Tag Archives: Health

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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Common Causes Of Pain Below The Belly Button

Woman clutching painful tummy

You’ve always been told that you look most attractive when you smile. A pleasant facial expression is vital for inviting conversation. And here you are, trying to have fun, trying to be social and you look….totally miserable. Why? Your stomach hurts. Nothing puts a damper on a good time quite like a sharp pain in your lower abdomen. If you find abdominal pain becoming a little too familiar, you shouldn’t have to suffer. The first step to doing away with your problem is by finding out what’s behind it. Here are a few possibilities.

Digestive Pain
The most common cause of lower abdominal pain is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) However, it is the tendency to characterize all abdominal pain as IBS which increases the likelihood of misdiagnosis. Dr John O’ Malley explains that “what’s increasingly diagnosed nowadays is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which can result in symptoms such as bloody diarrhea. There is also irritable bowel syndrome with constipation which can see symptoms of both diarrhea and constipation.” To help determine the cause of your pain, locate your bowel by placing your hands above your hips. O’ Malley explains,”Pain on the left might indicate large bowel problems while pain on the right could suggest issues in or around the intestine.”

Bloating
Bloating can occur when spasms cause the air in the bowel to expand. O’ Malley says this, “normally causes mild pain, while intense pain could be a result of colonic spasm and even appendicitis when acute.” Although many people try to manage bloating by cutting certain foods from their diets, O’ Malley advises against this. “You should never cut out major food groups without seeking a dietician’s advice. For example. if you have celiac disease, you might have difficulty absorbing calcium, which could result in osteoporosis, so it’s important to cut out food as and when necessary, with medical assistance.”

Woman in pain

Period Pain
Period pain occurs when the muscular wall of the womb tightens. It can be triggered by underlying medical conditions, such as fibroids, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease. Professor Claudia Estcourt advises monitoring any changes in period pain, which might be an indication of something more serious taking place. She says, “The key thing when assessing pain related to the reproductive system…is to keep tabs on any changes. For example, if you’ve never had period pain and suddenly find your periods are uncomfortable and result in an uncharacteristic pain over several months or cycles, it’s a good idea to take action. Symptoms to look out for include feeling sick, experiencing constipation and diarrhea, weight loss, unusual pain during menstruation, and bleeding during or after sex. Vaginal discharge may be an indicator of something more serious, as can severe pain in the ovaries, or pain which makes penetrative sex inordinately uncomfortable.

Painful Sex
Sharp, dull, or constant pain may be an indication of a possible infection in the fallopian tubes or uterus. Estcort says, “Pain during sexual intercourse can occur when the uterus or ovaries are inflamed and can cause pain when the penis hits the cervix.” She advises women having pain or experiencing bleeding during and after sex to visit their GP for an STI screen to “rule out any infections that might give rise, if left untreated, to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancies, and longer term lower abdominal pain.”

Urinary Pain
UTIs, such as cystitis, are characterized by a burning sensation when urinating or the feeling of urgency when needing to urinate. According to Mary Garthwaite, Consultant Urological Surgeon at James Cook University Hospital, most common factors for cystitis include hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, sexual activity, bowel issues, and fatigue. Pain from cystitis occurs low in the middle of the stomach, below the pubic bone. The bladder can be located by pressing on the middle of the bikini line. Garthwaite says, “If it’s a severe infection, you might get loin pain which can go of to one side and around to your lower back and you may feel as if your kidneys are aching. If you feel as if you may be in the early stages of bladder infection, increase your water intake to dilute the urine and flush out the bacteria clinging to the bladder wall. If symptoms worsen, speak to a pharmacist. Another symptom worthy of a doctor’s attention is the appearance of bright red blood in your urine which may be caused by inflammation from bacteria clinging to the bladder lining.

Woman lying in pain

If you are suffering from chronic pain below the belly button, we hope this has been helpful. Let us know about your experiences and the preventative actions you took.

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Give These Summer Skincare Tips A Try

The day of reckoning has come. The days are getting longer and the shorts are getting shorter. It’s time to unveil all those parts of the body that you’ve been referring to as the “nether regions” this past winter, and that means your skin has to be up to the task. How are you going to get your pasty legs “Daisy Duke” ready in time to hit the beach? No problem! Just dust off that razor, toss out the old sunscreen, and get ready to glow crazy.

Exfoliate
Your body is a skin cell shedding machine. You need to get rid of all those dead cells before they end up collecting on your skin, making it look dull and dry. Lotions is not enough. You need to grab a good body scrub and high tail it to the shower, now! Rub the exfoliator over your body in circular movements and rinse. Do this 2-3 times a week to keep skin soft and smooth.

Shave the Right Way
If you haven’t been exactly diligent about your shaving practices last winter, its time to pay the piper. Find a good razor that won’t cause razor burn and invest in a good women’s shaving lotion with moisturizers. If you find yourself without lotion, hair conditioners will do in a pinch.

Use A Summer Scented Lotion
You don’t want to just look like summer, you want to smell like it too. Get the full effect with a light fast absorbing summery gel or spray. Coconut and mango scents absolutely bespeak of summer. Make sure to apply right after drying off from the shower to seal in moisture.

Give These Summer Skincare Tips A Try

Maridav / Shutterstock.com

Safe Summer Glow
It may seem hard to believe that less than 40 years ago, people spent their summers basking in the sun hoping to catch some color. Nowadays, we have to seek our glow from containers. Sunless tanners are a great option for giving your skin a glow this summer. You can also alternate your usual facial moisturizer with a tinted one to build gradual color, giving the effect of an effortlessly maintained tan all summer long.

Feet
Time to switch out those winter boots for your slinky sandals? An at home pedicure may be on the agenda. Use a foot scrub and file to scrub off dry, dead skin a few times a week. Products with ADA acids will add some exfoliating action to your pedi, making your feet sandal ready.

Nail Polish
While you’re working on those feet, you may want to polish those toenails. You can go for something bolder on the toes than the fingernails, and its bound to stay on for a lot longer because we don’t clean our houses with our feet. Just apply a base coat, two coats of color, and a clear top coat for protection. Go barefoot for a few hours to let polish set.

New Sunscreen
The importance of a good sunscreen cannot be overstated in the summer months. Using last year’s unused sunscreen is not going to cut it. Be safe and buy a new bottle and use it. You should apply a shot glass sized amount of sunscreen to your body and a full teaspoon for just the face and neck area. Reapply every 1 to 2 hours. Be sure to look for something with broad spectrum protection and an SPF of at least 30.

How are you getting your glow on this summer? Let us know your favorite summer glow to-s.

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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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Tasty Low Calorie Snacks

If you are a consumer, you may have noticed the recent popularity of prepackaged 100 calorie snacks. They seem like a great idea. One hundred is a perfectly rounded decimal number, and seems relatively inconsequential when compared with the recommended 2000 calorie per day recommended allowance. At that rate, we an eat them every day an still have room for another 1,900 calories! And, on top of that, the snack companies have already done the hard work for us. There’s no measuring required, and no uncertainty about serving size. Plus, the individual packaging helps curb the temptation to eat more than one serving. Genius!

So what’s wrong with this? Well, a few things. Firstly, you’re paying for that individual packaging and really not getting that much food. After all, 100 calories is one hundred calories. Secondly, a good deal of what’s on offer is highly processed and not really that filling. But don’t worry, the party’s not over! Here are a few more satisfying and healthier one hundred calorie options that you may not have considered.

Baked Potato
Microwaves have revolutionized the preparation of the baked potato. For a quick snack, pierce the spud with a fork and nuke on high for five minutes. Eat plain for the full hundred calories or top half with 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt and one tablespoon of salsa and save the other half for later.

Frozen grapes

Frozen Grapes
Grapes are great frozen or fresh, but the frozen kind do tend to last a bit longer. One cup, or about 28 of these babies, will equal about one hundred calories and are also a great source of antioxidants.

Protein Shake
To make your own, less processed version, add a scoop of vanilla whey protein to a cup of unsweetened almond milk. It makes a delicious post -workout snack that will help muscles recover after exercise.

Dark Chocolate
Three squares of dark chocolate or five chocolate kisses will provide 100 calories of stress-free, endorphin-raising bliss.

Dark chocolate

Healthy Ice Cream Bars
Not only a low-calorie way to nosh, enlightened ice cream bars actually contain five grams of fiber, eight grams of protein, and no artificial sweeteners!

English Muffin with Fruit butter
Go for a whole wheat muffin, as a more nutritious alternative to white. Also, choosing apple or pumpkin butter over jams will save you around 20 calories per serving.

Coconut and Kiwi
Hear this, orange and grapefruit, there’s a new player in town! One large kiwi has all the vitamin C you need to meet the daily recommended allowance. Top with one tablespoon coconut for a refreshing tropical sensation.

Baked apple

Baked Apples
If you want to satisfy a sweet tooth, core a medium sized apple dusted with cinnamon and bake it at 350 for 20 minutes. Leave off the oats and nuts to keep it at the 100-calorie mark.

Kettle Corn
Make a healthy version of this snack by topping 2 cups of freshly popped popcorn with a teaspoon each of stevia and cinnamon. Or, swap the Stevia for one teaspoon of honey mixed with one teaspoon of water. Thin out in a microwave for 20 seconds for best results.

22 Pistachios
Higher in protein and lower in saturated fats than most other nuts, 22 pistachios are a filling and flavorful hundred calorie option. Go for the in – the – shell type, if possible. The extra work will save you 41% of the calories as compared to the unshelled. Well worth the effort.

If you still prefer your pre-packaged options, let us know! Or if you’ve decided to try a few of our suggestions, or have any of your own, we want to hear about your experience!

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Core Strengthening Exercises That Work

Woman exercising
The most commonly accepted definition of core stability is: “Comprised of the lumbopelvic hip complex and is the capacity to maintain equilibrium of the vertebral column with its physiologic limits by reducing displacement from perturbations and maintaining structural integrity.” And you thought it had something to do with the middle of a fruit.

Physiotherapists Henry and Florence Kendall first acknowledged core stability when they introduced the idea of the “neutral pelvis” in the 1940’s and 50’s. The idea was that the muscles surrounding the pelvis were responsible for the alignment of the “neutral spine” and that the pelvic tilt was the movement which deviated from the neutral position. In short, core stability involves using abdominal pressure to stabilize the spine which, in turn, can improve muscle and gross motor action.

It looks like old Henry and Flo might have been on to something, because, here we are about 70 years later and it looks like core stability is working for some pretty impressive ( and impressively built) people.

1. Side Plank Variation
Celebrity Pilates trainer claims you can catch Miley Cyrus side planking during her exercise routines. Here’s how:

  1. Lie on the floor. Lean sideways, putting your weight on your right hip, and use your right arm to support your body. Bend your legs slightly and position your left foot a little in front of your right foot.
  2. Using your core, elevate your body upward into a side plank.
  3. Reach your left arm over your head.
  4. Pull your abs in high, lower your hips without letting them touch the floor, lower your left arm and press back into the side plank.
  5. Repeat 6-8 times and then switch sides.

Woman completing a plank push up
2. Plank Push Ups
Celebrity trainer Teddy Bass used this one to help Christina Applegate get her post baby body back in shape.

  1. Get into plank position. Put your weight on your toes and forearms. Your body should form a straight line.
  2. Push off your forearms, lift your right hand and position it under the right shoulder on the mat.
  3. Pick up your left hand and place it beneath your left shoulder. You should find yourself in push-up position.
  4. Drop to your right forearm, then drop to your left forearm. You should now find yourself back in plank position. Continue in a push-up pattern going up on the right, up on the left, down on the right, down on the left for five repetitions total.
  5. Rest and begin again, starting with the left arm.

3.V-Sit Twist
Pro Derek Degrazio had Britney (Spears) working out with this one. BTW, you’ll need a 6-10 pound medicine ball for this one, if you don’t have one, a dumbbell or gallon of water will do.

  1. Sit bending your knees. Your feet should be flat and your arms should be by your sides.
  2. Keeping knees bent, lift your feet until your shins are almost parallel to the floor. Lean back at a 45 degree angle so your thighs and torso form a V shape.
  3. Bring the 6-10 lb medicine ball, or object of choice, to your chest, keeping your elbows out.
  4. Move your upper body to the right. Your left elbow will be above your right hip. Then move to the left in the same manner.
  5. Do three sets of thirty.

4.Three Legged Dog
Fitness and yoga instructor Mandy Ingber has client Jennifer Anniston swearing by this one.

  1. Begin as if you were going to do push ups. Raise your right heel to the height of your shoulder and no higher.
  2. Bring your right knee to your head, Round your spine, inhale, and bring your leg back to starting position.
  3. Exhale, bringing your right knee alongside your right tricep. Extend leg and inhale.
  4. Exhale, cross in your right knee to for left elbow. Inhale as you stretch out your leg. Do this three times and then repeat switching legs.

If you are still upright, we would love to hear about your core experiences. How did you measure up to the celebs? Please comment and let us know all about it!

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Improve Your Vitamin Intake and Your Glow

Women with beautiful glowing skin

If you’re a mom or dad, or maybe you just have a funky taste,  you may know that vitamins can make the water in your bath glow.  You just crush up two vitamins, stir them in warm water and add them to your tub.  Turn the room lights off and the black light on and boom!  Your tub is glowing.  Now, if you have a child, they will be much more eager to get in the water and if you have just taken some strange drugs or too much alcohol you have a place to chill for the next hour or so. The takeaway:  Vitamins make things glow and they can make you glow as well!  Read on!

Vitamin C and E
When it comes to Vitamins that aid in skin care, Vitamins C and E are probably the first to come to mind. Topical Vitamin C ( applied directly to skin) can prevent sun damage that leads to skin cancer and 400 mgs of natural Vitamin E taken per day can reduce photo damage, wrinkles and improve skin texture.

A recent study by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology done in 2005 discovered that those who took vitamins C and E in the long term reduced sunburn from UVB radiation and saw a reduction of factor linked to DNA damage.

 Keep in mind that antioxidants work best together.  The American Academy of Dermatology says that when the two vitamins are combined in a lotion, they provide a high level of defense against sun damage, smoke, and pollution.  But, don’t abandon the sunscreen yet!  Always keep your sunscreen (25 SPF) in close reach.  When it comes to sun protection, there is no such thing as too much.

 If you prefer your Vitamins in your meals, you can find Vitamin C in bell peppers , citrus fruit, broccoli, cauliflower and leafy greens. Vitamin E can be found in veggie oil, spinach, olives, seeds and asparagus.  But, it is important to note that it is difficult to get a lot of E from food, so a 400 IU dosage per day is recommended.

Vitamin A
If you already get a lot of Vitamin A from your food, upping your intake probably won’t make a big difference in your skin, so you’ll probably want to go for Topical Vitamin A when it comes to getting that glow.  Vitamin A is necessary for maintenance and repair of skin tissue.  Medical studies show that Vitamin A leads to reduction in lines and wrinkles , acne control and psoriasis relief.  Impressively, research presented at the Annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2003 from France showed applying Retinol plus Vitamin C (combine, combine) demonstrated a “reversal of skin alterations induced by chronologic aging and photoaging,” ( Are you still there or have you run out to pick some up?)

pomegranate

Vitamin B Complex
The most important B Vitamin when it comes to skin is BIOTIN.  If you have never tried this stuff, do!  It is the ultimate beauty vitamin and helps  form skin, nail and hair cells.  Furthermore, without it, you may develop dermatitis or hair loss.

Biotin can be found in bananas, eggs oatmeal, and rice and your body also makes some of its own, so most people get enough with our trying, but a little extra never hurts,  Topical preparation of B vitamins will give skin and almost instant healthy glow while hydrating cells and increasing tone.  Creams with niacin, a specific B vitamin helps skin retain moisture which can make your skin look PLUMPER and YOUNGER in 6 DAYS!( Hope you haven’t run to the pharmacy just yet.  You don’t want to miss that!)

Vitamin K
This, in the topical form, is the go to for reducing circles and bruises under the eyes.  Research published in the Journal Of the American academy of Dermatology found that skin treatments with Vitamin K reduced bruising after laser surgeries and a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that topical application of a gel containing vitamins A, C, K,  and E helped in diminishing under eye circles and decreasing wrinkles.

Oh boy!  What a lot of buying you will have to do at the local pharmacy! But think of how lovely and glowing you will be after applying all this stuff for a few months.  Hey, maybe you can add Vits A,B,C and K to that bathtub!  Remember, use them together for best results and YOU GLOW GIRL!

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