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Is Timing Everything When It Comes To Fertility?

March 5th, 2014 No Comments

Considering how our bodies function, the answer is yes.  And being the people we are, we want to control every minute of it!

Several of my girlfriends are having problems getting pregnant.  There don’t seem to be an similarities between their genetics or past lives.  What’s consistent is how they have changed their diets to paleo. In other words: no processed foods, dairy, grains, or sugar.  Pretty much how we should all eat, but somehow convince ourselves we don’t need to be so meticulous ALL the time.

There is a new study that takes this a step further: when you eat.

Author of “The Big Breakfast Diet,” Daniela Jackubowicz studies how the timing of meals affects insulin levels.  She found that obese women who ate a breakfast of 3,000 calories lost considerably more weight than those who were on a low carb diet.  She then went on to study women who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

“PCOS is a common disorder that impairs fertility by impacting menstruation, ovulation, hormones, and more, is closely related to insulin levels. Women with the disorder are typically “insulin resistant” — their bodies produce an overabundance of insulin to deliver glucose from the blood into the muscles. The excess makes its way to the ovaries, where it stimulates the production of testosterone, thereby impairing fertility.” — Science Daily

The women in the study ate only 1,800 calories a day.  Half ate big breakfasts, the other half large dinners.  The women who ate more in the morning showed decreased insulin levels which resulted in an increased rate of ovulation and lower testosterone levels.

Whether we have the syndrome or not, the timing of our meals seems to greatly affect our body chemistry.  Plus, we could lose a few pounds on the way.  Someone pass me some bacon please!

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Which brand of gel nail polish is the best? And is it really the best thing for you?

February 12th, 2013 6 Comments

As a girl who can’t keep a manicure for longer than 4 days, I was really excited about gel with its promise of no-chipping for two weeks!

My first experience with gel polish ended the day after I had it applied when it all peeled off.  You can understand I was a cynic for a while.  However, as the market grew, I figured I should give it another shot at a new salon.  I lucked into having a very meticulous esthetician (Traci at Trina’s Nail Salon in Buckhead) give me a fabulous manicure that lasted the two weeks the gel polish promises!  Since then, I’ve been a gel junkie and have tried all the brands with a couple different girls at Trina’s salon.

So far I’ve tried: Shellac, Gellish, Voss, and OPI.  I’ve heard about:  Akzentz, Bio Sculpture Color Gel, CalGel, Dashing Diva Gelife, IBD, the list goes on. For  more on brands, go here.

What I’ve found is that it’s not the brand of polish that matters, but who tends to your cuticles and how they apply the polish.

Your cuticles must be pushed and cut back as far as possible.  When they grow back to the edge of the polish, they push against it, causing the polish to peel up.  Also, if the polish is applied over your cuticles, your mani doesn’t stand a chance.  So you’ve got to run the gamut of estheticians before you find the right one.  Then choose your polish on color not brand.

Wait, there’s more.

After getting a few gel manicures I started to think, “this can’t be good for my nails.”  Kind of like the hair extensions that made my hair thick and beautiful…until I took them out.  In a gel manicure, they buff off the enamel of the nail, apply chemicals to replace it, and then bake it dry almost instantly with UV light.  Ugh.  If you want to read about the effects of the chemicals, click here.  It seems the one we need to look out for is BHA,  butylated hydroxyanisol, which is a “cancer-causing agent.”  The UV light is pretty self-explanatory.

I never get to the part where I have to soak it off, which dries out your nail bed.  I find peeling it off to be a great distraction while sitting in horrific Atlanta traffic.  (I’m sure that’s bad for your nail bed too.)  I let my nails rest a week before returning to Trina’s for more gel.  It’s really the only thing that has ever worked for my nails.  I’m thinking about wearing finger-less gloves from now on to protect my hands.  As for the BHA, I’m just hoping it gets fried in the baking process.

And you?  Now that you know the facts, will you continue to get gel manicures.  Leave your comments below!

 

 

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My natural cold remedies

January 23rd, 2013 No Comments

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Wouldn’t you know I’m sick. Well, sick seems to be the wrong word. I have a flemy sore throat so I’m fighting getting sick with every natural remedy I know. My method seems to be working.

My usual preventative cocktail consists of:

– oscillococcinum
– 1000 mg vitamin c
– zinc pills
Umca dissolving powder
– Echinacea and Goldenseal drops

That last one is the killer; it tastes atrocious, but it’s effective. When I went to buy the drops at the closest drug store in San Francisco, they didn’t have any. What they did have is this Sambucus syrup. I didn’t believe it would work because it’s not as potent as straight up Echinacea, but I bought it as my only resort. Thankfully, not only is it working, but it tastes good. The elderberry masks the nasty echinacea taste. It soothes and coats my aching throat which the drops never did.

Check it out next time you’re feeling a cold come on to fight the good fight before the bug takes you over.

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Some very important things we need to know about cancer

April 18th, 2012 No Comments

For the last two days I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting and listening to some of the most talented doctors talk about their research in developments in oncology at MD Anderson, the largest cancer center in the world.  Just to sum up what they said:  mind blowing!  I wish I could translate it here for you, but it’s unbelievably complex and lengthy.  Plus, I still don’t understand it all.

Dr. Ron DePinho, the new President of MD Anderson, offered us some very important insight I believe we all should carry with us daily:

The immune system doesn’t recognize cancer as foreign.

We don’t feel it and tumors continue to grow in our bodies.  Therefore, it’s important to be screened regularly for all types of cancer.

Melanoma is caused by childhood sun exposure. 

Seriously.  That’s it.  And that’s why we see it in 30 and 40 year olds.  UV rays are an environmental hazard we can control, and we should be vigilant with sunscreen.  Good parents will demand their kids wear sunscreen EVERYDAY all the time.  In Australia, kids aren’t allowed to go to school without a hat.  Screening for melanoma has proven to decrease the mortality rate by 50%.  Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer for women next to lung cancer.

Hopefully they will start a campaign so that the safety of sunscreen is engrained in our culture.  Think about seat belts.  Everyone hated them and refused to put them on.  Now they’re mandatory and second nature for most of us.

The risk factors for cancer:

  1. Age.  The longer we live, the more at risk we are to develop cancers.
  2. Environmental factors.  UV rays are the most harmful.  Pollution in the US is not as bad as you would think.
  3. Obesity. (More below)
  4. Smoking.  Kids are born now with receptors that breed their addiction.
  5. Chronic stress.

“It is an embarrassment we aren’t more aggressive with tobacco control,”

stated Dr. DePinho, who pledges to lobby for legislation in Texas.

It is unethical not to give your children the HPV vaccine,“ 

said the father of 2 and doctor who has seen a rapid increase in head and throat cancers from the virus.  Thankfully pap smears allow doctors catch cervical cancer (caused by HPV) at an early stage so it can be treated.

Obesity will surpass smoking as a cause of cancer by 2020.

From what I gathered, the consumption of too many calories and processed sugars overloads your circuits, deactivating important mechanisms of your body.  MD Anderson will launch an online cookbook and has already made major efforts to educate the public on the importance of nutrition.

Ways you can prevent cancer:

  • “Do what your mother told you.” – Eat write, exercise, get enough rest.
  • Control the things you can, like UV exposure, smoking, etc.  Household chemicals and pollution are not as bad as you would think, but keep in mind what you need and don’t.
  • Get enough Vitamin D.  You need a 1000 units/day, which generally can be 10-20 minutes outside without sunscreen. (More here.)
  • Get screened regularly.  Don’t neglect going to see the doctor. Your visit is pennies on the dollar in relationship to what you will pay for treatment.

MD Anderson services adults and children in so many ways we don’t realize!

They have entire buildings dedicated to prevention.  You can get your regular checkups here so they will also include screening in your assessment.

MD Anderson is making major strides for kids in their Children’s Hospital.  THEY WILL SEE ANY CHILD DIAGNOSED OR SUSPECTED OF HAVING CANCER WITHIN 24 HOURS OF CALLING. (No matter where it was discovered or when it was diagnosed).  Their new “hospital within a hospital” will centralize all of the treatments needed to make care more efficient and provides a fully accredited school that can give high school diplomas.

The mission of MD Anderson is  “Making Cancer History,” meaning eliminating the disease so our children read about it in books and never know the pain of it.  Although they are the best in the world, they are working towards this goal everyday.  It’s inspiring and I’m so happy to be a part of their team to educate the public and support their efforts.

EVERYONE IN THE WORLD IS AFFECTED BY CANCER IN SOME WAY. 

We might have it or our loved ones do.  There is never an effort – financial or otherwise – that is wasted in the fight against this disease. 

 

 

 

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A new drug and old faithful tips for holiday hangovers

December 25th, 2011 No Comments

You know it’s coming.  If it already hasn’t.  That cheap party wine and/or “I mixed too many liquors” holiday hangover is bound to get you.  Ugh.  I had one the other day from a martini and 2 glasses of red wine over the course of 5 hours.  (Although I must say, I don’t consider that to be indulgent, do you?!)

I blame myself because I mixed drinks and failed to down a 5 Hour energy prior to going out.  That thing works every time AND keeps me awake until midnight.

Of course I neglected the other easy ways to avoid hangovers:

  • Drink water before, during, and after drinking
  • Choose light colored alcohols (vodka, gin, white wine) instead of whisky and red wine
  • Use sugarless mixers (water is the best choice)
  • Stick to one alcohol for the night

My usual routine is to drink Grey Goose and water with lemon or wine.  NO mixed drinks.  If I want a margarita, I have the bartender shake tequila, fresh lime juice, water, and maybe some Grand Marnier or agave.  I leave “pre-prohibition” or speciality cocktails  alone. First of all, I can’t stand to drink a whole tumbler of something so sweet and knowing it’s going to give me a headache the next day makes the pretty cocktail so unappealing.

Even though we all have our rules, sometimes we forget our good judgement at home.  The morning after, when we feel like crap, we can now pop two Blowfish For Hangovers tablets in a glass of water and down it quicker than we did last night’s cocktails.  Sounds like Alka-Seltzer or Bayer to me, but the makers stand by their mix:

  • Aspirin
  • Caffiene
  • Sodium
  • Phenylalanine

Supposedly the concoction actually relieves your stomach pain instead of upsetting it like ibuprofen and coffee, the two things we reach for first.

Blowfish is only available NOW for the ragers in NYC at Ricky’s and by delivery.  The rest of us can get a free sample or buy it from the website.  Otherwise we’ll have to wait until after the holiday to pick it up at the drug store.  Just in time for spring break I suppose :)

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You should get the skinny on what you eat

December 9th, 2010 No Comments

Check in with Chemical Free Skinny, a blog that keeps you informed in the latest news and findings in the food world.

It’s not exactly a fun read, but with all of the chemicals and crap they put in food these days, we have to be educated and aware of what we are putting into our bodies.

(Click here to read the post regarding fish, tuna in particular.)

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Younger men are at risk too. Educate yourself!

November 15th, 2010

Men, did you know that you can develop prostate cancer in your 30’s?! 

Take a few mintues to hear my friend Gabe’s story.  He found out he had it at 35 BY ACCIDENT!

Since then, he’s been actively trying to bring awareness to young men. He’s started a facebook page, speaks publically, and writes articles in hope that younger men will get tested.

Most recently he wrote this piece for The Huffington Post calling on the NFL to bring attention to prostate cancer like they did for breast cancer.

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Finding the right words for Botox

September 8th, 2010 No Comments

 

The Houston Chronicle has asked me to share my experience and thoughts about being young and making the commitment to use Botox and fillers as anti-aging measures.

Most have you have been watching my bi-anual injections for 2 years now and have voiced very strong opinions on the topic.

As I listened, your perspectives resonated in my thoughts because you all made reasonable and/or emotionally charged statements.  Although your comments have not re-directed my regimen, they are still valid.

So I would like you to participate in this article as well because you have been with me on this journey.  If you feel inclined to share your thoughts, whatever they may be, I’ll pose a question you can answer at the end of this post, or if you have more to say, email me directly.

Any and all comments are welcome.  Thank you for contributing!

So, what are your thoughts on my botox injections in an effort to fill the wrinkles in my forehead and prevent them as well as others from intensifying?

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