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Why to Eat Whole Foods

9.20.12
source: User’s Guide to Inflammation

There’s been a bunch of talk in the media lately about the importance of eating whole foods. But despite all the hubbub, most of us haven’t changed our diets. We’ve had no reason to. The explanations in favor of whole foods typically fall on the vague side. “It’s good for you.” So we feel no urgency to switch up our eating habits.

But today, I have shocking proof as to why eating whole foods is substantially better in every regard. Proof so powerful you’ll want to immediately trash all processed grub and fill your fridge with only foods considered whole — at least that was my reaction.

The circles above are called NutriCircles. They visually show how many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients are present in a food. If you look closely at the example, you’ll see a raw strawberry possesses tons of vitamins and minerals; whereas, strawberry jam, not so much. In fact, its nutrient content is pretty pitiful.

Why does that matter?

See the more health benefits of whole foods, PLUS how to retrain your taste buds »

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Hug it Out

9.14.12
source: unknown

After prescribing a number of pills and treatments, my doctor, Dr. Ron Hunninghake of the Riordan Clinic, added nonchalantly, “Oh, and Meghan, tell that fiance of yours he needs to get to work. You need to be hugged 10 times a day.”

What?

At first, I thought he was joking. After all, it was my first appointment with Dr. Ron. But then he proceeded to explain exactly why I needed 10 hugs a day, at the very least.

Turns out hugs may indeed be the healing touch. A number of studies have found hugs reduce blood pressure and more importantly, the stress hormone cortisol.

See the many health benefits of hugs »

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permalink | Posted in Blog, health, relationships

Could You Please Pass the Salt

8.22.12
source: unknown

There’s no denying it. Everything tastes better with salt. But for years doctors have instructed us to put our taste buds — and salt shakers — aside in the pursuit of health. Only problem? Turns out they may have been wrong.

A whole slew of new studies have refuted the age old — well, 1904 old — claim that salt leads to high blood pressure, and consequently, heart attacks. One of the most recent being a study released in the American Journal of Medicine that found those with a low-salt diet were four times more likely to die from heart disease than those with a high-salt diet.

In other words, the more salt you eat, the healthier your heart. That’s a complete 180 from the conventional belief, and as a result there’s tons of controversy over whether that study — or any other that touts salt’s health value — should be trusted.

But the evidence in salt’s favor is growing. Substantially. For starters, there’s a solid theory as to why low-salt diets trigger heart disease. When our body doesn’t get enough salt our sensitivity to insulin decreases triggering a stress response in our bodies that affects the hormones that control blood pressure. As a result, if we don’t get enough salt, our blood pressure goes up.

See which type of salt is healthy for you »

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Sick Day Blues

8.15.12

I’ve been feeling under the weather the past few days and have finally decided to call in a sick day. And when you’re sick, there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable, which is why I wish I had these super comfortable finds to crawl into — or sip.

1. A pima cotton robe from Donna Karan. Honestly, anytime you find something in pima cotton, get it. Pima cotton is deliciously soft. I can’t rave about it enough.

2. An italian herringbone throw from Lands Downunder. These throws are so soft I couldn’t believe their shockingly good price tag.

3. Menswear PJs from Eberjey. I ordered one thing from this company and now want to try everything they sell.

4. A fun ikat mug from C. Wonder. You must stay hydrated when sick, and it doesn’t hurt if it makes you smile at the same time.

5. Harney & Sons tea. Before I discovered I had food allergies, tea was all I drank when sick, and if I still could, these fine teas would definitely be top on my list.

What are your sick day essentials?

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permalink | Posted in beauty, Blog, health

Powder Sunscreen Picks

7.18.12

1. iS Clinical | 2. Colorescience | 3. Mineral Fusion | 4. Jane Iredale | 5. Peter Thomas Roth | 6. Eminence | 7. GO!screen | 8. bareMinerals

Despite knowing we should wear sunscreen every day, most of us don’t for a very good reason. It’s sticky and gross. After one application, you become a human lint roller attracting everything from dirt to sand and even hair, which makes it far from ideal for everyday wear. Especially if you’re a woman who wears makeup. That whole idea of reapplication goes right out the window. Lathering greasy sunscreen over foundation completely ruins your flawless finish.

So when powder sunscreen hit the market a few years back, I jumped at the chance to use it and immediately became a convert. It’s easy to apply, goes on completely unnoticeable and best of all, it’s absolutely weightless. You don’t even feel it’s on. Plus, it works instantly. You don’t have to wait 30 minutes before entering the sun.

It’s the ultimate everyday sunscreen. Whoever invented it truly deserves a medal.

There’s only one drawback: it’s not so great around water. So when you hit the beach, stick to the slimy stuff. But for everyday wear, try the powder. You won’t regret it.

As for how well it works? I have the fairest of fair skin that blushes bright red at the slightest glance from the sun, yet every time I use power sunscreen my skin remains pearly white. So I’m convinced it the mineral blend that gives powder sunscreen its protective power does what it says and blocks the rays.

My powder sunscreens of choice are iS Clinical and Colorescience. But all of the powder sunscreens listed above are worth trying and offer UVA and UVB protection, which is a must. As is applying it correctly. Most of us don’t.

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