Helping Women be the most Beautiful, Inside and Out

Archive for the ‘Health and Well Being’ Category

PMS Relief

Some of the funny definitions for P.M.S. are:

  • Putting up with Men’s Shenanigans (g rated version)
  • Part Monster Syndrome (what I call the Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome)
  • Punish Men Severely (payback time for all they’ve done all month)
  • Purchase More Shoes (shopping always makes you feel better, doesn’t it?)
  • Pass my sweatpants (for the bloated feeling)
  • Perpetual Munching Spree (sweet tooth working overtime)

Putting fun aside ladies, we know this time of the month is anything but fun!  Right?

Premenstrual Syndrome can be a very tough time for many.  Even though it is a natural part of the menstrual cycle it can be very painful, either physically or emotionally or both.  Symptoms can vary greatly from woman to woman, and even from month to month.  I can remember having severe back pain and cramping one month, then the next month extreme irritability and little to no physical pain.

Some common physical symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • breat tenderness
  • migrane headaches
  • cramping
  • acne
  • bloating
  • food cravings

Whereas the emotional symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Aniexty
  • Fuzzy headed
  • Mood swings

Without relieve we just make ourselves and those we love most miserable.

So what can we do about it?

Dietary Suggestions:

  • Decrease intake of fatty foods and red meat
  • Increase Calcium in your diet
  • Reduce the use of sugar and salt
  • Eliminate caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety, depression, and breast tenderness
  • Increase foods that are rich in potassium, like broccoli, fish, and beans
  • Eat smaller portions and more frequently to help stabilize your blood sugar
  • Eat alot more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fish
  • Avoid alcohol

These natural remedies are also commonly used to relieve PMS symptoms:

  • St. Johns wort
  • Wild yam
  • Dandelion
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Vitamin E
  • Uva ursi

Last but not least:

Exercise and relaxation are both very important in decreasing the affects of PMS

So eat healthy, get plenty of exercise and relaxation so you can stay away from those seven dwarves of PMS!

It’s Not Too Late to Exfoliate

Exfoliation is an important part of any skin care regime.

Why do I need to exfoliate?   Exfoliating removes the dull dead outer layer of  skin cells, unclogs pores, helps reduce acne breakouts, and keeps skin clean.  It also allows the new layer of cells to emerge, making your face look more healthy and radiant.

How often should I exfoliate? Once or twice a week is suffiicient depending of course on if you have dry, normal or oily skin. Two times a week for oily and once a week for normal to dry skin is good.

Should I wash my face before exfoliating?  Yes, you want to remove the surface dirt first.

Will it dry my skin out?  It can depending on what type of products you use.  It’s important to apply a moisturizer to your face after exfoliating.

Should guys exfoliate? YES!  Men need to take care of their skin, and remove dead skin cells just like women.  It also helps men get a better shave by exposing the hair follicles.

There are 2 basic types of exfoliation:

1. Mechanical Exfoliation– involves physically scrubbing the skin with an abrasive. They can include such things as microfiber cloths, adhesive exfoliation sheets, micro-bead facial scrubs, crushed apricot kernel or almond shells, sugar or salt crystals, and abrasive materials such as sponges or brushes.

Professional treatments include Microdermabrasion and Micro Diamondabrasion.

2. Chemical Exfoliation– includes facial scrubs containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, citric acid, or malic acid.  These can be applied in high concentrations by a medical professional, or in lower concentrations through over-the-counter products.

It is recommended for people with acne to use products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).

One of my favorite products is Adrien Arpel’s Microderm Cleanser.  It’s both a gel cleanser and exfoliator in one!  It’s gentle but effective, with the same crystals used in professional micro-dermabrasion treatments.  It’s enriched with vitamins A, C and E to help repair and maintain healthy skin.  I love how it makes my skin feel!

Professional methods can be very costly, but there are many inexpensive exfoliators you can make yourself with household ingredients such as coffee grounds, baking soda, sugar, even asprin.

Here’s a video for a great do-it-yourself facial:

Aspirin Mask

So in conclusion there are many ways to exfoliate, the main thing is to make it part of your regular beauty regime to help keep your skin looking radiant, silky smooth and refreshed.

Related Articles:
Beauty Only Skin Deep?

A Sweet Way to Handle Your Allergies

Spring is in the air.  

Fragrant flowers displaying a panorama of vivid colors, are in bloom.

But yet you feel miserable, runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat, headache. Why? Because you are allergic to all the pollen in the air. Instead of enjoying the outdoors you are hiding inside, waiting for the end of the season.  Bummer!

The condition: From Wikipedia.  “Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is when an allergen such as pollen or dust is inhaled by an individual with a sensitized immune system, triggering antibody production. These antibodies mostly bind to mast cells, which contain histamine. When the mast cells are stimulated by pollen and dust, histamine (and other chemicals) are released. This causes itching, swelling, and mucus production. Symptoms vary in severity between individuals.”

Well I have been a pollen sufferer for most of my life.  And because of my dislike modern medical so-called” cures” which only mask the symptoms, not cure the root of the problem, I set out on a quest to find a more natural alternative.   

My last home had a hill along side of the house that was full of ice plant, which in spring would produce gorgeous purple flowers (see picture). 

Though I loved the view and the fragrance, I would dread the time they would bloom.  But my love of the outdoors and desire to take care of my yard made me endure the suffering, until my husband found the cure!  Thanks honey!

The problem is in modern society we have lost the knowledge of many of the natural healing remedies that the ancients lived by.

Ready for my secret cure?  Once you learn this PLEASE don’t keep the secret to yourselves.  Share it with others!

I know what it is like to suffer allergies.  I don’t want others to continue to suffer any longer!

Here is an actual quote from my husband (I thought he could explain it so much better than I). 

“It’s funny that if your ancestry lived around water you feel comfortable around water.

It’s comfortableness is in your genes. There is a lot of genetic pre-programming that tells us what is okay and not okay.

If your ancestry didn’t drink milk then you are lactose intolerant and your body does not know what to do with cow’s milk.

So too if your genetics don’t know that pollen is harmless it will fight against the pollen with high levels of mucus and increased fever and increased metabolic activity. So how do you over come your genetics? By introducing the alien substance to your body to prove it is harmless and not harmful.

From the bodies point of view it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Since pollen is the agent of reaction then take it in another form.

Honey!

Pollen in the form of honey, goes through your entire body internally making the whole body familiar to it but that does not make it a friend until the body starts digesting it and distributing it to every organ which means constant intake for several weeks, then the body accepts it as a friend and the symptoms are gone!”

I know this sounds great, but does it really work?  Well I tested it out for myself and guess what?  IT REALLY WORKS!  Once I started taking it within the first few days I could feel the scratchy throat and itchy eyes diminish.  A few days later my sinus headache disappeared!  What a relieve!   So much better than taking antihistamines.

But there is a catch.

There are many types of honey.  Most commercial honey is blended, meaning it is a mixture of two or more honey differing in floral source, color, flavor, density or geographic origin.  But what you want is “local honey” from the area you live, specifically from the pollen that is causing your allergies.  I use honey from wildflowers that covers just about every type of pollen around my area.

Make sense? 

The catch is that not all stores are going to carry local honey so you need to search for places that sell “local honey”.  Be careful not to get honey from a city 100 miles away or from the next state.  It needs to be no more than 50-100 miles from the area you live, actually the closer the better.  I was lucky to find a beekeeper only 10 miles from where I live.

Once you find your local honey here is what you need to do:

Take a tablespoon in the morning, and a tablespoon in the evening every day for about a week or maybe two.  You can put it into tea, or on toast if you prefer. It’s important to be consistent with it though so your body can identify it and accept it as a friend and not an enemy. You’ll notice the symptoms disappearing within a week.  It’s amazing!  Another cool thing is that once you do this the following year you will notice that your allergies won’t even act up!  I have not had any pollen allergies in over 5 years.  I only started to have a little flair up after we had a very rainy winter that brought up alot of new flora that had been dormant.  So what did I do?  I found some new local honey and within 2 days the symptoms were gone! 

Please note: Don’t give honey to infants under one year.  Check my article on “How Sweet It Is” for more details.

I really hope this knowledge helps you or anyone you know that has been suffering pollen allergies to now bee free!

🙂

Related Articles:

Got Milk?

How Sweet It Is

 

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If the Shoe Fits

Why do women have such a fascination for shoes?  

Why is it that no matter how many pairs we have it’s never enough?  And when a new style appears we just have to have it!   There are varying statistics, but it seems that the average number of shoes a woman owns is bet. 20-40 pairs (depending on age of course).

Ok, I had to check my closet.  I’m amazed!  I’ve got 27 pairs including sandals and boots.  Really I only wear about 4-5 pairs regularly, and of all my footwear only 7 pairs are “High Heels”. 

Aren’t you a little curious how may pairs you have?  I’d love to know if you’d like to comment below.

One woman who had the ultimate shoe obsession (but then she could also afford to) was Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines.  Here’s an actual quote from her, “I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.”   Yes, Imelda, that’s important to get the record straight.  🙂

I’ve tried to analyze this fascination we ladies have, and I think I may have figured it out!  Let me know if you agree or not, I’d love to hear your perspective.

Could it be the icons we had growing up?  For me, growing up in America I remember Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, with her ruby red slippers, that magically transported her to the comfort and safety of her home and family.

Then there was the story of Cinderella, whose glass slippers (with the help of her fairy godmother) transformed her into a princess and won the heart of the handsome Prince Charming.

I find it interesting that “shoes” seem to be the key to happiness in both of these stories!  Can you think of any others?

 

 

 

 

 

 Brief History of Shoes

Ancient shoes (sandals) were mostly made of leather soled bottom.  They were originally designed to protect the feet from the harm (remember everyone walked everywhere in ancient times).

Also it’s interesting to note that only the wealthy could afford sandals, everyone else went barefoot.  The more wealthy had ornately decorated sandals.  You could tell how well off someone was by looking at their feet.

Just imagine a person from ancient times being transported into the modern day and taking a peek into your closet. Upon seeing all your shoes they would think you were a queen!

The popular platform sandal has changed a bit over the years, and depending on the culture:

From the Japanese geta

To the retro 70’s  sandal

To the modern high heel sandal

Where did the concept of the High Heel come from?

High heels have been around for centuries.   No one is quite sure where they originated, but some have even been found Egyptian tombs.

During the 1500’s high heels became popular in England and France for wealthy women.

It is said that one queen who was vertically challenged had special shoes designed with high heels to increase her stature. This then became a fashion trend for all other high society women, of all heights.

High heels were also popular among men of the French & British Court.

You think the pointed stiletto style shoe  is modern?

Take a look at these ancient shoes.  Heels were obviously not practical for walking long distances, but doesn’t the shape look familiar?

 

Here is a picture of a group of ladies trying on some stylish high heels in the 1930’s.

This pair of shoes is from the 1930’s.  They look surprisingly similar to some styles today, don’t they?


Shoe styles just keep getting more and more outrageous

We sure have come along way from shoes being worn for protection and comfort, to fashion statements and self inflicted torture!

Lady Gaga is known for her outrageous outfits on stage, but come on this is stupid! Does she have to travel in costume too?

She made an absolute fool out of herself by falling down at an airport, trying to walk in these ridiculous 12″ platform boots.   What was she thinking?

It seems she falls quite often. Either she is quite clumsy, always intoxicated or it’s the shoes!

(Or maybe all of the above).

Being fashionable is one thing, but putting your health and well being at risk is another.  

Be good to your feet they are the only pair you have, and they need to support you for your whole life!

Just remember styles come and go as fast as the weather changes, so don’t be too concerned with keeping up with the newest trends.

When you do an inventory of your shoes you will notice (like i did)  that 80% of the time you only wear 20% of the shoes you own.  The 80-20 rule applies to your clothing too!  I know for me it is time to do some Spring cleaning!

Now before you go on your next shoe shopping spree do me a favor.

Close your eyes, click your heels together and repeat after me, “There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home!”

🙂

Related Articles:
Tends and Trends

What You Can’t See

bacteria

 

You’ve heard the phrase, “What you can’t see can’t hurt you”, right?

But that is not true!

Just think about how many people died in the middle ages from the “Black Plaque” for instance.   It was estimated that between 30-60% of Europe’s population was wiped out.  The causes of plague were not discovered until the late nineteenth century.

We now know that there were three forms of Plagues:

  1. The Bubonic Plague was spread by fleas who lived on plague-infected rats that were transported from Asia to Europe on trading ships.
  2. The Pneumonic Plague spread rapidly from person to person through sneezing.
  3. The Septicemic Plague was spread through contact from open sores.
Through these three methods the Black Death spread from Asia to Italy through the trade routes,  and eventually throughout all of Europe between 1347 to 1351.

No one knew what hit them as they could not “see” their invisible enemies.

Hygiene was poor, and there was no sanitation. Bathing was rare as there was no running water for the majority of the population.  When a family did bath (usually once a year) they would fill a big basin with hot water. The father was privileged to go first, then the sons, then the mother and the daughters down to the youngest. By the time the last was bathed the water was so dirty you couldn’t see anything.  Thus phrase “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”.

Going further back in time we see that the Ancient Israelites (for instance) were protected from many diseases because they were instructed from the Scriptures NOT to do as other nations.  The Ancient Romans, in contrast, suffered many infectious diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and certain digestive ailments.  Many died of lead poisoning from the use of lead cups and utensils.  One of their favorite foods was pork, and they didn’t cook it thoroughly. They didn’t know that pigs carry many of the same diseases as humans.

Ever heard of the “swine flu”?

The people of Israel, on the contrary, were not allowed to eat pork (considered unclean).  Do you think they understood why?  No, they just had to trust what God, who they couldn’t see, instructed them to do, knowing it was for their protection.  Even their lifespans were longer than most at 50+, whereas as the Romans on the average only lived to approx. 25 yrs.

Interestingly during in the time of the Black Death in Europe, because the Jews in the area were not infected they were accused of causing the plague. But the reason they were not infected was due to their lifestyle.  With immaculate hygiene practices, and refraining from foods that were harmful they stayed healthy and unaffected.

Thank goodness we now know to cook meat thoroughly to kill any germs, bacteria and parasites.

Did you know that the ratio of deaths by infection during the War of 1812 were 7.5 infectious deaths to 1 combat death?  It would have been similar or worse throughout all ancient battles.

We had no idea of bacteria, germs and virus’ until the late 1800’s.

What about now? Aren’t you glad we live in the modern day, with modern advances in medicine and microbiology?

But even today we still tend to not pay attention to things that we cannot see.

Just because you don’t  see dirt on your sponge doesn’t mean it is clean.  Just smell it after a couple days of use!

Here is a list of some places in your home where bacteria dwell that you may not have thought of:

Besides your kitchen sponge or cloth, how about your children’s toys?   Or the TV remote,  door knobs or handles, your keyboard and mouse, or cell phone, just think of all the things you and your family touch every day.  Those areas should be cleaned regularly to avoid infection.

It’s important to teach children that there are things that they cannot see that can hurt them.  That is why we tell them to “wash your hands before dinner” or “wash your hands when you come in from playing outside”, and “Don’t pick up and eat that cookie that fell on the floor!”

A great solution to keep your home free from bacteria, mold and virus’ is something just about every home has.

It’s vinegar! And the cost is minimal.

It’s good to keep a spray bottle handy with vinegar and water solution for those quick cleanup jobs.  You’ll eventually get used to the smell, it dissipates in an hour or less,  just don’t use it right before guests arrive!  Hydrogen Peroxide also works great to disinfect.  I don’t recommend using bleach, as it’s a very harsh chemical.

If you’ve noticed lately alot of grocery stores offer disinfectant wipes at the door as you enter.  I usually use them to wipe off the grocery cart, and my hands just in case I brought any invisible unwanted guests with me.

How about Asthma sufferers?  Some of the things that can trigger asthma attacks are things that cannot be seen, such as: dust, pollen, perfumes, allergens from pets or cleaning products,  and mold.

So you “see” there are things that cannot be “seen” that CAN hurt you.

It is best to follow an ancient addage, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.

This phrase is not specifically in the Scriptures, but it is kosher!  🙂

Breakout!

We all have bouts of breakouts.

I’m not talking about the urge to break into a song and dance routine in a crowded mall, or breaking into a fit of rage from breaking a fingernail, but of the embarrassing breakouts of acne.

It can happen no matter what your age.  In fact statistics show that more than 50% of adult women and 25% of men have acne breakouts.  So don’t feel alone teenagers!

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what causes acne so that you can see it coming or avoid it altogether?  I know chocolate has gotten a bad rap for years as a major cause but in reality there are other causes worth looking into.

Here are some common causes and cures of acne:

Diet: You probably already know that eating junk food can be a major cause of acne breakouts, but also certain food allergies.   Another cause is sodas and any drinks with caffeine that are detrimental to clear flawless  skin.  Whats the cure?  Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water.

Hormones: If you notice acne breakouts more at the time of your menstruation, then your hormones could be the culprit.  I can say I’ve been plagued by this type for many years, until I past menopause.  I’ve heard that regular use of birth control pills helps.

Hair Products: If you use oils and sprays on your hair they can get on your skin and clog your pores, especially around your forehead, and neck.   At night, after washing your face try sleeping with your hair tied up away from your face.

Bedding: When is the last time you washed your pillowcase and sheets?  Your face may be clean but any dirt from your hair or in the air even can build up on your pillow, not to mention bacteria and germs.  Best to wash bedding at least once a week.

Dry skin:  I know this sounds absurd, but if your skin is overly dry it can actually produce more oil to compensate.  All skin need moisture, but to different degrees.  Some moisturizers are rich for extremely dry skin, and some light for more oily skin.  Choose what’s best for your skin type.

STRESS! Stress can cause a multitude of health problems, one being skin conditions such as acne. You may not be able to relieve your stressful day to day situations, but try to take a break away from your routine once in a while. Have a little fun.   It will do wonders for your health.  Regular daily exercise also helps relieve stress, and provides a multitude of health benefits.

Touch: Are you constantly touching your face?  I know I’m guilty of that one!  Hands touch all kinds of nasty stuff throughout the day and can transfer germs and bacteria to your face.

I don’t mean to sound like your mother, but “keep your hands off your face, and wash them regularly”.   Also a big NO-NO is when you have a pimple don’t squeeze it (remember don’t touch!)  Squeezing can make it worse, last longer and cause scarring.

Here is another thing you may not of thought of, something that touches your face more than anything else, your cell phone.   Ever notice how dirty, and greasy your phone gets from your hands?  It’s best to use a “hands free” bluetooth as much as possible.  To clean your phone just wipe it with antibacterial wipes or rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball every few days or at least once a week.  Oh yeah and limit others from using your phone to avoid passing on germs and bacteria.  I know I cringe when I see moms hand their toddlers a cell phone to play with, and they start drooling and sucking on them.  Yikes, Germ City!

Makeup: Did you know that some ingredients in your makeup may actually clog pores can cause breakouts?   Or you could have an allergic reaction to some product, and not even be aware of it.   It’s important to remove makeup and wash your face thoroughly every night with a good facial cleanser, and exfoliate at least once a week to remove dead cells under the skin.  It is also a good practice to clean your facial brushes and sponges  regularly.

Smoking: Smoking not only adversely affects areas like the respiratory and immune system, but also clogs pores which can cause breakouts.

Cures for acne can differ depending on the cause and type of skin you have. If you have  extremely bad acne or reoccurring breakouts it may be necessary to see a dermatologist.

If you have cystic pimples, ones that do not surface, they don’t normally respond to common treatments.  I’ve heard ice helps with the pain.  Unfortunately there is not alot you can do but be patient and let them dissolve on their own.

For mild to moderate acne breakouts look for products that contain Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide.

Hope that some of these causes and cures can help you in your fight to combat acne breakouts and get your skin back to looking healthy and beautiful.

Curb Your Appetite

Want to know a great appetizer, that goes with any meal?  WATER!

I know water doesn’t sound very appetizing, but the multiple benefits greatly out way the tasteless, aroma-less drink.

Water is a precious gift of nature.

Water flushes our bodies of impurities and toxins.

Water clears up our complexion.

Water helps in the digestive process.

And so much more…

The human body is on the average about 60% water.   So water is essential to life.  A person can go days, weeks and even months without food, but cannot go more than a few days without water.  We lose water daily through sweat and urination so it needs to be replaced regularly in order for our organs to continue to work properly.

Concerning diet we are always told to be careful “what” we eat, and that we shouldn’t eat this or that.  Which is important for a healthy lifestyle.  But one thing that I’ve found very interesting is that it is not only “what” you eat, but  “how much” you eat that can be a big problem.

You’ve heard the phrase “Your eyes are bigger than you stomach”.   Meaning your cravings cause you to eat more than your stomach can handle.  This is especially true when the food “tastes sooooo good!”    Another bad habit is when we eat too fast we don’t realize when we are full, and we end up overeating.

What happens when we overeat all the time is that our stomachs stretch out of proportion.  Like what happens to a balloon when you blow it up, then release the air,  it never shrinks back to its original size.

This is the problem when people get their stomachs stapled.   They have to eat much less or else the stomach will stretch out again.

This is where “water” can help.

Water makes a great appetizer!  When you start to feel hungry, before you open the refrigerator door, try drinking two 8oz. glasses of water FIRST. You will find that water will fill you up so that you will not be tempted to over eat.

Next time you feel like a snack try drinking a glass of water and wait 10 to 15 minutes and see if you still feel like snacking.  Then if you’re still hungry try a light healthy snack of fruit or veggies.  If the water curbed your appetite then you may have just been thirsty and not hungry.

Staying hydrated with water should be a high priority in your over all health plan.

And if you think water is a little too bland for your taste try adding a slice of lemon to give it a little flavor.

Plus lemons help with the digestion and eliminate toxins as well!

Related Articles:

A Healthy Way to Eat

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