5 New Year’s Resolutions You CAN Keep

skinny-girl-diet-plan

Every year we make resolutions we can’t keep, then punish ourselves with weeks of guilt for failing at our new year’s goals.  Avoid the guilt this year by making resolutions you CAN actually keep.

Make these easy to follow resolutions that will improve your health, and the way you feel every day.

1) Sleep More

Did you know that those who sleep more also weigh less? It’s not that far-fetched of an idea if you think about it.  The more time you spend sleeping, the less time you spend eating! Also, those who sleep more have lower levels of stress.  Sleeping also helps reduce bags under your eyes.

2) Eat More Peppers

Peppers, specifically pickled peppers, burn fat.  Eating spicy foods twice a day can help you burn more calories every day.  By resolving to make dietary changes, instead of straight losing weight, you won’t feel guilty if you don’t reach a particular number.

3) Incorporate Activity

Making a resolution to exercise or hit the gym can be hard to accomplish when you work full time, have children, or both.  While doing an hour of cardio or getting a personal trainer may be out of the question, you can resolve to incorporate some activity into your daily routine.  Whether you go far a short walk when you get home each night or during your lunch break, or do a short workout video at home, getting active will give you more energy and counter some of the calories you intake each day.

4) Eat Less Sodium

We aren’t really aware of how much sodium we really do eat, and how incredibly bad it is for us.  Many Americans will turn to processed bars, snack bags, and frozen meals to help them reach their weight loss goals this year.  Unfortunately these diet side kicks offer up way more sodium than recommended. You can lose weight without the added sodium.  Instead of a frozen meal try a tasty salad, mixed vegetables, fresh protein, or a fruit salad.

5) Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

Finally, don’t spend your year feeling bad about yourself.  Women spend too much time wishing for better bodies, punishing themselves for not having it, and worrying about how others see them.  It’s your life, and you only get to live it once.  This year resolve to enjoy your year.  Eat the foods you love in moderation.  Resolve to travel, see, and experience new things.  Take the time you would spend envying other people for their looks, and become someone others can envy for being you.

Happy New Year to all my readers!

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5 Ways to Get Fresher Brighter Skin

spa day

Many women think that a tan is the key to glowing skin, spending time under the damaging rays of the sun or tanning bed, but the truth is tanning isn’t the key to glowing skin.  The average person has 1.6 trillion skin cells, and of this skin cells 30,000 to 40,000 of those cells shed each hour.  That’s a lot of dead skin you’re carrying around.  Dead and dry skin causes ashy dull looking skin, but there are quick and simple things you can do to keep your skin looking fresh, bright, and glowing.

Here are five things you can start doing to improve the look of your skin:

Dry-Skin-Brushing1) Dry Brushing

It’s called dry brushing for a reason, yet many people use their dry brush in the shower.  Getting your dry brush wet will cause molding, and using this brush in the shower is not effective.  It is harder to shed dead skin cells when they are wet.  Instead, use your dry brush before getting into the shower.  Start at the feet moving upward.  The idea is that you’re moving toxins towards your digestive system for removal.  Continue to brush in a circular motion over your entire body.  The process shouldn’t take longer than 5 to 10 minutes, you don’t want to damage the healthy skin.  Once completed, get in the shower and rinse the dead skin off. You can find dry brushes at many local stores including pharmacies, Target stores, or Walmart.

mango-body-scrub_l2) Body Srubs

There are hundreds if not thousands of “scrubs” for you to choose from.  The idea of a shower scrub is that it will exfoliate your skin, and in some cases help get rid of toxins.  To me the most important factor in choosing a body scrub is the scent.  While the sent doesn’t add to the exfoliation process, the benefit is in its relaxation powers.  A good smelling body scrub can fill your shower with calming scents, helping you wash away those toxic worries.  My favorite body scrubs are found at the Body Shop.  Check them out here.

unicorngirl_shower_light3) Hot & Cold

Switching the water from hot to cold periodically throughout your shower will help shock the skin, bringing life back to dead skin.  Hot water is typically not great for the skin, and can even age your skin faster.  However, most of us can’t stand an entire shower of cold water.  Hot water relaxes us, and a hot shower can be therapeutic.  Enjoy your hot shower, but when it comes to washing your face switch to cold water.  It will help with circulation, and brighten your skin.

4) Good Lotion

spray lotion For some of us the “lotioning” process is a pain in the a$$.  I have so many bottles of lotion, I can’t count them.  Yet I only get to putting lotion on my legs when I look down and their ashy white.  Hydrating your skin is very important, so making time for lotion is key to getting glowing skin.  Choose a lotion that provides the benefits you seek.  Choose a scent you enjoy, so that the process is enjoyable for you.  If you’re like me and hate lathering up, there are spray lotions available at your local pharmacy.

h20 body gloss4) Body Gloss

I have mentioned this product in a previous blog post, but the H20 Plus Hydrating Body Gloss is a great product.  If you’re looking for skin that shines, this product is a must.  The gloss is easy to apply! Just a few spritzes of the body gloss and you’re legs will look hydrated and shiny.  Say goodbye to white ashy legs and elbows.  To purchase this product or to get more information visit the product page here.  At just $15 it’s a steal.

Love: Is it Blind?

ChubbyBaby

Every man or woman who wasn’t born with perfect genetics has wondered at least once whether or not someone can love them regardless of how they look on the outside.  Living in LA not a week goes by that I don’t have a friend ask me why men only treat hot women right.  They wonder if someone will ever love them for who they are, not despite lacking big breasts, a flat stomach, thick hair or a perfect smile.  We all want to be loved, but we all think we have to achieve some sort of visual perfection to achieve it.

Why do we think that way?

From an early age we’re teased for being overweight or awkward looking.  Young boys learn to taunt overweight girls practically from the time they come out of the womb.  How can a growing boy expect to enter into a relationship with a chubby girl when all of his friends are making fun of her?  For heavy women the formative years are the most difficult.  While others are entering into relationships, going to dances, having crushes, many overweight girls are doing their best to conceal their true feelings.  The overweight girl is either hiding from sight or being everyone’s best friend, but she’s not the object of affection.

Then college comes, and all those tiny cheerleader sized women start to gain the Freshmen 15.  The playing field starts to even out as the football stars start to gain their weight in beer, and the calories that were once burned on the field are now carried in the gut.  The once “chubby” girls are starting to get dates, and attention they never had before.  However, is this love the same kind of love they had always hoped for?  Are they being seen as sexy, hot, alluring?  Or are they being taken out on dates, simply because they are more accessible?

I have always wondered if someone can truly love someone regardless of appearances.  I know that you can “learn” to love someone despite them being overweight or not as pretty, but that isn’t the same thing is being head over heels “in love” with someone.  My ex put it best when he said to me, “I will always love you, but I’m not in love with you.”  He couldn’t see past my weight, because for him love was reserved for women with perfect petite bodies, big breasts, and perfect faces.

I work in a male dominant industry, I grew up with many male friends, and so I have heard all about the hatred many men have for heavy women.  To hear these men speak it’s as if a woman’s choice to not be fit is a personal attack against each and every one of them.  Where does this hatred come from? Why can’t we leave people alone to make their own choices for their own lives.  Why do we act disgusted when we see them simply living the way they like?  I personally am very disappointed by people who find it necessary to make comments about others’ weight.  There’s just no reason for it.  Unless your loved one is obese, and experiencing health issues, it isn’t your place to judge.  Spend more time judging your own choices, regretting your own life mistakes, and changing things about yourself which are undesirable.

happy couple

As for the question of whether or not someone can love someone, truly love them regardless of how they look I do think it is possible.  I don’t think it’s possible for many people, but it is possible.  I read a great article today of one such story.  Reading it gave me hope that there are people out there who can be kind and loving and genuinely happily IN LOVE with someone despite their body fat percentage.  Read this great story here.

Health Risk: Vitamin Deficiency

meeshme.comWith so many things to get done in a day, taking care of our skin and bodies takes a back seat to grocery shopping, picking up kids, making dinner, or juggling the many tasks of our demanding jobs.  Yet if you don’t take care of your physical health, you won’t be able to do many of the things you either need or love to do.

Eating healthy is important for many reasons, but it isn’t always as convenient or delicious as fast or processed foods.  If you’re not eating from essential food groups, you are probably lacking in vital vitamin categories.  If you can’t get in all the nutrients you need in a day, taking vitamins is important.  I have never taken vitamins, except for when I’m feeling a cold coming on, but recently I learned the danger of vitamin deficiency.

Over the past year I was much more tired, I had no energy.  It became harder to lose weight, which I associated with getting older.  I experienced numbness and vibration in my limbs.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what.  Finally, I had blood work done when a doctor noticed a nodule on my thyroid.  Thankfully there was nothing wrong with my thyroid, but she did discover a vitamin B and vitamin D deficiency.  While a normal person should have around 1,100 pg/ml of vitamin B, I had 115.

meeshme.comVitamin B deficiency can cause a series of health problems.  Long periods of vitamin B deficiency can cause permanent neurological damage.  People with 200 to 400 pg/ml can experience neuropsychiatric and hematologic abnormalities.  Neuropsychiatric abnormalities include depression, bi-polar disorder, Schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and eating disorders.  Hematologic abnormalities include anemia and vibration (numbness).  Want to incorporate more vitamin B12 in your diet? This webpage lists the top ten foods for vitamin B12.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause hair loss, weak/dry hair, brittle nails, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.  There are a variety of reasons why you may be deficient of vitamin D.  People with dark skin are at increased risk, because the pigment melanin reduces the skin’s ability to absorb vitamin D from the sun.  To increase your intake of Vitamin D naturally you would need to spend more time under the sun or visit a tanning bed.  Odd since these actions can increase skin cancer and skin aging, but safe exposure is key.  Wear sunscreen!

A simple blood test can determine if your body is deficient of vitamins, but you can also diagnose yourself.  Listen to your body.  If you are feeling tired or experiencing some of the symptoms above increase vitamin B12.  Vitamin B12 isn’t always easily processed by our stomachs, so the best way to get Vitamin B12 is through drops or strips that dissolve under your tongue.  GNC offers these products at around $13.  Vitamin D can be taken in pill form or in yummy chews, which GNC and other health stores offer.

Start taking care of yourself, and live a longer, healthier, better life.

Skin Care Secrets

meeshme.com

This month I’ve decided to spend a lot more time on my skin.  I’ve never had a problem with acne or oily skin, so washing my face when in the shower was the most time I dedicated to it.  Envious? Don’t be.  When you’re not used to working to keep your skin clear, you can fall into the habit of neglecting it.  Taking care of your skin is incredibly important, especially if you want to stay looking youthful.

meeshme.comBeing a California native I’ve spent plenty of time sun bathing.  Having an olive complication thanks to my Middle Eastern roots, I never worried about sun block.  While others slathered on the sun screen, I laughed.  That’s come back to bite me in the a$$.  Sun screen is vital to the health of your skin.  The sun’s rays don’t just make you more susceptible to skin cancer, they also cause your skin to lose its elasticity.  Too much exposure to the sun can cause wrinkles, sagging, and freckling.  To protect your skin, avoid sun bathing for multiple hours a day or hitting the tanning bed.  Always put on sun screen.  I remember putting on the lowest SPF sunscreen I could find, don’t! Make sure to purchase something with an SPF of 30 or higher.  I hate rubbing in sunscreen, so I always opt for the spray-on versions like Coola organic sport sun screen.  Purchase it here.  Coola has enough SPF to provide protection without leaving your hands or legs white from residue.  It also doesn’t seep out of your pores when it’s hot, like traditional lotions will do.

meeshme.comI never was addicted to the tanning bed, but I definitely made visits at least once a month in preparation for the summer.  Who doesn’t appreciate the effect of a tan?  It can hide those pesky imperfections like nothing else.  I liked tanning not just for the look it gave me, but because it relaxed me.  Laying down in that warm bed would put me to sleep.  I’d listen to some music and just let go of everything going on in my head.  While I do miss this experience, it isn’t worth putting myself at risk for skin cancer, nor is it worth even the perfect tan.  I’ve never been a fan of spray tans, but there are other options.  Jergens Natural Glow will slowly increase the pigment in your skin without making you look orange.  Clinque also has a fabulous product for $23.  Buy it here.

meeshme.comTo help correct some of the sun damage on my face, I started researching moisturizers with SPF.  My skin is naturally on the dry side, so applying a moisturizer after washing my face is mandatory.  I read that ROC Multi Correxion 4 Zone daily moisturizer was rated by users as one of the top products for reversing sun damage and aging.  The ROC moisturizer, “targets four key areas of the face to diminish the look of multiple signs of aging.”  The moisturizer has an SPF of 30 which is higher than many make-up counter moisturizers.  The moisturizer claims to target the four zones of the face.  It claims to diminish the signs of lines and wrinkles from the forehead, decreases the appearance of crows feet from the eye area, removes brown spots and uneven skin tone from your cheeks, and improves elasticity of the jaw line. The ROC 4 zone moisturizer can be purchased at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Target for around $25 a bottle.  This may seem expensive for the size of the bottle, but it’s cheaper than many brand name moisturizers that claim to do the same thing.

meeshme.comTo repair deep set wrinkles try L’OREAL’s Revitalift.  Botox and similar services can be a scary experience and costly investment.  I’ve never tried it myself, and horror stories keep me from making an appointment.  I’ve known women who have had it, and I can’t say that I saw too much of a difference.  If you do choose to invest in botox, make sure you don’t skimp on the cost in exchange for the right doctor.  These days almost anyone can provide injections, so make sure you go to someone who knows what they’re doing.  In the meantime Revitalift may provide you with the skin assistance you need.  This wrinkle repair cream works overnight to bring elasticity back to your skin, and plumps up the gaps which create wrinkles and lines on your face.  Users see results over time.  I myself only started seeing results after a couple of months.  Your wrinkles weren’t built in a day, so it won’t take a day or two to fix them.  Dedicate the time every night and a.m. to taking care of your skin, and you’ll see the results.  You can get Revitalift at CVS for just $15.99.  Buy it here.

What’s Wrong With Me?

How to Avoid too Much Mercury

spicy tuna roll

Spicy Tuna I’ll Miss You

I am a chronic migraine sufferer, so when I had a migraine Friday night an hour after dinner I didn’t think much of it.  My stomach felt a little upset, and my boyfriend wasn’t feeling too great either.  We had just had sushi at Katsuya, and we wondered, “Did we get food poisoning?”  Sushi is tricky, and we all know how easy it is for sushi to go bad, but Katsuya is supposed to be a quality establishment is it not?

When I got home I took an excedrine for my migraine, as I often do and fell asleep.  I had anxiety the next day as well, and another headache.  It’s now going on the fifth day, and I still have a headache, some anxiety, and nausea.  I did research, and discovered I have mercury poisoning.

I have heard of mercury poisoning before, and heard that mercury exists in seafood, but never heard of the effects it can have on your brain.  I figured I would be throwing up, or have symptoms similar to food poisoning.  Never did I imagine it would cause headaches, anxiety, etc.

While I love seafood, the lesson in all of this is to be aware of the amount of mercury you digest.  Mercury searches for fat to intrude.  Since our brains our comprised of fatty tissue, the mercury finds it’s way into our brains affecting our thoughts and emotions.  If you feel like you have mercury poisoning, consult your doctor.

Here is a list of fish and their mercury levels according to about.com:

LOWEST MERCURY

Eat 2-3 servings a week (pregnant women and small children should not eat more than 12 ounces (2 servings):

  • Anchovies
  • Catfish
  • Clam
  • Crab
  • Crawfish
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Mullet
  • Oyster
  • Perch
  • Pollock
  • Salmon
  • Sardine
  • Scallop
  • Shrimp
  • Sole
  • Squid
  • Tilapia
  • Trout
  • Whitefish

MODERATE MERCURY

Eat six servings or fewer per month (pregnant women and small children should avoid these):

  • Bass
  • Carp
  • Cod
  • Halibut
  • Lobster
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Monkfish
  • Perch
  • Snapper
  • Tuna (Canned Chunk light)

HIGH MERCURY

Eat three servings or less per month (pregnant women and small children should avoid these):

  • Bluefish
  • Grouper
  • Sea Bass
  • Tuna (Canned Albacore, Yellowfin)

HIGHEST MERCURY

Avoid eating (everyone):

  • Marlin
  • Orange Roughy
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • Tuna (Ahi)

It’s important to remember that seafood is a healthy alternative to red meat.  There are plenty of nutritional benefits to eating seafood, just remember to eat fish with low levels of mercury.