without taking a diuretic. This magic ingredient is something that most of us have in our kitchens already, but never realized it could help.

It’s fresh parsley.

I’m one of those who used to think of parsley as a garnish…that I did not eat even though it freshens breath. If I bought it for a recipe I’d often throw the rest away after it wilted in my crisper drawer.

However, as a juicer and smoothie drinker, I’ve learned to use it as a valuable ingredient that works as a natural diuretic, plus its chock full of antioxidants and offers other nutritional benefits including the fact it’s high in calcium, iron, and B complex vitamins.

Folk medicine has always claimed parsley helps reduce water retention, and now science backs it up. In 2002, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study which backs up these claims. So if you can’t get your rings on or your jeans zipped, try this green smoothie. It tastes good and is good for you.

Banana Apple Smoothie with Parsley

  • 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 banana
  • 2 apples quartered
  • 2 cups almond milk (or water)

Blend well in a blender. I prefer using a frozen banana because it makes me feel like I’m drinking a shake. If it still tastes too green for you, you can add another banana (the riper the banana the sweeter the taste), or a quarter teaspoon of vanilla.

If you don’t like the thickness of pulp, you can juice the apples to eliminate the pulp, but I go for quick and easy with this one and use my blender. It tastes pretty good and it really works to help alleviate bloating and water retention for me.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Photo credits: Joanna Slodownik