Are “Worry Lines” Really Caused by Stress?

Many people know them as worry lines. Others call them frown lines or 11s. Whatever name you give them, forehead wrinkles are easy to spot. What causes these deep creases?

Worry Lines Aren't Just Because of Worrying

Some people will tell you that worry lines mean you’ve been frowning too much. That’s not really true. Yes, worrying can make you crease your brows, but so do many other facial expressions.

For example, squinting while you’re reading a book or looking at a bright screen can do the same thing. Even smiling makes certain parts of your skin wrinkle a little. In other words, wrinkles are caused by all of your facial expressions, not just the frowns.

Those funny faces you made to get a laugh from your little baby? Tiny wrinkles. That surprise anniversary party? That’s right, extra wrinkles. If you’ve ever felt angry, sad, scared, happy or overjoyed, you’re going to get some wrinkles as part of the deal.

The Main Cause of Wrinkles Is Aging

The truth about wrinkles is that your facial expressions are only a minor part of the cause. Any wrinkles you have are going to form along the same unique lines that appear when you frown, smile, or act surprised. But the real reason those wrinkles stick around is because of skin changes caused by aging.

Healthy skin has an essential protein called collagen. Collagen keeps skin firm and elastic, like a rubber band. In your early 20s, collagen levels are through the roof, so your face feels exquisitely smooth, supple and fresh.

As we get older, the body slows its production of collagen. Fine lines usually start to appear by the late 20s because of this. Even people in their early 20s can get wrinkles if they spend a lot of time in the sun, because UV rays – you guessed it – hurt your collagen levels.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


But... Stress Speeds Up Aging

Even though worrying isn’t the main cause of frown lines, it’s still a good idea to avoid anxiety as much as possible. Scientists are discovering that too much stress can speed up your body’s aging process. When you’re feeling stressed, it releases a hormone called cortisol into your bloodstream.

Cortisol breaks down collagen. In other words, chronic stress can trigger premature wrinkles. A lot of other things caused by worrying are bad for skin, too, such as not getting enough sleep and forgetting to drink plenty of water. When you’re exhausted, skin looks dull instead of vibrant.

5 Things That Help With Worry Lines

Some wrinkles are just a part of your emotion-filled life. You may not be able to erase worry lines completely, but you can make them less visible.

  • Exercise: Doing exercise naturally improves cortisol levels, making you feel happier, keeping skin healthier and fighting inflammation.

  • Spa visits: If you ever wanted an excuse to go to a health spa, this is it. It’s not just the pampering, beauty treatments and massages that make your skin have a healthy glow again. It’s also the benefits your whole body gets from reducing stress levels.

  • Moisturizing creams: One of the best (and most overlooked) ways to take care of forehead wrinkles is to apply moisturizer every night. Plus, massaging your facial muscles with skin cream feels heavenly.

  • Homemade masks: Use plain yogurt, lemon juice, honey and vitamin E for wrinkles. This mixture cleanses and lightens your skin so wrinkles aren’t as noticeable.
  • Antioxidants: Include red fruits in your diet and benefit from the skin-protecting effects of antioxidants.

Three Strategies for a Better Bladder

Do you feel like you always have to "go"? Bladder problems put a serious damper on the fun for many women after 60. If you're bugged by a constant urge to hit the ladies' room, experience embarrassing leakage or lose sleep at night because of your bladder, try these strategies to support the healthy function of this important organ.

Change Consumption

First of all, drink lots of water. While that may seem counterintuitive, fluid flushes the bladder of infection and toxins. Try to get six-to-eight 8-oz glasses each day, but ask your doctor about water intake if you have heart or kidney disease.

Cut back on soda, coffee and other caffeinated beverages, which irritate the bladder and can increase the frequency and urges. Some women also find that limiting chocolate, carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, tomatoes, spicy foods or alcohol decreases uncomfortable bladder symptoms.

Eating fiber-rich foods prevents constipation, which can negatively impact bladder health. Add fresh fruits and veggies as well as whole grains to the menu so you stay regular.

You might also want to try timing your fluid intake. Avoid going over 64 oz of water a day and try to break it up into smaller amounts. Front-load your fluid intake in the morning and limit beverages before bed if you often wake up to urinate.

Medications can also affect the health of your bladder. You may notice urinary symptoms if you take antidepressants, antihistamines, sedatives, muscle relaxants, diuretics, heart medications, or drugs for high blood pressure. Consult with your doctor; he or she may be able to provide another option.

If you are overweight or obese, changing your diet and exercising to lose extra pounds often resolves bladder symptoms. Smoking can also damage the health of your bladder, so look into cessation programs if you use tobacco.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Time Your Trips

When you have an overactive bladder, your brain signals you to empty it even when it's not necessary. Fortunately, toilet training isn't just for tots! You can train your bladder so you feel the urge less frequently. Try these steps.

  • Write down each trip to the bathroom to go number two for several days. Look for patterns in when and how often you urinate.

  • Look at your notes and figure out how long you can usually go before you have to go. Extend that interval by 15 minutes. For example, if you usually head to the loo every 90 minutes or so, try to make it to the 105-minute mark. When you succeed, extend the time by 15 more minutes the following day.

  • Eventually, you should be able to wait two to four hours between bathroom trips. Try to wait when you feel the urge but you're not scheduled to urinate.

The more you practice this simple technique, the easier it will be to control your bladder and spend less time in the bathroom.

Maximize Muscle Strength

Strengthening the muscles that make up your pelvic floor can boost your bladder health and control urinary symptoms. Have you done your Kegels? To perform this exercise, squeeze your pelvic floor as if you were trying to stop your urine stream. Hold for three seconds, then relax for three seconds several times in a row, several times a day. If you aren't sure you're doing this move correctly, talk to your doctor.

In addition to exercising the pelvic floor, getting regular physical activity improves the health of your organs including the bladder. It also limits constipation and reduces extra weight, both factors that contribute to bladder problems.

Too many women write off urinary symptoms as a normal part of aging. These tips may improve your bladder health and help you reduce your lavatory visits.

Why a Consistent Sleep Schedule Is Crucial for Good Health

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re in bed, curled up with a good book by 10:15 one night. The following night, you’re up past midnight playing board games with the family or watching “just one more” episode of your favorite Netflix drama. The next night, you start dozing on the couch at 8:30 but don’t actually crawl into bed until 11:30. Whoops.

If your sleep schedule is a bit of a mess these days, it’s time to get things back on track. Consistent and plentiful sleep is fundamental to your wellbeing, and it may be easier to achieve than you think.

How a Regular Bedtime Can Improve Your Health

Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same times each day is vital to your cardiovascular health. In fact, if your bedtime varies significantly from one night to the next, you may be doubling your risk of heart disease. That’s what a recent study from Harvard found when researchers observed the sleep schedules of over 2,000 men and women for six years.

Inconsistent sleep — both in terms of when you go to bed and how many hours of good sleep you get — can also increase your chance of suffering a heart attack and increase your odds of developing metabolic syndrome, an unsavory pack of health problems that boost your body’s likelihood of cardiovascular disease.

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule decreases your chance of developing some of aging’s other heavy hitters as well, including:

  • High blood pressure

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes

  • Stroke


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


How To Clean Up Your Sleep Schedule

When you’re ready to commit to better sleep, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to do so.

Keep Cool

A cooler bedroom is conducive to quality snoozing. The lower your body temperature, the faster you’ll reach REM sleep, which is the restorative slumber that helps your body recover from a long day. Studies show that the ideal overnight temperature for your bedroom is between 60- and 67-degrees Fahrenheit.

If you can squeeze a warm bath in before bed, too, go for it. While it seems counterintuitive, the warm water actually lowers your body temperature by increasing your circulation.

Banish Blue Light From the Bedroom

If you’re scrolling through your phone or tablet right before bed, you’re not doing your shuteye any favors. For starters, reading the news or work emails will do little to quiet your mind before rest. What’s more, these devices emit blue light that negatively affects sleep quality.

To cement your commitment to excellent sleep, refrain from using screens in the hour leading up to lights out. If you want to read, opt for an e-reader that doesn’t give off blue light or cozy up to a good old-fashioned book.

Avoid Alcohol

Contrary to what your friends claim, a glass of wine or two before bed is not a sleep aid. Beer, wine and spirits before bed may make you drowsy, but they also disrupt your circadian rhythm and diminish melatonin production, both of which lead to sub-par sack time. In fact, drinking in general isn’t great for your sleep.

That doesn’t mean you have to swear off Chardonnay forever, but you should imbibe intelligently. Drinking two or three times a week is fine for most, and the earlier in the evening that you can switch to water or tea, the better. In addition to more restorative sleep, you can also look forward to feeling more energetic and mentally sharp the following day.

Setting yourself up for a successful night of sleep takes discipline, but the health benefits you’ll reap are enormous. Don’t think of sticking to your sleep schedule as an obligation; think of it as a way to pamper yourself. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to retreating to your cozy sanctuary, even on the weekends.

5 Ways To Alter Emotional Eating Patterns

Healthy eating habits are challenging to develop. People struggle for years trying to figure out a nutritional path that works for them. However, the problem is not always physiological; many people struggle with unhealthy eating patterns related to stress and emotions, meaning their habits are more psychological. While breaking emotional eating patterns can be more complicated than other nutritional issues, it is not impossible. There are at least five strategies that can help you curb emotional eating behaviors.

1. Learn To De-Stress

Food can become a coping mechanism, and some foods can make us feel better or happier because they are tired to positive memories or elicit chemical reactions in the body. Instead of curbing food intake on the nutritional level, it is better to find ways to relieve stress and anxiety as an emotional eater. These two emotions lead to unhealthy eating.

Exercise and meditation are two options for alleviating stress hormones in the body. Exercise releases endorphins into your system that can make you feel better, and meditation, when performed correctly, can help you cope with your anxiety in a healthier way.

2. Find a Healthy Distraction

While distractions are not always a good thing, when it comes to emotional eating, they are. However, instead of television or other sedentary activities, try something healthier. Take a walk. Go out with friends. Play a game, or do anything else except eat.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


3. Prepare a Meal Plan

Fast food is becoming the meal hub of America. With busy schedules and minimal work-life balance, people often choose the quickest and the assumed cheapest meal options. As an emotional eater leaving meal time up to chance is about the worst thing you can do because it allows unpredictability into your schedule.

One of the best options for an emotional eater is meal planning. Create a strict schedule of all your meals for the day, knowing precisely what you are having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also include a couple of healthy snacks. Creating a plan means there is less flexibility in your schedule. Without unpredictability, you will probably find you have less uncontrollable cravings because you know when and what to expect to eat.

4. Avoid Craving Routes

What is your kryptonite? Chips? Donuts? Candy? Most people latch on to one specific food as a comfort during emotionally trying times. If you know that you are drawn to salty or sweet things, try to avoid routes that literally take you past those options. If you pass a donut shop on the way home from work, take another road.

While it is best to avoid temptations altogether, avoidance is too difficult for some people, leading to more stress. If you find that avoidance is too challenging, consider allowing yourself an indulgence as an occasional treat, but stick to serving size.

5. Practice Self-Acceptance

Many people who struggle with emotional eating also struggle with self-deception, often viewing themselves negatively. Negative self-talk is not only disruptive; it is destructive. If you find that you have negative feelings about yourself, consider altering your mindset. Through deliberate practice, a person can change their perceptions. Try reciting positive mantras in the mirror. It might seem strange at first, but eventually, it can help alter your mindset.

Emotional eating is not only a nutritional problem; it is psychological. Resolving the issue means getting to its root and finding other techniques and behaviors, like above, to curb unhealthy habits. Do you, or have you struggled with emotional eating? If so, leave a comment below about coping strategies that work for you.

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

It seems like every year I make the same three new year’s resolutions. I want to eat better, move more and spend less time looking at screens. It also seems that every year I swiftly abandon all three of these noble goals by Valentine’s Day.

Whoops.

Last year, everything changed. Last year, I took a different approach to the promises I made to myself, and it paid off. I really did start moving more! I got in gear by tapping into four surprisingly simple strategies.

Don’t Overdo It

The temptation to shoot for the moon when it comes to new year’s resolutions is real. It’s also a really easy way to sabotage yourself before you even begin, and here’s why: When you set a lofty goal, it’s easy to be discouraged by your progress, no matter how great it is in actuality, because it seems small.

For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds by next New Year’s Day, seeing just a pound or two trickle off the scale each week can be underwhelming. It can feel like you’re never going to reach your goal.

The thing is, losing a pound or two each week is outstanding. It’s the ideal way to lose weight, in fact! What needs to change isn’t the approach, it’s the goal and its framing. Instead of resolving to lose 50 pounds by next January, which feels like it’s 100 years away, resolve to lose a pound a week. Accomplish that little goal consistently, and you’ll hit your goal weight before you know it.

Lasting changes happen slowly, so instead of focusing on some grand result far off in the future, focus on the here and now. Speaking of which…


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Don’t Fixate on Goals

Goals can be great. For many of the most common resolutions, however — such as the desire to lose weight, be active or save more money — setting a goal isn’t the best route. A better means of making real change is to focus not on the goal but on the practice. In other words, don’t resolve to run a 5K this summer; resolve to become a runner. If you focus on the process instead of some semi-arbitrary end result, you’re far more likely to build good habits that last.

Don’t Go It Alone

Accountability can do wonders for a resolution. If you want to stick with your commitment, rope some friends, family members and even strangers into your plan.

Trying to lose weight? Tell the people in your household so they can motivate you and refrain from bringing home so many cookies. Want to work out more? Join a class at your local gym. Ready to quit smoking? Tell your friends. Odds are, they'll be excited and supportive.

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

You’re going to screw up sometimes. That’s a fact. It’s human nature to skip a workout, dive into that extra piece of pizza or spend a little extra on your granddaughter’s Sweet 16. Here's the important part, though: It matters less why you momentarily broke your resolution than it does how you bounce back from it.

Like so many women, I’ve been fighting the battle of the bulge my entire life. When I cave and have a piece of cake I didn’t budget for, I don’t let it derail my entire plan. I think of my plan — and my practice of being a person who eats fresh, nutritious food — like a circle. I stepped out of the circle momentarily, found it covered in delicious sprinkles, thoroughly enjoyed it, and now it’s time to gingerly step back in the circle.

You know the old saying: Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you want to see your new year’s resolutions through, commit to making small changes, and when you go astray, don’t give up. Dust off the sprinkles, and jump back in the circle instead.

These Are the Common Foods That Are Giving You Gas

Why do some people have lots of problems with gas while others can eat broccoli like there’s no tomorrow? The basic answer is that everyone’s body is different. Some people have plenty of enzymes to break down certain foods and other people don’t. If you’re having trouble with gas, one of these foods may be the reason:

1. Carbonated Beverages

With so much fizz, it’s not really surprising that soda has a high spot on our list of gas causers. Carbonation mostly affects your stomach (making you burp), but it can contribute to intestinal bloating, too.

2. Beans

Famous for causing embarrassing “tooting,” beans are filled with healthy protein, but they also have a type of sugar that the body has trouble processing. It takes the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract a lot longer to digest beans, peas, lentils and other legumes, which releases more gas.

3. Leafy Greens

Vitamin-rich veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, asparagus and cauliflower have tons of fiber, which is great for your digestive system. Unfortunately, they also have the same complex sugar as beans. Overdoing it with the broccoli is practically guaranteed to make you gassy.

4. Fruits

Fruit is one of the best things you can eat to boost your immune system, metabolism and energy levels. At the same time, most fruits have several gas-causing sugars, including sorbitol and fructose. Apples, bananas, pears, apricots, peaches, grapes and mangoes are the worst of the best. Dried fruit such as raisins and prunes concentrate these sugar even more, so they can definitely lead to the need to unbutton your jeans.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


5. Grains

Most whole grains contain starch and gassy sugars. At the same time, wheat, oats, corn, barley and quinoa are amazing sources of fiber for smooth bowel movements and excellent gut health. This is ironic, because it means that the same grains that help your tummy feel slimmer can also trigger bloating in some people.

6. Dairy Foods

Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream are tough for most people (about 65% of Americans) to digest properly. This is because of a sugar called lactose. If you’re lactose intolerant, you have even more problems with dairy. Eating these foods can trigger stomach cramps, bloating, nausea and other digestive problems almost immediately.

Which Foods Should You Avoid?

Fruit, veggies and whole grains are all important for a healthy digestive system. You need fiber, even though fiber also causes gas. Don’t get rid of major food groups unless your doctor says so. Of course, if a specific food causes a lot of gas, you can choose alternatives. If broccoli is giving you trouble, try romaine lettuce or spinach instead.

What Can You Do About Gas and Bloating?

This is the tricky part. Finding the best solution to gas and bloating requires a little trial and error on your part. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep track of what you eat to figure out the worst gas-causing foods for you

  • Eat smaller portions of foods that give you problems

  • Take your time when you eat

  • Take supplements with digestive enzymes

Instead of avoiding fruit completely, try eating half portions. This makes it easier for the good bacteria in your digestive tract to work and you still get valuable antioxidants. Probiotics and digestive enzymes can help with gas by taking great care of your gut microbiome.

Four Nutritious, Fool-Proof Slow Cooker Recipes

The slow cooker saves the day as my secret weapon in the kitchen more than I care to admit. What could be better than throwing a bunch of ingredients in the pot, pushing a single button and coming back to a delicious meal? As I've been on my slow cooker journey, I've found a lot of recipes that might be easy, but have limited nutritional value. If you've also felt that struggle, try one of these four incredibly easy AND healthy slow cooker recipes next time you need a meal plan that will satisfy your whole family without taking up your whole day.

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

The flavors in this one make it a warming winter meal. Just combine the following ingredients in your slow cooker:

  • 6 c water

  • 2 carrots

  • 2 onions, whatever kind you happen to have

  • 1 T of your favorite curry powder

  • 1 T grated fresh ginger or powdered if you don't have access to fresh

  • Half a cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Set the timer for 4 to 5 hours on high or 6 to 7 hours to cook the soup on low. Before serving, puree the soup with an immersion blender to achieve your preferred texture. I love this soup with a bit of Greek yogurt and a few nuts for garnish.

Slow Cooker Salmon

Fish in the slow cooker? Believe it! Follow these steps for incredibly moist, tender salmon:

  • Line the slow cooker with parchment paper.

  • Layer lemon slices on top of the paper. One lemon should cover it.

  • Season a 2-lb salmon filet with salt and pepper to taste, then place it on top of the lemons.

  • Add 1 1/2 c seafood or veggie broth and the juice of another 1/2 lemon.

Cook your fish on low for just 2 hours and serve with brown rice and a sprinkling of fresh dill for an easy and incredible meal.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Garlic Sesame Chicken

Takeout sounds great until you consider the calorie count, not to mention the cost. Keep it light and fresh with this simple Chinese-inspired chicken dish. Here's your guide:

  • Make a sauce in seconds by whisking 1 T brown sugar, 1/3 c sesame oil, 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce and 1/3 cup mirin (rice wine).

  • Place 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts into the bowl of your crockpot. Add salt, pepper and the soy sauce mixture you just made.

  • Add 8 cloves of garlic and about 1 inch of fresh ginger cut into small chunks.

Cook the chicken on low for 5 to 6 hours, then remove, shred and return to the sauce. I love serving this low-fat meal with brown rice, steamed broccoli, and fun toppings like sesame seeds, sliced red chilis and green onions.

Ground Turkey Chili

From game day to potluck picnics, this turkey chili delivers in flavor with less fat than its ground beef counterpart. Just combine these ingredients in your slow cooker:

  • 1 lb. 98% lean ground turkey or chicken (or sub 1 lb. beans)

  • 1 chopped red bell pepper

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 32 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

  • 15 oz can corn

  • 1 c chicken broth

  • 4 T of your go-to chili powder

  • 2 tsp. ground cumin

  • 1 tsp. oregano

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Toppings are a must when you serve this incredible chili. I always make sure to have lime juice, sliced avocado and low-fat sour cream on the table.

With these easy recipes, you don't have to spend the whole day in the kitchen to eat well and nourish your body. Take back your time, save money and stick to your meal plan by investing in a slow cooker.

How To DIY a Spa Day and Pamper Yourself at Home

These days, heading out for a full day at the spa seems like a faraway dream. Somehow, just running a hot bath and lighting a candle or two just doesn't cut it. If you've been wondering whether a DIY spa day can really be a luxurious experience, keep reading. You may be surprised by what a fantastic retreat you can create in your own home with a little forethought and a couple of nice products.

Carve Out Dedicated Time

The secret to creating an epic DIY spa day is to prepare well in advance. There's nothing less relaxing than rushing around looking for supplies when you should be sitting and enjoying yourself. First, make a date with yourself. Put it in your calendar. This time is just for you, so block it out and be sure that everyone else in the house knows you're not available.

Create a Spa-like Environment

The night before your spa day, create or download a playlist so you have your favorite music on hand. Find your favorite candles, fragrances, and essential oils that you can use to create a refreshing atmosphere. Think about the lighting that you want. If you are doing beauty treatments, you may want lots of natural light. On the other hand, you may prefer more subdued lighting for relaxation. If you don't have a dimmer switch in your bathroom, find a solution now instead of waiting until the last minute.

Another thing you'll want to recreate from your favorite spa may be snacks and drinks. Do you usually have a smoothie when you go? Maybe you prefer lemon and cucumber water or warm herbal tea. Set everything out ahead of time.

Choose Your Products Wisely

A big part of the spa experience is the luxury products that you likely wouldn't use every day. Although you could make your own masks, scrubs, and bath milks if you feel like it, there are plenty of great options for sale. Invest in a couple of scrubs, bath bombs, and body butters, and set them aside for a monthly pampering session. You want to make this a regular thing, right? Make thoughtful choices when purchasing spa products. Don't be fooled by unsubstantiated claims. If cruelty-free or vegan products are important to you, shop around for those. Be sure to choose products that match your skin type. However, when it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, sensory experiences make a big impact. With that in mind, choose products that you love to smell and touch. On the other hand, don't feel like you have to buy the most expensive serum on the shelf just to get a good result. If your everyday products make you feel good, use those. It's up to you.

Take Your Time and Enjoy Yourself

Think about what made your last spa day so enjoyable. Sure, your skin felt amazing afterward, but isn't it also that you were able to relax, enjoy the moment, and not worry about who was calling and texting you? Try to recreate the entire experience, not only the skincare aspect of it. Turn off your phone, be sure everything is ready ahead of time, and dive in. You'll come away feeling renewed, inside and out.

Unique Ingredients That Are Good for Your Health

Are you trying to eat healthier but running out of creative ideas for nutritious meals that actually taste good? You’re not alone. It seems like I make a resolution every year to eat healthily, but I get bored of my options about a month in and give up. This year, however, I’ve decided to make sure I don’t fall for this same mistake. Since I know that eating healthy is so important if I want to maintain a good weight, avoid illnesses and just feel better about myself, I figured out a way to stick with my resolution this year.

To help me keep my meals exciting and interesting, I decided to make a game of healthy eating. Instead of eating broccoli and chicken every night, I am challenging myself to use a variety of ingredients in my meals each week. Here are some unique ingredients I decided to try. They’re very healthy, and they might just make things interesting enough that I’ll meet my goal of eating healthy all year. You should try it with me!  At the very least, it will be an educational adventure, right?

Spirulina

OK, I have to be honest here. I’ve heard about the incredible benefits of spirulina for a while, but I tasted a tiny bit of it plain once and I never wanted to eat the stuff again. But then I found out that it’s best to mask the flavor of spirulina (which is slightly fishy because it’s a seaweed) with other ingredients. It’s especially helpful to throw a teaspoon of spirulina into fruit smoothies. You won’t even taste it, but you’ll benefit from it.

Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods in existence. It’s full of things like protein, vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, copper and iron. It’s also quite an energy booster (as I can attest to!)

Kudzu

No, I didn’t just sneeze. Kudzu is a root that’s native to Japan and is also commonly called kuzu. It has a thick consistency, which makes it a great thickener for sauces or soups. Kudzu tastes a little bit like spinach, but it’s easy to mask the flavor with other ingredients.

Kudzu is thought to strengthen the circulatory and digestive systems. It may also help relieve hangovers and minimize headaches while having a general calming effect on the mind and body. Kudzu has long been used in Chinese medicine for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. I’m planning to make a Kudzu pudding this week and experience the benefits for myself.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Maca

Maca is a well-known superfood from Peru. It’s a cruciferous root vegetable that’s often made into a powder that can be sprinkled in oatmeal, smoothies or lattes. It has an earthy taste that lends itself well to many different dishes.

Maca provides caffeine-free energy that can help you get through your day without the typical afternoon energy crash. It may also balance hormones and enhance fertility (which is not something I need, but may be great for you younger ladies!)

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a type of nutritional mushroom that has a wide variety of health benefits. It’s easy to add it to stir-fries, stews and salads. It also comes in powder form that makes it easier to add to smoothies and lattes.

Some studies show that cordyceps can lower inflammation and support heart health. There is even research that suggests it can help slow down cancer growth! It’s also thought to reduce fatigue and help improve sex drive. Heaven knows I could use that last benefit!

Get Healthy With Me!

These are just a few of the unusual but incredibly healthy ingredients I plan to rotate into my regular meals this year. Why not join me? Let’s experience firsthand how fun and energizing healthy eating can really be.

Bad Skincare Routine Advice

A good skincare routine is the best beauty secret out there. Why? Because healthy, pampered skin is the foundation for the rest of your beauty routine. Just think about it: Beautiful, healthy skin is the ideal canvas for makeup, and you may need a lot less of it when your skin is in good shape. If you've ever tried a long, complicated skincare regimen and lost interest after the first week, it's OK! Don't give up. You can maintain your complexion and your sanity at the same time. Here's how.

Cleanse

Cleansing is the first step in any good skincare habit. The trademark of a bad skincare routine is going to bed without removing makeup. Start a new, good habit: Cleanse your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser designed for your skin type. If it helps, use a makeup remover wipe at night before cleansing. Depending on whether your face is dry, oily, or combination, you may be able to use the same cleanser morning and night.

Treat

Step two in a simple skincare routine is to treat your face and neck with a serum designed for your skin type and problem areas. To treat dark spots, try an overnight serum with vitamin C. For daytime, a collagen-boosting preparation is a good bet. Don't forget eye cream while you're at it.

Moisturize

Skin at any age needs moisture, but depending on your skin type and the climate where you live, you have many choices here. For light, oil-free moisture, choose a gel or souffle. For more intense moisture, especially overnight, you may want a heavier, creamy product. In the morning, choose a moisturizer with sun protection, no matter the season or the weather.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Don't Forget

  • Exfoliate. A hallmark of a bad skincare routine is exfoliating incorrectly. Avoid doing it too frequently, too infrequently, or with the wrong product. Aim for an acid-based exfoliator, which won't scratch your skin like a granular product could, and put yourself on a once-a-week schedule.

  • Use SPF every day. (It's worth mentioning again.) Sun exposure is one of the quickest ways to damage your skin and speed up its aging process. The easiest way to get into the habit of applying sunscreen every day is to be sure your morning moisturizer has it built-in.

  • Nourish your skin from the inside out. Your lifestyle choices make a difference in how your skin looks. The best products in the world won't give you ideal results if you drink too much, skimp on sleep, smoke, or forget to hydrate and eat well.

  • Roll with the punches. Your skincare needs change as you age. Traveling to a new climate may play tricks on your complexion. Things happen. If you find that your old routine isn't working for you anymore, don't be afraid to change it up.

No matter how bad your skincare routine has been in the past, don't give up! On the other hand, don't stick with something that isn't working. If you find that you really hate a product that you thought would be a winner, see if you can exchange it. Even if not, try to find a new product that you love so you'll look forward to using it every day. You may be amazed by the results you start to see by implementing just these few tips. The key is to keep it simple so that you'll stick with it.