Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fuel Drain - Are You ALWAYS Tired? Part 1

In this entry I will discuss the many factors that affect our energy and sleep levels. I don't have a million and one studies to reference, I'll just give you what I know.

Caffeine - Do you think that you're not caffeine-sensitive? Think again. Every time you use caffeine, it binds to your brain's nerve receptors , speeding them up. The increased neuron activity shoots an emergency signal to the pituitary gland which then gives a shot of adrenaline; hence the buzz. The half-life of caffeine is about six hours, so even if your last energy drink or coffee was at 4pm, you can still have this drug flowing through your system at 10pm, messing up your sleep

Evening - Are you going to bed past 10pm and give people the excuse " I just can't get to sleep before ten " . Check the activities you're doing the last four hours of your night. Are you watching TV or playing on your laptop? Exposing yourself to the glow of a screen before bed will keep you awake. Your body is hardwired to wake up when light is bright and go to sleep when it gets dark. If you shine a bright light in your face before bed you're telling your body it's time to perk up and be alert. If you absolutely must use a computer or mobile device later in the day, at least turn the screen brightness way down to semi-counter the effect of the light.

Diet - The primary conductor or your body's energy is your bloodstream. The two crucial elements for energy is oxygen and glucose; it is carried by your bloodstream to cells where they're converted into energy by the mitochondria. The number one problem with people's diet in this country is that they don't feed their bodies early enough in the day, the right way.

Waking up tired (From staying up too late on your computer, drinking iced coffee or Coke?) and then downing a coffee and danish on the way to work will keep you energized for about an hour. First mistake is feeding your body nothing but sugar for breakfast. After you get to work you drink more coffee and work until you finally realize it's lunch at 1pm. After eating nothing but caffeine and sugar for five to six hours, your tank is already on empty. You eat lunch with some candy from the vending machine and you skyrocket your blood sugar levels. Despite taking in plenty of calories, you're tired as death by the time you get home. These refined sugars are killing your energy.

When you eat breakfast, you must start the day off right with fiber-rich whole grains, lean protein and healthy fat. Think scrambled eggs and oatmeal (or whole wheat toast). In the afternoon, skip the candy and eat a protein-based snack like 0% fat Greek yogurt. Protein takes more effort to digest, so it raises metabolism and energy levels as your body works. Try incorporating complex carbs (whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, carrots, sweet potatoes) into every meal. Your energy will be more even.

Part 2 to be followed tomorrow night.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Do Foundation Like a Pro

Forget what you think you know about foundation - it's come a long way since the cakey, mask-like stuff your mom used to wear. Celebrities look so great on the red carpet because they're usually wearing foundation, and it can make anyone's skin look flawless.

Step 1 - Find Your Perfect Color: Test foundation on your jawline and check it in the daylight. The color is correct if it disappears without blending. Using your hand to test a shade does not make sense, use your face! Finding the right shade at the drugstore can be hard when everything is sealed and you can't put it on your face. Try going to a department store and getting a beauty adviser to help you pick the perfect color. Ask for a sample to take home, and then take it with you to compare to the cheaper brands to find the closest match.

Step 2 - Prep Your Skin: Make sure your skin is clean and moisturized before you do anything else. After applying moisturizer, wait 5 minutes to let it soak in. Primer is skipable unless your makeup has to last through a late night, or you can use it alone as a quick complexion smoother. Primer can minimize pores and mattify your face.

Step 3 - Swipe It On The Right Way: If you want just a little coverage, use your fingers. For more coverage, use a sponge. The Beauty-blender cosmetic sponge ($20, beauty.com) is a favorite among pros. It leaves just the right amount on the skin. For everyday, dab foundation only where you need it to hide pimples, camouflage redness or even out your T-zone. To get an airbrushed finish, blend makeup all over, including the eye area by starting in the middle and working your way out.

Step 4 - Do Concealer After Foundation: Applying concealer before will force you to use more than you need. The base of foundation keeps the concealer crease-free. Look for a lightweight liquid in a color one shade lighter than your skin. Going too light looks fake. Use a small, pointy brush to cover the darkest part of the under-eye circles. If other little skin flaws aren't quite covered by your foundation, dab on a tiny bit of concealer there too.

Step 5 - Finish with Luminous Powder: Unlike old matte versions, it won't suck the life out of your face. New translucent powders that reflect the light help skin glow and take down shine. Dust one on in a W motion. Start at your hairline on one side, swoop down to your cheekbone, up to the bridge of your nose, back down the other cheek, then up again to the opposite hairline. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Miranda Kerr's Body

Miranda Kerr. The name just gets me excited. Other than being one of the cutest things I've ever seen on the runway (Or ever), she is also known for her advocacy for healthy eating, exercise and skincare line. A fan recently asked Miranda what kind of diet she ate to stay fit. Below is her answer. Miranda is engaged into a plan that devotes 75 minutes to various interval training exercises. After the must have stretching session she and her trainer go for jogging and they run no less than 5km at least 2 times per week. The cardio exercises keep their heart rate at the desired  level to help them burn the extra calories.Also note that Miranda admitted to using green tea supplement pills to aid in her routine. Also note that the English and Australians have their traditional 'Tea time' which they take religiously. Constantly feeding your body keeps metabolism up. We are talking about fruit and tea for snacks, not chips and dip! ;]

A typical daily diet if I am home is:
* Fresh fruit salad with yoghurt and muesli
* 2 x Rye toast with avocado and boiled eggs
* Water with lemon and ginger
* Cup of green tea

Pecans, almonds and walnuts to nibble on for morning tea (sometimes roasted in tamari)
Fresh tuna salad with spelt crispbreads
Water with lemon
Dandelion Tea
Piece of fruit or nuts for afternoon tea

Either a salmon steak or other fish or Lamb Loin chops or a piece of steak with veges or salad
I don’t eat a lot of potato, but I eat heaps of greens and sweet potato and pumpkin roasted.
Cup of Green tea with ginger
Hope this helps. Love Miranda

Best Cardio for Burning Calories

High-intensity interval training is a top fat burner. You can do high intensity with running, biking, swimming, the elliptical... Intervals are short bursts of intense activity with short slower periods of recovery. They allow your body to zap more calories during a workout.

It's not a good idea to do intervals every day, it's hard to sustain 'killing it' for more than 30 minutes. Please remember, your muscles need a break to recover. To recharge, alternate days with low to moderate intensity cardio, such as jogging or brisk walking. Interval cardio is a staple in Hugh Jackman's Wolverine Workout that you can find here. http://www.menshealth.co.uk/building-muscle/get-big/hugh-jackman-wolverine-workout

Here is a basic example of a high intensity interval workout on a treadmill.

5 Min. Warm Up

4 Min. Rest Set: Increase the speed from the warm up and set the incline to at least 1%.  Keep a moderate pace.  This is your Baseline.

1 Min. Work Set: Increase speed and raise incline, resistance and/or ramps.  You should be working harder and find it difficult to talk.

4 Min. Rest Set:  Back to Baseline

1 Min. Work Set: Increase speed and raise incline, resistance and/or ramps.

4 Min. Rest Set:  Back to Baseline

1 Min. Work Set: Increase speed and raise incline, resistance and/or ramps.

5 Min. Cool down at a slow, easy pace

Source: exercise.about.com

<3 = :-)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

" The Snob Diet "

You probably invest a little extra money in your skin care, your shoes, your mattress, your clothes. How much do you invest in what you put into your body? These days all you see are people eating whatever is easily available, and many of it is processed, low-fat foods in an effort to control their weight. The truth is, these sub-par foods don't satisfy you the way that high-quality foods do. Maybe we should humor the idea of ditching the fat-free pudding and going for a scoop of the premium ice cream instead. Nutritionists swear that giving up the fake food and taking up the good stuff will help you lose weight. Think dark chocolate, rich gelato, block cheeses, filet mignon, potroast, eggs. Add in the fresh veggies and fruits you already love and you got a satisfying way to live.

Crazy talk! The reasoning behind this idea is simple. Eating food that is flavorful and in high quality will light up nerve receptors that link to the satiety center of the brain within two minutes of your first bite. It takes your brain twenty minutes to register fullness in your stomach. Packaged, processed foods lack the kind of aroma that helps prime fullness even before you take your first bite. They also prompt you to 'flavor chase', or keep nibbling to find some satisfaction from an inherently unsatisfying food. On top of that, they are less nutritious and quickly digested. So even after that bag of cheetos, you're still hungry a short time later. It kind of goes to that stigma that Chinese food makes you hungry after half an hour. It's full of grease, bread and salt.

How many of you are actually full on the Healthy Choice meals? It might be better to take a slice of home made pizza, eat half of it and be full. Portion size is the key to staying slim. You should stop eating when you've had just enough. Not too much, not too little (Goldilocks anyone?). A lot of dieters have lost touch with what that means... either being full but not satisfied or overindulging in a forbidden food and being satisfied but lethargic. Snob foods are so good that they prompt you to focus on every bite you're eating.

When you eat what you really like, you're less apt to pig out because you never feel like it's the Last Supper. Snobs indulge their cravings and eat less. Don't eat a pound of cheese and think you're following this diet! LOL. One disadvantage to eating high-quality foods is that they aren't readily available everywhere, so you have to think ahead. It saves you from the oops moments like getting breakfast from the vending machine or stopping at Domino's for lunch. I'll give you an example of a person's diet in a 'low cal' day and a 'snob' day.


8:45am - Bacon and egg on a roll and hashbrowns from a fast food place.
11am - Diet Coke and handful of walnuts
1pm - A chocolate peanut butter smoothie from a local smoothie shop
3:15pm -  Chips and salsa
8pm - Chicken parmesan on garlic bread with fries
End result - 2,500 calories

Snob Diet

8:45am - Egg omelet with sharp cheddar cheese and tomatoes made at home
11am - Still full from breakfast
1pm - Turkey and goat cheese garden salad with a vinaigrette and a dark chocolate brownie..from home
3:15pm - Blueberries with creamy Greek yogurt
8pm - Homemade pot roast with veggies and herbs. Finish off with a glass of wine
End result - 2,100 calories

So there you go. With the snob diet, this person will lose one pound a week. So pass me the dark chocolate. I'll pass on the snicker's bar.

<3 = :-)

Source: Glamour

Friday, January 27, 2012

Eye Skin Care

No doubt you've noticed that the skin around the eyes is the first place to show signs of wear. That's because skin is more delicate there than on the rest of the body. There aren't any oil gland on the skin around the eye, so it has no way to protect itself. You can't stop yourself from aging, but you can slow it down with these tips..

Shield - The combo of UV rays and squinting can break down collagen, leading to crow's feet. Guard your skin by gently dabbing on eye cream with sunscreen each morning, and it never hurt to put on those paparazzi glasses you love so much. I suggest Olay Regenerist Eye Cream and Concealer. It protects against UV rays and also covers up the dark circles you may have, and it's around $20-22 at drugstores. It lasts a very long!

Hydrate - Give skin a drink with a nighttime eye cream infused with hyaluronic acid. It draws in moisture, or try one with collagen-stimulating retinol to plump lines. You can also snack on Vitamin C rich foods to help combat the damage of free radicals can cause. Try Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream,$20 at drugstores.

Soothe - Rubbing is a major no-no when it comes to your eyes. To ease irritation without tugging, keep a caffeine-laced eye cream in the fridge and tap it on. Try Origins GinZing Eye Cream ($30 at Origins Stores), it helps calm and depuff. Origins Website

<3 = :-)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Want to prevent wrinkles before you get them?

If you're fairly young and hoping to prevent the signs of aging, you're making a smart move! I've heard dozens of people ask me " Why are you buying that stuff? You don't have wrinkles! " What people don't understand is that the point is to prevent wrinkles, not cure them when they show up.

If You Have No Signs of Aging (Yet)

Use Sunscreen Every Day - UV rays cause aging. Simple, right? Yes, even in winter. Use at least an SPF of 15. If you spend alot of time outside, upgrade to SPF 30. Reapply  every two hours and don't forget the cake rule. Put on sunscreen like you're spreading icing on a cake. Yes, that much.

Be A Label Reader - It makes sense to start using anti-aging products, but not the serious stuff yet. A great moisturizer is key. Look for anti-aging products that contain antioxidants like vitamins C and E, pomegranate, acai and apple stem cells (These can help protect collagen and elastin). Also look for anti-inflammatory agents like mushrooms, aloe, hyaluronic acid, lipids and amino acids (Like peptides and ceramides to maintain skin's hydration).

Work out and get more sleep - Exercise reduces the accumulation of free radicals inside your body, protecting your skin. Seven to nine hours of quality shuteye promotes collagen production and cell repair. Ever heard of Beauty Sleep? It's no myth!

Quit Smoking - Cigs are loaded with free radicals. Pursing your lips around a cigarette also creates lines.

Avoid Crash Diets - If you lose two pounds per week (That is too much!), you're probably shedding water weight and not fat, which will show up in your face. Trying to lose weight or not, stick with a vitamin and mineral rich diet made of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Also, add foods high in zinc, copper and selenium to your plate...they're skin firming. Think chicken, oytsers, walnuts and chickpeas.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sneaky Sugar

Stealthy Sugar Sources
  • Baked Beans
  • Smoothies
  • Lowfat anything
  • Bread
  • Croutons
  • Baked Potato Chips
  • Canned Soup
  • Frozen meals
  • Cereal
  • Pretzels
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Snack Bars
  • Yogurt
  • Pasta Sauce

"Health Foods" EXPOSED

I will discuss a small handful of self-proclaimed health foods that are in fact adding to your waist line, and give you the better alternatives.


Smoothies - The number one source of added sugar in our diets as Americans are beverages. Smoothies are loaded with sugar. Jamba Juice's 24 oz. smoothies have 70 g or more total sugar, most of which is added sugar from juice, sherbet and frozen yogurt.

Solution - At the counter, as for whole fruit. Little or no juice, lowfat milk or plain yogurt and ice. For those of you in the Charlotte area, the only smoothie at Smoothie King that I will drink is the 'Gladiator'. Before adding the two optional fruit chioces, it has only 180 calories, 1g carbohydrate, 0g sugar and 45g of protein in a 20oz.


Lowfat/Fat-free Salad Dressing - They often contain sugar in place of fattening oils, and mainly have 5g or 7g of it per serving. Do you really need all that sugar with lettuce?

Solution - 'Newman's Own' Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing. Most people use about 4 tablespoons of dressing on an average sized salad, and this dressing is about 180 calories in that amount and about 30% of your needed fat for the day. Not too bad for lunch. Make your own dressing with three parts balsamic vinegar, one part olive oil. Add mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.


Flavored Yogurt - One of the worst culprits! Some brands have around 25g of sugar in each container. That's 8oz of Coca-Cola!

Solution -  Plain low-fat yogurt. Stir in your own fresh chopped fruit or berries. You'll skip the high fructose corn syrup and get the fiber and antioxidants you were really eating it for.


Pasta Sauce - Many brands of canned pasta sauce can have up to 8g of sugar per half a cup.

Solution -  Check the ingredients on potential brands you will choose and skip ones that have extra sugar. (Tomatoes naturally have around 3g of sugar). Try "Classico Tomato & Basil" and "Lucini Italia Tuscan Marinara".

Strength and Size


You measure progress by the number of weights on the bar, so every week you want to increase that number. Let's say you're doing 5 sets of 3 reps on the bench press. In the first week, you use 135 lbs for your fourth and fifth sets. The second week, you might want to go up to 155 lbs for the final sets. You can continue like this for a few weeks, but eventually you'll hit a point when your strength gains are smaller than the weights you can add to the bar.

If you want to use heavier weights, you have to reduce your number of reps. Instead of 5 sets of 3, you could do 3 sets of 3 or 6 sets of 2. Use heavier weights in each set. The goal in mind is using the heaviest weight possible in your final set each week. This can be applied to any exercise with any configuration of sets and reps.


Muscles grow bigger when you make them stronger, which is easy enough to understand even if it's sometimes hard to pull off. Muscles grow when you make them do more work. This can be done by adding a rep or two to each set, or adding a set to each exercise. It's all up to you. Let's use the bicep curl machine for example. You start with 4 sets of 6. For the first few weeks you should see steady increases in strength simply by adding more weight. When you feel your strength plateau, try to squeeze out an extra rep or two. This gives you more total work, which should lead to bigger muscles.

Source: Men's Health Magazine

Fat Loss

"Will _____ help me lose weight?"

Juice Fast - No. I have yet to know one person who has done a juice fast and kept the weight off. You'll gain it back when you eat real food again.

Cayenne, Maple, Lemon fast - No. At least the juice fast gives you some kind of calories and antioxidants.

Cutting out the 'white' stuff - Yes. Refined foods like white flour and sugar have been stripped of vitamins and minerals. Not to mention fiber, which leaves you fuller longer. It's one of the fastest ways a person can lose weight. I hate that word...fat.

Spicy Foods - Yes. It boosts metabolism, and the more you eat, the more effect it has. It could take off up to 10 pounds in one year. Not much, I know. I take cayenne pepper capsules from GNC to support digestive functions. My Herbalist also said that too many spicy foods can make you irritable.

Paying with cash - Maybe. A recent study found that people who use a credit card to buy food make more impulse junk food purchases, and just more food than they originally intended.

A Gluten-Free Diet - No. Gluten is a grain protein in wheat, rye and barley. It has nothing to do with weight gain.

A Low-Carb diet - No. you may lose in the short term, but mostly water weight. Carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source. Get rid of 'white' carbs, but if you take away whole grains, you risk mood swings and cravings.

What's Your Diet IQ?

What's your diet IQ?

If you want a glowing complexion, enjoy more...

A. Licorice
B. Milk
C. Apricots

C - British scientists reported that people who ate fruits and vegetables with red, yellow and orange pigments (tomatoes, mangoes) every day developed a healthy 'golden' glow. The pigments are called carotenoids and are deposited in body fat and skin cells. We all would prefer that over saggy wrinkles from the sun!

What's Your Diet IQ?

To lower your cholesterol, you should eat..

A. Dried Apples
B. Hard-boiled eggs
C. Coconut Oil

Answer - A. According to a study funded by the USDA, those who ate 2.5 ounces of dried apples every day for six months reduced their bad cholesterol levels by 23 percent. They also lost 3.3 pounds on average. It's speculated that pectin, a soluble fiber found in apples binds with cholesterol in the intestine to prevent absorption into the body, while making you feel more full.

My first Video!

AHA I love that freeze frame they did on my face. Anywho, here's my first video just to introduce myself. I try to post something for everyone, whether it's physical fitness, diet, beauty or skincare. I'm not an expert myself, but just an amateur sharing info as I go. Here's to long life and feeling well on the inside as well as the outside!

Age 20+ and still getting acne? It could be several things..

Hormones - Pimples arriving like clockwork? We all have natural fluctuating levels of hormones, especially those of us with menstrual cycles. Just before ovulation, a peak in the production of testosterone causes excess oil which can cause breakouts. Use a salicylic acid containing cleanser like Noxema Clean Blemish control foaming wash or Biore 4-in-1 foaming cleanser. If you continue to break out, switch your moisturizer to one that's oil-free, to hydrate without clogging pores.

Stress - Stress is a major cause of adult acne because adrenal glands over produce androgens, male hormones present in both men and women, causing oil glands to swell and pimples to pop up. Lather up with acne-fighting cleanser while pinpointing acupressure points; the temples, the sides of the nose and the front of the forehead. Gently knead each spot with your index fingers for 20 seconds, breathing slowly and deeply.
Rinse off and apply an oil-free acne treatment like Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress control 3 in 1 Hydrating Treatment ($8, shop.neutrogena.com) and moisturize. Too late for prevention? Tap on a concealer with your fingers containing salicyclic acid and blend the edges. Don't pop or pick!

Sweet Tooth - There's nothing wrong with indulging once in a while, but some research suggests that foods heavy in refined sugars create a surge in insulin and triggers breakouts. It doesn't help to already have oily skin. Step away from the vending machine!

Acne Cosmetica - Yes, there's a name for using too much product! The same products that help with aging may be contributing to your clogged pores. Avoid products with ingredients like mineral oil (It's cheap), petrolatum, lanolin, sesame oil and cocoa butter. They trap bacteria in the skin. Try products like Murad Anti-Aging Acne Moisturizer ($46 murad.com or at Ulta) that have the same collagen stimulators and amino acids we look for in our wrinkle remedies. Apply a thinner layer every other day and double up only on the wrinkle prone areas. You can use Lancome's Genifique Youth Activating Serum ($84 at Macy's) or you can use Loreal's Youth Code Serum. It's sold at walmart and target and ITS THE EXACT SAME THING for more than half the price. =]

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Home Facial

If you have 30 minutes.. Spa Treatment!

Three 10-minute masks create the effect of a spa facial. Start with an exfoliating mask. I suggest St. Ives or Generic ($2.14) Apricot Scrub with salicylic acid. Follow with a clay treatment. There are SO MANY masks out there. For something affordable I suggest Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque ($4.29). Finish off with a hydrating treatment. Try Freeman's Goji Berry Facial Hydration mask. I can only find the last product in the small packets they hang up in the store near the end caps.

The trio balances all skin types, blots oiliness and heals dryness.

Other products to try with slightly higher budgets:

Naturopathica Pear Fig Polishing Enzyme Peel
Boots Botanics Conditioning Clay Mask
Yes to Carrots Softening Facial Mask

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