Why I Won’t Be Fascia Blasting

Fascia blasting is one of the most popular health and beauty trends of the past five years. It’s also one of the most mysterious, one that picked up steam after making a cameo on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and one that I don’t intend to try anytime soon.

What Is Fascia?

Fascia is a thin layer of fiber-rich tissue woven throughout your entire body. It's what puts the “fasciitis” in “plantar fasciitis.” In that instance, the fascia found beneath the arch of your foot is inflamed, which causes pain. Fascia exists all throughout your body, though, including around both muscle and soft tissue areas. Some of these soft-tissue areas are fat, and that’s where fascia blasting comes in.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


What in the World Is Fascia Blasting?

The basic idea is this: When your fascia gets too tight, it can cause discomfort (see sore arches above), and it can also encourage the growth of cellulite. Loosen up that fascia, the theory goes, and you’ll curb pain and reduce the appearance of cellulite.

The name for that process is fascia blasting, and it's performed in a variety of ways. The most common method involves warming up the area and then rolling or rubbing a fascia-blasting device across it for several minutes. These tools can take assorted shapes as well, but the most popular design looks like a baton with rubber claws on it. These claws do the actual “blasting.”

Does Fascia Blasting Work?

If an end to dimpled thighs sounds too good to be true, it’s because it probably is. Scientists have only scratched the surface when it comes to understanding what fascia is and what it does. They know that it’s primarily collagen and that it both gives your body its shape and helps its various parts move. Some evidence suggests that it may play a role in cellulite as well.

When it comes to actual fascia-blasting results, however, science is split. Some physical therapists and other health professionals feel that fascia treatments do improve the flexibility of your fascia, which, in theory, could decrease cellulite. Others disagree.

Interestingly, one of the biggest issues with any form of fascia treatment is the fact that fascia is virtually impossible to handle in isolation. In other words, since it’s wound all throughout your body like a giant net, it’s difficult to study or to say with any certainty what its exact role is in a given health condition.

Should You Try Fascia Blasting?

Probably not, and I’ll give you three reasons why. First, much more research needs to be completed. The evidence that suggests fascia blasting works for both cellulite and pain is promising, but it’s just a start.

Second, many physicians strongly recommend that any manipulation of the fascia be done by a trained professional. Experts know better which areas to target and how to handle them (literally in some cases).

Third, there are safer and gentler ways to relieve pain and potentially bust up cellulite-boosting tissue. Commercial fascia blasting tools are often extremely rigid. Add a well-intentioned but total lack of expertise into the equation, and you have a recipe for lasting damage. In fact, one of the most popular fascia-blasting devices has been subjected not only to FDA complaints but also to multiple class-action lawsuits by parties claiming blaster use led to inflammation, violent bruising and altered menstrual cycles.

I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t like to have the same figure that I had when I was 22. The thing is, I’m not willing to literally beat myself up to get it! If you’re considering fascia blasting to remove cellulite, do your homework first. Better still, learn to love yourself. Those aren’t dimples, those are battle scars, and you’ve done some incredible things to earn them.

Do Legumes Help With Weight Loss?

Legumes (pronounced “leh-gyoomz”) are the seeds or fruits of a certain type of plant family called Fabaceae. The legume family includes lentils, peas, peanuts and beans. Legumes have a very rich nutritional profile and they are full of protein and healthy fibers. They also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are good for the body and can help you maintain a healthy weight.

I’ve always liked the way legumes taste and the way they keep me satiated for long periods. But I had no idea they could help me lose weight until recently. But like many good things in life, there is some controversy surrounding legumes. I’ll go over that information and why I think it isn’t a big deal, and I’ll also show you the astonishing information I learned about using legumes as a weight-loss tool.  

Why Do Legumes Have a Bad Reputation?

There are a couple of things people don’t like about legumes. First, they contain phytic acid (we’ll talk about why that matters in a minute. Second, they tend to cause intestinal distress in people who aren’t used to eating them.

Though legumes have an exceptional nutritional profile, that profile is somewhat negated by certain antinutrients. Legumes contain phytic acid, which can inhibit optimal absorption of certain minerals (such as calcium, zinc and iron). But phytic acid is not unique to legumes. In fact, it’s found in all edible plant seeds.

Generally, the only people who need to worry about the phytic acid content in legumes are those who eat little o no meat. This is because people who eat meat get sufficient minerals to offset the potential negative impacts of phytic acid from legume consumption.

Additionally, you can reduce the phytic acid content of the legumes you consume by sprouting them, soaking them or fermenting them. Incidentally, these preparation methods can also help you avoid the intestinal discomfort associated with legume consumption.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


How Can Legumes Help With Weight Loss?

Now that we’ve gotten the controversial aspect of legume consumption out of the way, let’s dive right into what we really want to know: how do legumes assist with weight loss? It turns out they help in multiple ways, including:

  • Helping you feel full longer
  • Curbing cravings
  • Lowering blood sugar

As I mentioned earlier, legumes are full of protein and fiber. Both are great for helping you feel full longer so you don’t spend so much time snacking. They also help curb cravings so you have an easier time sticking to a healthy diet.

Finally, legumes can help you avoid spikes in blood sugar. Since legumes are low on the glycemic index, they do not raise blood sugars rapidly as white flour and breads do. Low-glycemic foods are associated with improved weight loss.  

How To Enjoy Legumes

Now that you know how important legumes can be on your weight-loss journey, it’s time to talk about how to enjoy them. Just remember that before using any of these methods, soak your legumes to lower their phytic acid content.

  • Add legumes to soups, casseroles and stews
  • Add cooked beans to your burgers and/or meatballs
  • Puree beans and seeds to use as vegetable dips
  • Sprinkle a few black beans, lentils or chickpeas onto a fresh green salad

These are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy legumes in my daily diet. Give them each a try to see which option you prefer. You can also sprout your legumes to enjoy maximum nutritional benefits. It’s pretty easy to find sprouting guidelines online for different types of legumes. Remember to also exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and consume other healthy foods to get the greatest weight-loss benefits from your legume consumption.

5 Reasons Restrictive Diets Will Never Work

A restrictive diet is one where you lose weight by giving up certain foods. Sometimes, this is a healthy choice, such as avoiding junk food. But most of these diets tell you to cut out entire food groups, such as carbs. Some force you to carefully measure the amount of calories you take in. The big question is, do restrictive diets work?

Why Don't Restrictive Diets Work?

According to expert nutritionists, any diet that is restrictive is practically doomed to fail from the very beginning. Why?

  1. Old habits: As I think most of know from personal experience, restrictive diets tend to be a temporary thing. No one really wants to eat cabbage soup every day or give up on chocolate for good. After 3–6 months, most people go back to eating how they used to, which adds on all those pounds again.

  2. Cheating: Let’s face it, denying yourself things that taste good is hard work. It feels like you’re punishing yourself. That opens up the door to “cheating,” weekend splurges that undo a whole week’s worth of progress.

  3. Unrealistic expectations: Any diet that sets your caloric intake really low is never going to work long term for most people. When you start to experience extreme hunger, nausea, headaches, dizziness and other symptoms, you’re probably going to give in to what your body is telling you: “I need more energy!”

  4. Changes in metabolism: You can try to fight your body with restrictive diets, but it’s a losing battle. Your metabolism starts to work against you. Burning calories takes longer because your energy production slows down. It’s like your body is saying: “You think you can starve me? Think again!”

  5. Band-Aid “fixes”: Restrictive diets don’t work because they’re superficial. They only focus on food, completely overlooking other causes of weight gain: stress, sleep problems and low activity levels. Ignoring these underlying issues makes weight come back sooner rather than later.

Overall, eating tasty, nutritious foods is good for you. It makes you happy, and it should. This healthy feeling goes against the rules of restrictive diets, so it’s always going to be hard to follow this type of diet.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


How Can You Lose Weight for Good?

If you really want to lose weight, you need to focus on making long-term changes, not following short-term fad diets. It’s absolutely possible to stay slim, love your body and feel happy at the same time.:

  • Choose a balanced diet that you can realistically live with: Make sure you have a wide range of healthy options for meals. Then, stick with this type of eating.

  • Eat food that's naturally good for you: Include more fruit, veggies, whole grains, nuts, probiotics and lean proteins.

  • Get more physical activity: This is one of the biggest keys to long-term weight loss. It’s better to burn up those 2,000–2,500 calories by exercising for 15 minutes a day than to eat an unrealistic 1,000-calorie diet.

  • Drink plenty of water: Many people feel hungry when they’re actually thirsty. Avoid weight gain by drinking a full eight glasses of water a day. That’s good for your kidneys and heart anyway.

  • Use healthy proteins to calm the munchies: The next time you have the munchies, don’t say "no." Say "yes," but eat filling protein instead of junk food. Grab some almonds, pistachios, Greek yogurt, cheese, hard-boiled eggs or smoked salmon.

One diet did work great long term in studies. The Mediterranean diet. It helps you stay slim because it’s focused on heart-healthy, natural foods.

Are “Teatoxes” a Good Idea?

There are so many new diet fads and discoveries coming out all the time that it seem nearly impossible to keep up with them all. One of the most recent fads I’ve heard about is the “teatox.” I like a nice, refreshing cup of tea now and then, but I’d never considered that tea could potentially be used as a cleanse to detoxify the body.

Luckily, I have friends who hear about and try different cleanses and diets before I do, so I get to rely on their experience a bit. One of my friends tried a teatox recently and told me that although she felt very fatigued while she was doing it, she felt much more refreshed and healthy afterward. So I decided to look into the practice a bit before trying it myself. Here’s what I found out.

What Is a Teatox?

A teatox is the practice of drinking teas infused with various things (such as stimulants, laxatives and diuretics for as much as 30 days (or even more!) For optimum results, you’re supposed to exercise eat lightly throughout the process (so it’s not a tea-only detox).

Consumers are showing a lot of interest in this practice, according to the energetic response to this new diet and detoxing fad. But are teatoxes safe, or should we be worried about them? That’s what I set out to learn, and the answer is a little bit fuzzy. But first, let’s dive into what a teatox is purported to do.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


What Can a Teatox Do?

When done correctly, a teatox is purported to do the following:

  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Boost energy
  • Reduce bloat
  • Speed weight loss

It’s the last benefit in the above list that has people flocking to this new practice. This doesn’t really surprise me, though, considering that many of us have such a difficult time losing weight (myself included!) If there’s a practice that can help boost our efforts, many of us will give it a try!

What’s in a Teatox?

There are a variety of teatox products out there, and the type you choose depends on your primary goals. Whether you go with the Skinny Fit Tea, Flat Tummy Tea or any of the other cleverly-named teatox products out there, you’ll probably find the following ingredients in common between them:

  • Laxatives (such as senna leaf or senna)
  • Guarana (a stimulant)
  • Caffeine (in some cases, up to four times the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee!)

Different teas may contain additional ingredients, such as cinnamon, licorice, burdock root, milk thistle and other herbs. It’s not the herbs that are of concern, though. Herbs tend to be good for physical health. It’s the high amount of stimulants and laxatives in these products that should be looked at with a wary eye. Of course you’ll lose weight if the small amount of food you’re eating while on the teatox diet is very quickly eliminated from your body in the form of urine or diarrhea.

Is a Teatox Appropriate for Everyone?

So, it seems like Teatoxing can help you lose weight more quickly. But at what cost are you getting off those extra pounds? When you take laxatives over long periods, your body may not have adequate time to absorb nutrients from the food you eat. This could eventually lead to nutrient deficiencies. Additionally, overuse of laxatives has been linked to liver damage according to LiverTox website.

Finally, too much caffeine and other stimulants can potentially cause nausea, vomiting and rapid heartbeat. For these reasons, I don’t particularly recommend using a teatox to help you lose weight. There are just too many negative side effects that might come along with these popular new weight-loss products.

Is It Good or Bad To Eat Something Before Bedtime?

It’s amazing how many different opinions people have about eating before bed. Some people say it’s great for dealing with insomnia and others warn that it’s the reason you have trouble sleeping in the first place. What’s the truth?

Does Eating Before Bed Affect Your Sleep Quality?

If you have trouble sleeping at night, eating a lot of food before bedtime may be the reason why. Men are affected by this, but women are affected even more:

  • Making it harder to fall asleep
  • Waking you up in the middle of the night
  • Interrupting normal sleep cycles
  • Decreasing the amount of time you spend in restful sleep

It's important to emphasize that sleep issues are mainly caused by foods that are high in fat, sugar or calories. Snacking on potato chips, ice cream, nachos, pizza or pie — or eating a big meal right before bed — can definitely affect sleep quality.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


Do Certain Foods Make You Sleepy?

The good news is that not all foods are bad for bedtime. In fact, some are great for falling asleep. Foods containing tryptophan, serotonin or melatonin can help you unwind, feel calm, and sleep better. Here are my favorite nighttime superstars:

  • Kiwi slices
  • Tart cherries/tart cherry juice
  • Almonds
  • Milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Chamomile tea
  • Passionflower tea
  • Valerian root tea

I'm serious. Eat a kiwi before bed for a week and let me know how it goes. I didn’t believe it either, but it works wonders!

Does Nighttime Snacking Make You Gain Weight?

Some people gain a LOT of weight when they eat at night. Others actually lose weight! Why the difference?

It all comes down to portion control and calories. If you know you get hungry around bedtime, making yourself a healthy turkey sandwich an hour or so before bed won’t add to your waistline. In fact, it may help you eat more balanced meals the next day.

Some people like to eat a bowl of cereal, some fruit, or Greek yogurt. I prefer grabbing a portion of mozzarella cheese or some nuts.

Does a Healthy Diet Help You Sleep Better?

Do you remember how amazing you felt the last time you woke up completely refreshed? That’s how sleep is supposed to be all the time, but stress and health problems get in the way.

A healthy diet supports good sleep by giving the body has enough nutrients to produce lots of sleep hormones. Fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and antioxidants are all needed. Omega-3 fatty acids increase production of melatonin, the brain chemical that controls your sleep cycle.

To get plenty of omega-3s, add fresh fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.) to your diet a couple of times a week, or take a supplement. Eating a Mediterranean diet with lots of fresh veggies, fruit, olive oil and lean meats can be a great help, too.

Do You Really Need To Worry About Sleep Quality?

Your body doesn't start to repair itself at night until stage three of sleep (deep sleep). Stage four (REM sleep) is essential for brain health and memory. What this means is that waking up at night makes you miss out on health benefits.

That’s why you feel exhausted, sore or irritable. It’s why you have trouble concentrating or remembering. Your immune system suffers, too.

Falling and staying asleep is no joke. This is a pillow fight you need to win!

Seven Spa-Ready Recipes for a Professional Facial at Home

With a bit of prep and the right ingredients, you can achieve an at-home facial that rivals the services at the swankiest spa in your area. Get ready for a day of pampering without leaving your abode with this guide to our favorite tips, tricks and recipes. 

Remove Dirt With Raw Honey

If you're into natural beauty, you'll appreciate this no-fuss cleanser. Simply rub raw honey into your skin then remove it gently with a warm, damp washcloth. If you prefer not to put the sticky stuff right on your face, try shopping for skincare products that incorporate honey. This ingredient has antiseptic properties that sweep your skin free of bacteria. Fans of honey also report that it helps hold in moisture without making the skin oily. 

Banish Blemishes With Banana

This mask blends 1/2 tsp. each of turmeric and baking soda with a single mashed banana. The vitamin A in the flesh of the fruit helps keep pores clear and encourages skin cell turnover, which helps rid your complexion of acne. Baking soda soaks up excess oil for an ultra-matte finish while turmeric kills germs that contribute to blemishes. Turmeric also reportedly helps even skin tone and reduces the appearance of acne scars and sunspots. Let this mask set on your skin for 20 minutes and then rinse with cool water.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


Tone Up With Vinegar

Effectively remove bacteria and residue from the skin after cleansing without the harshness of traditional alcohol-based toner. Try adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 2 cups warm water for a custom facial rinse that's as gentle as it is powerful. 

Calm Skin With Lavender

You already know lavender has mood-boosting effects with a calming scent that can help you sleep better at night. This flowery herb can also soothe redness and inflammation that impact your complexion. Make a paste out of a ripe avocado, which delivers moisturizing, disease-fighting antioxidants. Add a few drops of your favorite lavender oil along with a teaspoon of coconut oil for even more hydration and a bit of honey to keep acne at bay.

Enhance Texture With Yogurt

Plain old yogurt from your fridge can encourage rapid cell turnover that keeps skin looking soft, supple and youthful. This basic dairy product is packed with lactic acid, which you might recognize as an active ingredient in high-end skincare lines. Mix it with equal parts turmeric and honey and let dry on your skin for 10 to 20 minutes.

Brighten and Glow With Papaya

This tropical fruit is your antidote for dull skin. For an even, glowing complexion, mash a quarter of the pulp with a bit of aloe vera gel and a tablespoon of cacao powder. The aloe is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that heal and hydrate while sloughing off dead cells that can clog the pores and lead to breakouts. Cacao helps repair the skin's moisture barrier, which declines in quality as we age. 

Exfoliate With Sugar

This sweet scrub combines sugar and honey to remove bacteria, dead skin and other debris. Measure out 3 tablespoons of raw honey and mix in brown sugar until you get a paste-like consistency. Add a tablespoon or two of coconut, olive or almond oil, which adds hydration and helps create a spreadable texture. You can use this on your face or anywhere on your body as long as you don't have sensitive skin. Leave on for up to 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water. 

For the price of a bag of groceries, you'll have a complexion that looks its absolute best and an easy, affordable skincare routine to maintain.

4 Ways To Maintain Good Colon Health

Let’s cut to the chase: It can be awkward — downright embarrassing even — to talk about colon health. No one enjoys discussing such sophisticated topics as fiber intake, constipation or what it’s like to get a colonoscopy.

The thing is, your colon’s health is crucial to your overall well-being. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in the United States. One in 24 women will face a colorectal cancer diagnosis in her lifetime. That number’s not much better for men, either. One in 22 men is diagnosed with this type of cancer.

If that’s not enough motivation to make you long for the healthiest colon this side of the Mississippi, know that your colon is a major player in your digestive system. The better shape it’s in, the better shape your entire body is in. Here’s how to take good care of your colon.

1. Eat Lots of Fiber

You likely know that a diet that’s high in fiber helps you stay “regular.” What you may not realize is that simply keeping things moving down there is one of the best ways to prevent diseases affecting the colon.

Most people should shoot for 25-35 grams of fiber each day. Some of my favorite fiber-rich foods to nosh on include:

  • Whole grain bread
  • Lentils
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli

These are some of fiber’s heaviest hitters. Generally speaking, however, a diet that’s full of virtually any fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a tremendous way to boost your daily fiber intake. What’s more, individuals who eat a healthy, colorful diet tend to weigh less, which also decreases the risk of colorectal disease.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


Still not convinced that it’s time to swap out those potato chips for carrot sticks? The antioxidants and nutrients present in most fruits and veggies have been linked to a lower risk of colorectal illness, too.

2. Exercise Regularly

Another great way to move your bowels is to move your body. Whether you take a fitness class at your local gym or simply take regular walks after dinner, that boost to your blood flow and overall circulation helps your digestive tract become more efficient.

3. Drink Up

Is there no limit to the wonders that drinking enough water can do? When it comes to your colon, quenching your thirst helps flush waste and other toxic materials out of your body, lowering your risk of disease.

If you struggle to squeeze your eight glasses of H2O in each day, consider using a water tracking app on your phone or charting it the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper.


4. Don’t Skip That Colonoscopy

Colorectal cancers may be common, but they’re also very treatable if caught early. That’s why regular colonoscopies are crucial to your health.

What constitutes a “regular” colonoscopy depends on your age and various risk factors, which include not only your personal and family history with colorectal cancer but also other digestive issues such as IBS. The average person, for example, should likely have the procedure done once every 10 years, starting at age 50. (If you have a family history of colon cancer, talk with your doctor about how much earlier you should start.) During the procedure, your doc will not only check for signs of cancer but also remove any polyps or other abnormal growths that may develop into cancer or otherwise cause harm if left unchecked.

Being proactive about your colorectal health is critical to your overall health. Sure, it often means having an indelicate chat with your physician, but remember: It’s his or her job to talk about that stuff! More to the point, your doc talks about bowel movements as often as you do Real Housewives and your grandkids. Don’t let the potential for an awkward moment prevent you from taking the best care of yourself that you can.

Best and Worst Cooking Oils for Your Body

Walking through the cooking oil aisle of the supermarket can feel like visiting an exotic marketplace. There are so many to choose from: peanut oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and many others. What are the best and worst cooking oils?

The Best (and My Favorites)

1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is at the top of every nutritionist’s and doctor’s shopping list. EVOO is packed with healthy fats and antioxidants that protect your heart. It’s rich in a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which reduces inflammation and lowers your risk of chronic diseases.

I love using olive for Italian and Mediterranean dishes because of its deep flavor. EVOO is also delicious as is. Use it to make homemade salad dressing or sprinkle some on top of pizza (with fresh basil) for an aromatic, nutritious treat.

2. Avocado Oil

Another nutrient superstar, avocado oil gives you a ton of vitamin E and a range of heart-healthy unsaturated fats. It’s like putting an avocado slice on your toast in the morning. Once you’ve tasted it, I guarantee you’ll be hooked. Avocado oil has a creamy texture that’s irresistible.

It’s excellent for stir-frying, sautéing and searing because it can stand up to high temperatures without problems. The only downside? It can be expensive.

3. Canola Oil

Canola oil is low in saturated fats, which is good for your body. On the other hand, it doesn’t have many nutrients, so it’s not as healthy as EVOO or avocado oil.

The mild flavor of canola oil complements any cuisine, from meat and potatoes to curry chicken. Personally, this is my go-to cooking oil, because it’s relatively inexpensive and really versatile.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


Excellent in Moderation

4. Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is tasty. It lowers bad cholesterol, has vitamin E and may help you control blood sugar levels. The reason I put it in the “with moderation” category is that it can contribute to inflammation if you eat too much.

That’s not usually a problem, though, because most people don’t want every meal to taste like peanuts. Try peanut oil with Chinese, Thai or Indian food. The pop of nutty flavor is incredible.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has become popular as a way to boost your body’s fat burning abilities. It has a type of fat called MCT, which turns into energy instead of getting stored as belly fat. A spoonful of coconut oil can work wonders for kickstarting the metabolism in the morning.

Coconut oil has a high smoke point, so it also makes stir-frying and sautéing easy. The slightly sweet taste enhances the flavor of any recipe.

The Worst

6. Vegetable Oil

If you see vegetable oil at the store, keep on walking. This oil usually contains a blend of several oils, such as sunflower, canola, soy and others. But because it’s so highly processed, it doesn’t have any healthy nutrients. Manufacturers often use a small amount of normally healthy oils such as sunflower to hide cheaper oils (palm or corn oil) that contribute to higher cholesterol.

The Bottom Line

Don’t fall for the trick of mixed vegetable oils. Fresh, organic, nutritious oils are always better for your health. Cold-pressed options cost more, but they often have a higher amount of antioxidants and vitamins.

Also, think outside the box with recipes. Oils aren’t just for frying! Use them to give flavor and nutrition to every meal.

When Was the Last Time You Pampered Your Scalp?

Your hair probably gets a lot of tender, loving care, and you may spend time every night moisturizing your hands or face. When was the last time you pampered your scalp? You won’t believe the difference it makes!

The Benefits of a Healthy Scalp

The scalp has approximately 100,000 hair follicles, each one responsible for a single luxurious strand. When your scalp is healthy, so is your hair.

You can see the results in the mirror. Taking great care of your scalp makes your hair stronger, longer, shinier and brighter. The way it looks and bounces practically shouts to the world “I feel amazing!”

Tips for Great Scalp Care

1. Know Your Scalp

Every woman’s scalp is unique, just like her skin. Pay attention to the specific needs of your scalp. Does it tend to feel oily or dry? Even hormonal changes can make your scalp more sensitive to ingredients at certain times of month.

If you notice dandruff after using certain shampoos or hair coloring products, try avoiding them. There’s nothing embarrassing about using products designed for sensitive skin. It’s just part of listening to your body.

2. Exfoliate At Least Once a Month

You may not think of exfoliation as something important for your scalp, but it’s one of the most vital steps. Even if you don’t have oily hair, you still need to cleanse your pores of dead skin cells and bacteria. I promise your scalp will love this revitalizing care. Here are my favorite options:

  • Scalp mask: These gentle options remove dead skin cells, grease and grime. If your scalp is on the oilier side, try a clay mask.

  • Olive oil and baking soda: This blend exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time, perfect for dandruff relief. Mix equal parts olive oil and baking soda, then massage into your scalp and let sit for five minutes before rinsing.

  • Apple cider vinegar: This natural ingredient is antimicrobial, so it can calm itchiness, irritation and inflammation. Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water. Use your fingers to apply it directly to the scalp.

Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


3. Shampoo Your Scalp, Too

Don’t ignore your scalp when you’re shampooing and conditioning your hair. Ideally, most of your time should be spent massaging your scalp, moving your fingers in a circular motion.

4. Moisturize

You know how important moisture is for your skin. It’s just as important for your scalp. That’s why using conditioner after shampooing is a great idea. You get the cleansing you need, but you also ensure your scalp stays hydrated.

Personally, I like to use a few drops of essential oils at bedtime. Rosemary, tea tree and lavender smell amazing and help keep your skin moist and healthy. Just massage them gently into the scalp. As an added benefit, I’ve noticed this routine helps me fall asleep more quickly.

5. Pamper Yourself

Pamper yourself. Enjoy a soothing massage. Take a bubble bath. Watch a romantic movie with someone special. Less stress translates into a healthier scalp, too.

Scalp health is also related to good nutrition. Your skip needs the right “ingredients” to repair, nourish and rejuvenate itself. If your hair and scalp don’t look as vibrant as you want them to be, add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet with fresh fish or supplements. Probiotics also make a huge difference.

My Thoughts on “Cycle Syncing”

OK ladies, who here feels like nutrition and health information is constantly changing? You can’t see me, but I’m raising my hand over here! It seems like every time I think I understand the “right” way to lose weight and obtain optimal health, I’m suddenly told my “right” way is now the “wrong” way, and there’s a new-and-improved “right” way out there!  It can be pretty confusing. That’s why I was wary when my neighbor first told me about this new thing she is doing, called “cycle syncing.”

To put it simply, cycle syncing is the practice of altering your exercise and diet routine depending on where you’re at in your menstrual cycle. Many ladies swear by it, so I decided to see what all the hype is about. Here’s what I found out about this new trend.

Understanding Cycle Syncing

When it comes to hormones, women have it rough. One day we may feel energetic, happy and unstoppable. The next day we may feel completely drained of energy, grumpy and unmotivated. We have our hormones to thank for these very real dips and spikes in our mood and energy levels.

The idea of cycle syncing is to help women “maximize their hormonal power” with the help of certain activities and foods. The term “cycle syncing” was first coined by Alisa Vitti, who is a functional nutritionist. She is also the author of the book WomanCode and is the founder of the FloLiving Hormone Center.


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How Cycle Syncing Works

Though there is not yet a lot of research confirming the benefits of cycle syncing, there are many women who claim the practice has changed their lives for the better. Here’s how to do it properly.

Track your cycle. You need to know which phase you are in (menstrual, follicular, ovulatory or luteal) in order to follow a cycle syncing lifestyle. It’s recommended that you download some sort of cycle-tracking app to make things easier. Here’s what to do during each phase of your cycle:

  • Menstrual: Your estrogen is rising during this phase, which can lead to cramps and other unpleasant symptoms. During this time, avoid fatty or salty foods, caffeine and alcohol. Opt for warming soups and stews and nutrient-rich foods instead. Focus your exercises on muscular activation rather than intense cardio, since your energy levels are low during this phase.

  • Follicular: During this phase, your energy levels will start to rise. Try eating fresh, lightly prepped foods (such as steamed vegetables and sauteed fish or chicken). Eat plenty of vegetables, seeds, lean proteins and dense grains that will help sustain your energy. You now have the energy to do more cardio-based workouts and lift heavier weights.

  • Ovulatory: You’ll probably notice an increase in strength and endurance during your ovulatory phase. To support your energy while protecting your muscles against breakdown, eat a lot of leafy green, fibrous foods. You’ll also feel physically powerful and should make the most of your workouts by engaging in HIIT, plyometrics (if your joints allow it) and other high-energy workouts.

  • Luteal: This is the phase we ladies don’t like so much. It’s when you start to feel more sluggish than usual and your motivation starts to wane. To help you combat PMS symptoms, eat foods that are rich in calcium, magnesium, b-vitamins and vitamin D. Plan to eat more calories during this time to help you fight cravings. Scale back your exercise intensity and give yourself more time to rest.

This is a simplified version of cycle syncing. Although it requires a lot of thought, I’ve heard it becomes easier with time. My thoughts on this practice are that it seems to show a lot of promise for women who become frustrated because they have a difficult time sticking with their eating and exercise habits during certain times of the month. So I say give it a try and see if it helps you!