Category Archives: Lifestyle

The Healthiest Summer Foods

So you’ve made it past winter. Past the comfort foods, the mac and cheese, the long cold nights on the couch the endless turkey leftovers, the pumpkin spice lattes, the pumpkin spice potato chips, the pumpkin spice nut muffins and the pumpkin flavored ice cream, and now it’s summer. Time to turn over a new leaf, and hopefully one with a vegetable attached. Summer is time to get healthy, and that means eating healthy. Here are some great healthy summer foods to set you off on the path to health.

woman eating watermelon

Watermelon
It wouldn’t be summer without the taste of watermelon, and the added perks: the fruit can also help keep your memory sharp, your body cool, and your mood balanced. The great thing about watermelon is that it’s 92 percent water, which not only keeps your body hydrated but can also help to keep your weight down. Research shows that the water in the melon keeps you full without adding calories. Another watermelon plus: the lycopene will protect your skin from the sun.

Corn on the cob

Corn
Ah, sweet corn, a must for your summer barbecue, and get this, it actually may be nature’s sunglasses. The antioxidants in corn, lutein and zezxanthin form a macular pigment that actually helps to filter out the sun’s more damaging rays while helping to lower the risk of age related macular degeneration.

woman drinking iced coffee

Iced Coffee
What better way to start your summer morning than with an ice cold glass of coffee? Better yet, in doing so, you may be reducing your risk of skin cancer. According to a study of more than 9,300 women published in European Journal of Cancer Prevention, those who drank a daily cup of caffeinated coffee lowered their risk of non-melanoma cancer development by about 10%, and the more they drank, the lower the risk.

Cherries

Tart Cherries
It’s cherry eating season and if you’re looking to slim down, you may want to do a whole lot of it this summer. Scientists at the University of Michigan Health System found that rats who supplemented a high-fat diet with tart cherry powder gained less weight and body fat than those who got the same amount of calories from carbohydrates. Apparently, the anthocyanins in tart cherries activate a molecule that boosts fat burning in the body and decreases fat storage. Another tart cherry bonus: drinking tart cherry juice can help you sleep better and relieve pain after a taxing workout.

woman harvesting tomatoes

Tomatoes
Not only do tomatoes make a lovely addition to a summer salad or sandwich, they can also help to keep you from sunburn. Apparently, the lycopene, which is the carotenoid responsible for giving tomatoes their red color, can also protect skin from sunburn. In fact, according to one study, participants exposed to UV light had almost 50% less reddening after eating 2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste for 10 to 12 weeks.

What are you eating this summer? Let us know how you’re staying full and healthy this season. We want to know!

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Taking Care of Your Skin In The Air

flight taking off

Literally and figuratively, flying is a trip. You get up at some ungodly hour in the climate and time zone you’re adapted to, get some air pressurized cabin pumping out some kind of mechanically generated excuse for oxygen, which you inevitably find uncomfortable by the middle of the trip, rise to an unnaturally high altitude, eat processed food, and wake up at a different ungodly hour in a different climate and time zone. If you think this is rough on the mind, just think about your poor skin. The following is a breakdown of exactly what happens to your skin on a flight, and some ways to keep it, and yourself, calm and glowing.

Humidity Factor
One of the main reason’s our skin does not do well on airplanes is because of the dry air in the cabin. According to Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, instructor of dermatology at Mount Sinai, “Typically, skin is comfortable when the humidity level is between 40 to 70 percent. Most airplanes are at about 20%. That’s less than half of what we’re used to.” That drop in humidity equals dry red and flaky skin. While you may think a good moisturizer is the best solution, Elizabeth Tanzi, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at George Washingon says, “When there’s no water in the air, moisturizers don’t work as well since there is nothing to grab on to.” Her advice? Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule with the ability to bind to water. Use a small amount of serum containing hyaluronic acid followed by a moisturizer with ceramides. The ceramics will create a barrier to prevent moisture from escaping.

Greasy Skin
When skin dries out, it may try and overcompensate for the dryness by producing too much oil. Make sure to keep skin moist so your skin won’t have to fight the super dry air alone. Blotting papers are a great way to soak up excess oil if the skin does get greasy.

Altitude
Most commercial aircraft become pressurized between 6,000 to 8,000 feet, comparable to what you might experience on the top of a mountain. Kanchanapoomi Levin warns that the increase in altitude means, “less blood flow to the skin, which may make for a dull appearance.”

vine vera Taking Care of Your Skin In The Air

Water Retention
Sitting still on an airplane for a long time eating salty foods can make the body retain extra water, which can result in bloating and puffiness. Tanzi advises trying to get a little exercise in after you land to get the fluid back in circulation.

Sunscreen
You are closer to the sun, after all. According to Kanachanapoomi Levin, “UV rays are much more intense at higher altitudes, and with thinner air, there is less screening of harmful radiation.” If you’re flying during daylight hours, sunscreen in your carry-on is an absolute must.

Eyes, Nose, Lips, Cuticles
Perhaps one of the reasons airplane food is so notoriously bad has to do with the fact that the crew is counting on your impaired ability to taste properly on a flight. When mucous membranes dry out on a plane, side effects may include not only an impaired sense of taste, but dry lips, nosebleeds, and red itchy eyes. Make sure to keep some Vaseline closely for your nose and lips, and some moisturizing eye drops to keep your eyes refreshed.

How do you keep your skin from getting stressed during travel? Let us know what you do before during and after boarding.

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Different Insect Bites And What To Do About Them

Vine Vera Insect Bite

Here’s the news folks: We are all minority. Yes, no matter what race, religion, or sexual orientation we identify with, there is a species that far outnumbers us, relegating us to minority status, despite our relatively large number. That is the insect. Insects are the most diverse group of animals on this planet including over a million described species and comprising more than half of all known living organisms on the planet. So, when it comes to the attack, how are we to know which one of these antennae bearing, joint-legged, googly-eyed life forms bit us? Here is a short guide to determining which of these hexapod invertebrates sank their teeth into our skin, and what we can do about it.

Mosquito Bites
Probably the most common and most annoying of insect bites, the mosquito bite is characterized by the signature itchy round pink or red bump. Although it is usually harmless, it can cause serious illnesses such as malaria and the Zika virus, which can be the cause microcephaly in infants of infected women. Wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and using an insect repellant containing DEET will help to protect from most bug bites. Antihistamines can be taken before going outside to decrease allergic negative reactions.

Biting Flies
Biting flies are a motley crew consisting of deer flies, horseflies, blackflies, no see ums and sandflies. Bites from this gang of pests tend to be more painful and irritating than those of mosquitoes and can sometimes cause allergic reactions.

Red and Black Fire Ants
Found mostly in the South, red and black fire ants give bites, which form a small blister, or pustule that usually appears a day or two after receiving the bite itself and tends to go away within a few days.

Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Bees and Wasps
Causing fear among children and grown men alike, these winged buzzers almost never attack unless provoked. Never swing or swat at them, and don’t smash them, as this can trigger an alarm scent that may stimulate others to attack. If you feel threatened by a bee, cover your face and keep still or walk away slowly; resist the urge to run.

Vine Vera itching hand

Treatment

Normal Reaction
When most insects bite or sting, they inject a small amount of venom under the skin, usually causing a small area of swelling redness, itching and /or pain. These symptoms should resolve relatively quickly and can be eased by taking over the counter pain medicines, applying cold compresses or ice, and using calamine lotion to control itching.

Large Reactions
Dramatic immune responses can cause significant pain and swelling over a large area of the body. These often require prescription medication, such as pednisone, an oral steroid, to fight inflammation. Seek medical health if the swelling does not get better after a few hours, or if it affects more than one-third of your leg or arm.

Life-Threatening Reactions
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that spreads through the entire body. It is characterized by itching that commonly occurs far from the bite or sting, and trouble breathing. Antihistamines can slow the process, but urgent medical attention is urgent and should be sought immediately.

How are you dealing with insect bites this summer? Let us know which of these critters bit you and for family and how you handled it.

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21 Days To A Fab Summer Bod

Vine Vera 21 Days To A Fab Summer Bod

Losing weight too rapidly can be ineffective as well as dangerous. Electrolyte imbalances can result from a lack of nutrients and it is likely that most of the weight loss will be in water and lean muscle rather than fat. One pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories, which means that you need to lower your caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day in order to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. This can be done by swapping out high calorie foods for lower calorie ones that still satisfy your appetite.

Eating

  • Load Up On Breakfast
    When you skip the first meal of the day, your hunger will build up and you’re more likely to over-eat later.
  • Eat Eggs
    Eggs are full of protein, which is key to feeling full. Reports from “Good Housekeeping” show that in a study of 30 overweight women, those who consumed two scrambled eggs with two slices of toast of breakfast, ate less food for as much as a day and a half later, than those who ate a bagel breakfast with a similar calorie count.
  • High Fibre
    To keep the calories down and the stomach full, eat high fibre foods, which are likely to fill you up longer. Aim to incorporate beans and salads into your meals, and choose pears for snacks.

Vine Vera 21 Days To A Fab Summer Bod 1

Drinking

  • Drink Water
    Water is a calorie-free way of flushing waste and fat from your body to help you lose weight.
    Ditch Sugary Drinks. Fruit drinks, juices, and sodas all contain a high calorie content. The average soda has 200 calories, which means giving up a soda a day translates into a 21 day total of 4,200 calories that you didn’t put in your body.
  • Skip the Treats
    Beware of drinks with bubble shaped lids. Those frothy blended coffee drinks are basically glorified milkshakes with an untold amount of calories. Try to avoid alcoholic beverages, which can also be well disguised diet killers.

Switch Out

  • Low Fat
    Try replacing some of your regular food options with healthier ones that are lower in fat and calories. For example, try to select skinless chicken breast when choosing poultry, as this is the leanest part of the chicken.
  • Lean Meats
    When choosing meats, look for the words “select” or “choice” on the label, which tend to be a less fattening option than “prime cuts.” In addition, tenderloin, sirloin, chuck and round are all examples of the leaner cuts of meat and are a better option for dieting than others.
  • Bake Your Food
    Baking food rather than frying it eliminates the fatty oils that add calories.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
    Use calorie free apple cider vinegar as an alternative to salad dressing.Exercise
  • Boost Your Routine
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week, which means 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you’re pressed for time, you can split the routine into 3 ten-minute intervals.
  • Increase Your Intensity
    Increasing the intensity level of exercise will help to drop weight faster.

Woman measuring her waist

How are you preparing for beach weather? Let us know how your dropping weight and feeling great!

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Reduce The Muffin Top by July 4th

Muffins with tape measure

You may not yet know what you’re doing on the Fourth of July, but you do know what you’re going to wear. You knew as soon as you saw the star- spangled, midriff – exposing two-piece that it would end up on your body on Independence Day. There’s only one problem. Your winter hibernation has left you with a rather unpleasant souvenir: a few extra pounds hanging over the waistline of your pants, a.k.a., a muffin top. How is that going to look with your patriotic ensemble? Never fear, here are some ways you can lose that muffin top way before the fireworks start.

No More Spot Reduction
You may be thinking that the best way to get rid of fat on a specific part of your body is by focusing most of your exercises on that body part. However, most personal trainers are now advising against spot training. Why? It seems some body parts lose fat more quickly than others. That means the body tends to retain a lot of excess fat around the stomach, and the fastest way to lose that fat is to perform exercises that help you to lose fat overall. While abdomen focused exercises may help you tone the area, more muscle mass will raise the metabolism, making it easier to burn fat.

Woman on stationary bike

More Cardio
Cardio is a great way to get your heart pumping, making your body work harder and burn more calories. Zumba is a great way to get in your cardio, as are swimming, hiking, cycling, and kickboxing. HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, tends to work more effectively than long workouts at moderate levels of intensity and remember to keep walking. You should be taking about 10,000 steps a day, which can be monitored with a pedometer.

Strength Training
A great way to build muscle mass is by strength training. Women who engage in strength training for 25 minutes two or three times weekly can gain about two pounds of muscle and lose twice as much fat within two months.

Woman doing crunches

Abs Exercises
Although spot reduction is not the recommended way to reduce the muffin top, performing exercises which focus on the abdominal muscles can help you tighten up the area. However, you’ll get best results doing them in conjunction with cardio. Crunches and sit ups are probably the most common abs-based exercises.

Side Muscles
While you’re focusing on your waistline, don’t forget to work the muscles on the sides. Leg lifts are good for this: Lie on one side with your legs outstretched. Raise and then lower the top leg, keeping it straight. Turn over and repeat with opposite side.

Woman with jump rope

Intervals

    1. Pick Your Type of Cardio
      Running, swimming, jumping rope, and biking are all good choices.
    2. Warm Up
      Designate the first ten minutes to increase your exercise level from low to moderate. Easy means you can hold a conversation easily; moderate and you will only be able to get out three to four words at a time.
    3. Do Ten Sprints With Breaks For Recovery
      Your sprints should be 30 seconds long with 30 second recovery periods, or light exercise. Sprints should be done at full intensity, exerting enough energy to achieve breathlessness. It is important to keep moving constantly, even during periods of recovery.
    4. Exercise At Moderate Intensity For the Minutes
      Perform the exercise of your choice for a steady ten minutes at moderate intensity without pause.
    5. Do Ten More Sprints
      Repeat step 3.
    6. Cool Down
      Wind down with five minutes of low-intensity exercise.

Woman drinking water

Are you trying to eliminate that muffin top to get into that bikini? Let us know how you’re doing it? What are the best exercises for trimming your waistline?

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Lifestyle May Be Your Skin Care Savior

Your skin will not lie. You can say you never ate that sugary food, didn’t go out in the sun without sunscreen, didn’t skimp on sleep; the list goes on, but your skin will give you away every time. You can lie all you want, but that blemish, sunburn, or wrinkle will be there to testify against you.

Face it, there’s only one way to prevent your skin from revealing your sins, and that is to stop sinning. It’s time to accept the fact that the only way to keep your skin quiet is by keeping it healthy. Here are some lifestyle changes to help you choose the right path to healthy skin.

Woman in nature

Protect Your Skin From the Sun
One sure way to prevent skin from premature aging is to protect it from the sun. There is no surer way to prevent age spots and wrinkles or to lower the risk of skin cancer. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 and apply generously, repeating every two hours, or more, if you’ve been swimming or perspiring.

Try to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when its rays are strongest and do your best to stay in the shade.

Wear protective clothing. Tightly woven long-sleeved shirts and pants, and wide-brimmed hats provide the best protection from the sun. There are also laundry additives on the market which give clothes an extra layer of UV protection for a number of washings, as well as sun protective clothing with built-in protection from ultraviolet rays.

Stop Smoking
Smoking narrows the blood vessels in the outer layers of the skin, decreasing blood flow and depleting skin of nutrients and oxygen. The result is older looking skin and wrinkles.

Additionally, smoking is a danger to collagen and elastin production. Collagen and elastin are the fibers that maintain skin’s strength and elasticity.

Woman smoking

Also, the faces that you make from smoking? The pursing of the lips? The squinting? Also likely to cause wrinkles. How can you prevent this? Quit smoking. Ask your doctor for tips and treatment advice.

Be Gentle
Even simply daily cleansing can tax your skin. You can keep the toll to a minimum by limiting bath time. Hot water can remove oil from your skin, and the longer you spend bathing, the greater the loss of moisture. Keep bath time down and try to use warm water, rather than hot.

Swap strong soaps and detergents for mild cleansers to keep skin better hydrated.
Shave carefully, using shaving cream, gel, or lotion prior to shaving. Use a clean sharp razor and shave in the direction in which the hair grows to ensure the smoothest shave with the least skin nicks and cuts.

Pat skin dry after washing to make sure some moisture is left on the skin and follow up with an SPF containing moisturizer that is suited to your skin type.

Eat well
Never underestimate the importance of a good diet for skin health. Eat your veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Research suggests that diets high in unhealthy fats and processed carbohydrates may age skin prematurely, while vitamin C-rich foods may promote younger-looking skin.

Woman meditating outdoors

Control Stress
Stress can increase skin sensitivity and lead to breakouts and other problems. You can manage stress by setting limits and decreasing overwhelming activity in exchange for things you enjoy, or doing low-intensity exercises like yoga and pilates.

Turn Off Your Cell Phone
According to Dr. Francesca J. Fusco, if you keep your head down often while scrolling or texting, you may begin to notice lines in your neck. She suggests hanging photos at eye level in rooms in which you text the most as an enticement to keep your head up during phone use.

Let us know how you have changed your lifestyle to improve your skin health. We want to know!

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Nutrients That You Should Get From Food

Healthy food

Nobody does it quite like Mother Nature, and Mother Nature does not make pills. Although no one can deny the vast contributions of science, try as man may, he has yet to manufacture a product, or pill, capable of healing and promoting growth in the same way Mother Nature can. That is why when it comes to seeking nutrition, there are some things science just can’t give us; and supplements don’t grow on trees. Here are some of the nutrients you should be getting directly from food sources.

Vitamin C
Citrus fruits are the best source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps your body absorb iron. One large orange contains 97.9 mg of the powerful stuff. That exceeds the recommended 90 mg a day for adult males and 75 for adult females. Other high C options include kiwi, tomatoes, and green and red pepper.

Kale

Calcium
Although not the most obvious source, Kale is a great way to get calcium to support nerve function and muscle movement. One serving of the leafy green contains 150 mg of calcium, which is a little over 10% of the recommended daily allowance. But rest assured, you can still get a good amount of calcium from dairy products, such as yogurt.

B Vitamins
Vitamin B 12 is one form of vitamin B usually taken in supplement form. It is important for the formation of red blood cells and neurological function. Eggs are a good source, and, while some shun them for their high levels of cholesterol, nutritional experts concur that this need not be the case. You can get 0.6 micrograms of B12 (about 10% of the RDA) from one large hard-boiled egg, and 3 oz of trout or salmon will just about do you for the daily intake.

B6, crucial for brain development and metabolism during pregnancy can be gotten for tuna, chickpeas, and nuts.

Vitamin A
We need vitamin A to maintain good vision and immune system function. It also plays a part in reproduction and supports the lungs, heart, and kidney.

Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are particularly high in Vitamin A concentration. Just one baked sweet potato with the skin on has a whopping 28,058 IU of vitamin A per serving. That’s 561% of the recommended value. The National Institute of Health reports that 28-37% of the population take vitamin A supplements.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant contain in the body which helps the immune system fight off virus and bacteria. Almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts are all rich in vitamin A, with one ounce of dry roasted almonds containing 34% of the daily recommended value.

Magnesium
Consider trading your magnesium supplements for a handful of cashews. These nuts are rich in the nutrient which is important for maintaining nerve function and healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

Cashews

One ounce of the cashews will provide you with a tasty way to get 74 mg of magnesium, 19% go the recommended daily amount.

Iron
Iron is a very popular supplement, especially for women who are at risk for not having enough. Men 19-50 should aim to get 8mg of iron each day, while women of the same age should get 18mg. You can get 3 mg of iron, around 17% of the daily recommended value in half a cup of drained, boiled spinach.

Vitamin D
Although most of our vitamin D needs to come from sun exposure, it is available in fatty fish like salmon and tuna. In fact, you can get 112% of the recommended daily amount from just three ounces of salmon, deliciously.

What about you? What supplements are you trading for foods? Let us know!

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