Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shop Smart at the Drug Store

Almost 90 percent of the chemicals found in the products you slather onto your skin have never undergone any testing for toxicity. 60 percent contain products that are potential endocrine disrupters, says Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group (EWG). It's a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. One-third have ingredients that are likely carcinogens (cancer-causing agents). The Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate the safety of ingredients used in cosmetic products. They defer to an industry-funded panel called the Cosmetics Ingredient Review, which to date has examined a mere 12 percent of the ingredients you use to groom yourself.

"The European Union operates by the precautionary principle, where if there's enough evidence pointing to the toxicity of a substance, they can ban it rather than wait for the final bit of evidence," says Mark Schapiro, author of Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power. "The United States, on the other hand, takes no action until there is final scientific data."

About 600 U.S. companies have voluntarily pledged to reformulate globally to meet EU standards. Until they all do, you can protect yourself by steering clear of a few key potential carcinogens and endocrine disrupters. Here's a list of the five most ubiquitous toxins to avoid, according to the EWG and Gary Ginsberg.

Toxin: 1,4-Dioxane    It usually hides under the name "sodium laureth sulfate" but is found in 56 distinct ingredients, including polyethylene glycol (PEG). The EPA lists it as a probable human carcinogen.

Toxin: Phthalates   This is usually called "fragrance" (everything I use has this...) a term for as many as 7,000 ingredients that are not required to be listed on labels due to trade-secret laws. These endocrine disrupters are linked to liver and kidney damage, obesity, and damaged sperm.

Toxin: Formaldehyde   It's the same stuff that's in embalming fluid and cigarette smoke, and it's found on labels under half a dozen different names, including "methylaldehyde" and "formalin". It's a known immune system toxicant and respiratory irritant and a probable human carcinogen, according to the National Toxicology Program.

Chemical: Hydroquinone  A chemical lightening agent in hair dyes and skin creams. It's listed as an "active ingredient." This is a skin irritant, immune-system toxicant, and neurotoxin. It's also a possible carcinogen.

Chemical: Parabens  Identified on labels as any ingredient with the suffix "-paraben" (butylparaben for example). These are possible endocrine disrupters and carcinogens, and they may impair fertility.

Source: Men's Health

Sunday, August 26, 2012


One of Eat This, Not That's 8 Foods You Should Eat Everyday. There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: Red are the best, because they're packed with more of the antioxidant called lycopene, and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it's easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Aim for 22mg of lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry tomatoes, or 8oz of tomato juice.
Substitutes: Red watermelon, pink grapefruit, papaya, guava.
Fit it in: Ketchup, Ragu, low-sodium V8 juice, double the amount of tomato paste called for in a recipe

Source: Eat This, Not That

Friday, August 24, 2012

Stay In The Game

Buy running shoes after work - Shop at night, when your feet are swollen after a day of pounding, advises Chad Asplund, M.D., a physician at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Georgia and a running-shoe researcher. It approximates how big your feet will be after the first 3 miles of your run.

Exercise off road - Unstable surfaces train stable ankles.

 Beat the heat - Humid environments -- i.e., anywhere south of, say, Maine and east of Colorado -- only make asthma worse, as Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis well knows. He passed out on the field in 1997 from an asthma attack. "You can't just react to the problem. You have to make sure it's controlled," he says. Even though he can't change midday practice times, you can. Run early. Temperatures are lower, and so are the humidity and ozone levels that can induce an attack. (Find more tips online at

Source: Men's Health

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Save The Earth, Simply

Turn Off The Light - A single 60-watt bulb burning 12 hours a day for a year uses up to 6,300 gallons of H2O (it's used to help drive steam turbines in power plants). That's your recommended drinking water supply for 35 years. And switch to fluorescent bulbs. They last 10 times as long and can save two tons of coal a year per home.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Eat Carbs and Stay Slim

Eating (COMPLEX) carbs makes you thin for life - A recent multicenter study found that the slimmest people also ate the most (COMPLEX) carbs, and the chubbiest ate the least. The researchers concluded that your odds of getting and staying slim are best when carbs make up to 64% of your total daily caloric intake, or 361 grams.That’s the equivalent of several stuffed baked potatoes (a food we bet you’ve been afraid to eat for decades).Most low-carb diets limit you to fewer than 30% of total calories from carbs and sometimes contain as few as 30 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Source: Health Magazine

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Skip the Body Mask

Skip: the Body Mask
No need to fork over a fistful of cash for this one when you can briefly warm a hydrating body mask in the microwave and generously smear it all over to soothe chronically irritated skin and revitalize a dull, sallow complexion.

Source: Glamour

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's In Your Carry-On?

When he's not training stars like Anne Hathaway at his New York health center, wellness guru David Kirsch is busy teaching his two toddlers smart eating habits - a lesson he takes on the road. "We always bring lunch boxes filled with snacks like string cheese and almonds to the airport," he says. "You want something that's satisfying and nutritious."
Green Tea - "Flying is tough on the body," says Kirsch. "the recycled air, the altitude, and the guy sneezing next to you take a toll." Kirsch likes to relax and recharge with mint green tea, which is loaded with antioxidants and bioflavonoids that boost immunity and bust free radicals. Another bonus is that it won't increase jet lag or sap energy like a glass of wine.

Tyrosine Pills - To stay healthy and energized, Kirsch periodically spritzes B12 spray under his tongue and pops a supplement containing tyrosine, a natural antidepressant. "the combination is an amazing energy booster and helps build up your immune system too." Check out Twinlab L-Tyrosine Plus capsules, $19 or check out David's own spray $20 at

Low-Sugar Protein Bar - Kirsch skips in-flight meals. They are loaded with salt, sugar and carbs. Protein bars are a healthier option, but look for ones that have at least 20 grams of protein and no more than 8 grams of sugar. Top that and you might as well be snacking on a snickers. Craving a traditional meal? Scope out the terminal for a salad with grilled protein, like McDonald's chicken ceasar salad (without the dressing). David has his own protein bars for $5 on (I told you people that McDonald's is not the devil!!! Heidi Klum's trainer just said so.)

Snug Socks - Blood circulation slows down in the air, resulting in swollen feet - a major pain in the arch. Kirsch kicks up the flow with a pair of tight but not constricting socks, a tip he shared with client Heidi Klum when she was traveling while pregnant. Try Smart Wool Adventurer wool-nylon socks $2 at

Water-Rich Veggies - Kirsch drinks and eats for maximum hydration. He recommends eat raw veggies with high water content, like red peppers, which contain more vitamin C than an orange. "You're fighting off the possible effects of germs and dehydration with every bite," he says.

Source: InStyle

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Find the Right Toothpaste

What Flavor? - Pick any. The only reason flavor matters is because you might now brush for long enough if you don't like the taste.

Gel or Paste? - There's no functional difference.

What should I use for tartar buildup? - Use a toothpaste with sodium pyrophosphate, which bonds with tartar and dissolves it.

What if my teeth are sensitive? - Use toothpaste with potassium nitrate. It fills in tiny holes on your teeth that cause pain.

Anything with fluroide!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Add This to Your Hair Care Kit ASAP!

Available for purchase for $19 at Redken salons, in short it's a hair exfoliator that's to be used post-shampoo but pre-conditioner. Enriched with sea algae, soy protein, and aloe vera, this paraben-, sulfate-, and silicone-free formulation gently buffs your rough, dry strands with fine gritty grains of sand-like pumice stone, leaving your locks soft, shiny, and deliciously scented to boot. Certainly a new twist on the term 'hair polish', right?

I'd like to go on record as saying the following: If you've never exfoliated your hair, you're seriously missing out. While this product doesn't stamp out split ends, it's absolutely akin to a serious shower-scrubbing session for dull skin.

Every now and then, a beauty product hits the market and shakes things up a bit, as its purpose is a real game changer. Redken's super awesome Refining Sea Polish from their Nature's Rescue collection more than fits the bill.

Source: Glamour

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Skip the Bikini Facial

Skip: the Vagacial (a.k.a. Bikini Facial)
Speaking of, the benefits of removing hair down there are often outweighed by the consequences, a.k.a. the unwelcomed arrival of irritating ingrown hairs. Good news—there is a quick fix. Just be vag-ilant and gently exfoliate your bikini area twice daily for a full week following your wax.

Source: Glamour

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reload Your Guns Pt. 5


1A. Close-grip chinup - Hang from a bar using an underhand grip, but keep your hands 6 to 8 inches apart. Perform a chinup. Perform 1 set each of 8 reps, 6 reps, and 4 reps. Do a last set of as many as you can. Rest 2 minutes after each set.

1B. Dip - Grasp the bars of a dip station and lift yourself so your arms are straight. Lower your body until your upper arms dip just below your elbows. Do 1 set each of 8 reps, 6 reps, and 4 reps, and 1 last set of as many as you can. Rest 2 minutes after each set.

2A. Seated Rack Lockout - Sit in a power rack and set a bar on the safety pins at ear level. Press the bar above your head, and then lower back to the pins, keeping the tension on your muscles in the bottom position. Do 3 sets of 8 reps, resting 1 minute after each set.

2B. Barbell Row - Grab a barbell just beyond shoulder width and hold it at arm's length. Bend at your hips and knees. Pull the bar to your upper abs. Do 3 sets of 8 reps, resting 1 minute after each set.

3A. Decline Dumbbell Triceps Extension - Lie faceup on a decline bench and hold dumbbels over your head with your arms straight. Lower the dumbbells until your forearms are beyond parallel to the floor. Do 2 sets of 8 reps, and then 1 set of 15 reps. Rest 30 seconds after each set.

3B. Dumbbell Curl Series (Incline/Seated/Decline) - This is a three-exercise sequence of curls, all performed with your palms facing forward. Do 6 reps each of the curl while lying faceup on an incline bench, while seated on a flat bench, and while lying facedown on an incline bench. That's 1 set; do 2. Rest 30 seconds after each set.

Source: Men's Health

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hey guys,

Stumbled upon this cool site that sends you travel-sized products that match your skin and hair type. Not sure what products to use? They ask you questions and create a profile just for you and send you the products that would work best for you. This is a great tool that only costs17.95 and is sent to you every quarter.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Reload Your Guns Pt. 4

The Big Arms Workout, by Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S.

This arm-expanding workout overloads your biceps and triceps for guaranteed growth. The program is only 2 days a week, because the exercises challenge all the muscles in your body; you'll need the rest of the week to recover and grow! On the first day, you'll focus on all the common weaknesses that limit your ability to add size to your arms. Day 2's aggressive approach directly targets your biceps and triceps so you can pack on more muscle. Do workout A once a week and workout B once a week, resting at least 2 days in between sessions. Alternate between sets of exercises of the same number (i.e. Do one set of 2A followed by a set of 2B) until you complete all the sets in that pairing. Use the specified number of repetitions, sets, and rest periods included with each exercise description.

1. Snatch Grip Deadlift on Box - Squat on a 6-inch box or step and grab a barbell using an overhand grip that's about twice shoulder width. Without rounding your lower back, pull your torso up and back, thrust your hips forward, and stand. Do 4 sets of 6 reps. Rest for 2 minutes between sets.

2A. YTWL Dumbbell Raise Series - YTWL are letters you will be sort of making with your arms while doing these four mini raies. Perform this sequence of shoulder raises on an incline bench. Do 8 reps of the Y, rest 30 seconds. Repeat until each letter has been finished, and that is one set. Do three sets. For Y, start with your arms hanging straight down. Raise them to shoulder height at a 30-degree angle with the thumb sides of your hands facing up. For T, let your arms hang with your palms facing forward. Raise your arms straight out to the sides until they're at shoulder level. For W, bend your elbows 90 degrees. Without changing the bend in your elbows, raise your upper arms until your palms face the floor. For L, Let your arms hang straight down, palms facing behind you. Row the weights to the sides of your chest. Rotate your forearms up and back as far as you can.

2B. Offset Dumbbell Lunge - Hold a dumbbell in your right hand next to your right shoulder. Lunge forward with your right leg and return to the starting position. Do 8 reps on each side. Rest 1 minute and do 3 sets total.

3A. Inverted Row - Hang from a low bar with your body straight from head to ankles and your heels on the floor. Pull your body up until your chest touches the bar. Do 3 sets of 8 reps. Rest 30 seconds between each set.

3B. T-Pushup - Assume a pushup position and grip a pair of hexagonal dumbbells so they don't roll. Lower your body to the floor. As you push back up, rotate your body to the right and raise a dumbbell straight above your shoulder. Each rep, alternate between rotating left and right. Do 3 sets of 8 reps, resting 1 minute between each set.

4A. Prone Cobra - Lie facedown, your arms at your sides. Lift your head, chest, arms and legs so that only your hips are touching the floor. Hold the position for three minutes total, resting as needed.

4B. Farmer's Walk - Grab a pair of heavy dumbbells and walk for 30 to 75 seconds. Make it harder by grasping each dumbbell by its end. Once you feel you can go longer than 75 seconds, switch to heavier weights.

Source: Men's Health

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