The Beauty Diet
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Getting Your Beauty Sleep

There’s a reason they call it beauty sleep! A full, deep, restful sleep can help you stay healthy, lose weight, be more alert, improve your concentration, increase your productivity, elevate your mood—and ensure that you wake up gorgeous. You might be aware that you look and feel better after you get a good night’s sleep!

Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by everyday wear and tear as well as by sun exposure, stress, illness, and so on. During sleep the body focuses on regenerating cells and on maintaining and building bones, muscles, and other tissues. This kind of repair work also can occur while you’re awake, but sleep allows the body to concentrate on healing without having to divide its energy sixteen different ways. While you are sleeping, you also recharge your immune system and rebalance the chemicals in your brain.

In addition, you subconsciously process the day’s events and even mull over problems—sometimes even producing bright ideas in the middle of the night. When you have a problem, it always helps to “sleep on it.”

Sleep Yourself Thin

Researchers have uncovered an interesting connection between sleep and weight. People who do not get enough sleep are at increased risk of eating too much—not because they lack willpower, but because their hormones are working against them. Have you ever had a sleepless night, followed by a day when you just wanted to keep nibbling? Welcome to the effects of the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin and ghrelin work together to control feelings of hunger. Ghrelin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and stimulates appetite. Leptin is produced by fat cells and sends a signal to the brain that you are full. Research shows that when you don’t get enough sleep, it reduces your levels of leptin, so you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Sleep loss also causes your levels of ghrelin to rise, which stimulates your appetite. This dynamic creates the perfect conditions for overeating. In fact, researchers have found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight.

Two studies—the first conducted at the University of Chicago in Illinois and the second at Stanford University in California—reveal a great deal about how leptin and ghrelin operate. In the Chicago study, researchers subjected 12 healthy men in their 20s to two days of sleep deprivation, followed by two nights with 10 hours of sleep. During this time doctors monitored their hormone levels, appetite, and activity. After two nights of sleep deprivation, the partici-pants’ levels of leptin (the appetite suppressor) went down, and their levels of ghrelin (the appetite stimulator) went up.

They experienced greater appetite, and they specifically craved high-sugar, high-salt, and starchy foods. The researchers were surprised to discover that hormone levels could be affected so much, in such a brief amount of time. In the Stanford study, about 1,000 volunteers reported the number of hours they slept each night. Researchers tracked their levels of ghrelin and leptin and charted their weight.

This study revealed that those who slept less than eight hours a night not only had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin but also had a higher level of body fat. Specifically, there was 4 percent increase in body mass index when sleep was decreased from eight hours to five hours—a finding that can represent a difference of 25 pounds!

Conquering Insomnia

Waking up with a puffy face and bags under your eyes is an unfortunate consequence of insomnia. If you are having some problems getting your beauty sleep, here are some things to try:

*Take a hot shower. If you take a relaxing shower, then lie quietly in bed, it may be just what your body needs to get to sleep. If you have time, a hot bath—complete with scented candles and bath salts—is even more relaxing.

*Open the window. Fresh air and a cool room temperature provide the best sleeping conditions. If you need more warmth, buy a cozy comforter, but leave the air temperature cool.

*Get comfortable. The kind of mattress and pillow you like best will help you get comfortable right away. Few things are more annoying than trying to sleep in an old, worn-out mattress with a lousy pillow.

*Write down your worries before bed. Try to empty your brain of concerns by writing everything down before you turn out the light. If you have any solutions or bright ideas, write them down too. This way you don’t have to keep reminding yourself to remember something.

*Keep to a sleep schedule. Your body will respond to a regular routine. Your head may complain, but your body will thank you for going to bed and waking up at the same time every day—even on weekends.

*Close the curtains. Your eyes know what time of day it is and send a daytime/nighttime message directly to the pineal gland inside your brain. When your eyes sense darkness, your pineal gland produces melatonin and you get sleepy. On the other hand, when it’s light, your body knows it’s time for action. This is why, if you pull an all-nighter, you’ll get a “second wind” at dawn the next morning even if you never get to sleep. Be sure your bedroom is dark to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.

*Hide your clock. A big, illuminated clock may make you feel stressed and anxious about the time that is passing while you toss and turn. Cover the face of your clock so you don’t obsess about the time.

*Cut out caffeine. For some people, even a small amount of caffeine early in the day can cause problems with falling asleep 12 hours later. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, stay away from coffee, caffeinated tea, chocolate, and soft drinks. If you aren’t sure whether caffeine is a problem for you, try eliminating caffeinated food and beverages for one week and see if your sleeping patterns improve.

*Avoid alcohol. A glass of wine may make it easier to fall asleep, but drinking before bedtime increases the likelihood that you will wake up during the night. If you enjoy a drink at night, it’s probably best to limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage with dinner.

*Eat dinner early. Too much food before bed can cause distention and discomfort, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Also, fat takes longer to digest and may cause distention at night. Lying down makes heartburn worse, and heartburn itself makes falling asleep more difficult. Heartburn also awakens sleepers with middle-of-the-night discomfort. Avoid large dinner meals and wait at least two hours after eating before going to sleep.

*Avoid spicy foods. Spicy foods can contribute to heartburn, which can make it difficult to fall asleep by causing discomfort throughout the night. Watch out for chilies, curry powder, and other offenders.

*Exercise early. Exercising right before going to bed can make falling asleep more difficult, as it wakes up your system, revs up your body temperature and metabolism, and can lead to increased alertness. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime. In general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep. However, exercising sporadically or right before going to bed will make falling asleep more difficult. Late-afternoon exercise is the perfect way to help you fall asleep at night.

*Don’t smoke. According to the National Sleep Foundation, new evidence suggests that smoking may negatively impact sleep. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University compared the EEG recordings of a group of cigarette smokers with those of a group of nonsmokers. They found that smokers spend less time in deep sleep, especially in the earlier part of the night, and they are more likely to report feeling unrefreshed after sleeping. Nicotine in tobacco products is a stimulant and contributes to sleep problems.

*Have a small bedtime snack. A glass of warm milk 15 minutes before going to bed will soothe your nervous system. Milk contains calcium, which works directly on jagged nerves to make them (and you) relax. You can also try a cup of hot tea. Most stores have special blends of herb tea designed to help you get to sleep.

*Check to see if you have sleep apnea. If you sense you aren’t sleeping well, or if your partner notices you are snoring or waking up repeatedly because you can’t breathe, go to a sleep clinic and find out if you have sleep apnea. This disorder interferes with your ability to get a good night’s rest. Once it is corrected, you’ll sleep better and have more energy—and many people report they are able to lose weight more easily.

n  Now that you are armed with my nutrition and lifestyle tips for feeling and looking fabulous, it’s time to put it all into practice. To get started, turn the page to begin my delicious Beauty Diet!

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Expert Advice: Finding the Right Pilates Instructor

I asked Tara Bridger for her insights about finding a Pilates teacher. Tara is a certified Pilates instructor and an expert in the method taught by Romana Kryzanowska, a protégé of Joseph Pilates. This is what she had to say: Because the title Pilates can be used to describe any type of exercise that incorporates some aspect of the original Pilates method, you’ll want to take the time to find a legitimate, effective, and safe studio with reputable instructors.

The original method designed and taught by Joseph Pilates is practiced today at studios that trained under the Romana’s Pilates Method or Authentic Pilates Method. Joseph Pilates chose Romana Kryzanowska to carry on his legacy before he died in 1967. Today Romana is in her 80s and still teaching throughout the country. She continues to be the foundation of his method. It’s taught by instructors who either trained directly under Romana or under one of her direct Pilates descendants. Many branches of Pilates have altered or diffused the original system and have implemented new exercises and techniques that are not technically Pilates. The original method and its followers subscribe to a very high standard of practice.

On a more personal level, you want to find an atmosphere you feel comfortable in and an instructor whose personality and approach work best with you. Do you prefer a private setting where no other clients are present? Or are you more comfortable when others are exercising around you?

Some studios are larger and can accommodate many private sessions at once, while others offer a more spalike environment. Do you prefer a man or a woman? A softer, gentler, encouraging voice? Or someone with a tougher “coach” quality who is ready to push you when you need it? Finding the best instructor for you is a trial-and-error process. I recom mend trying a few different people at first. Also, it may be beneficial to work with more than one person on an ongoing basis to gain different perspectives. Everyone has a different eye, even though all should be teaching the same technique. You’ll know when you’re with the right person. Trust your instincts!

Look beyond just the mat classes. Understand that to fully benefit from Pilates you should practice the entire system, which involves the equipment (Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair, etc.) as well as the mat. Be wary of studios that offer group classes on the equipment, especially the Reformer.

Pilates cannot be taught safely on the Reformer in groups of more than three people. A larger class size means the system has been greatly modified from its original form to be taught in groups.

It is important to have some one-on-one instruction and experience with the whole system before diving into a large class setting—both for safety reasons and for the effectiveness of the workout. Large classes combine people with different levels of strength and various body types and limitations.

If you are not in a financial position to take private lessons on an ongoing basis, either invest in a series of 5 to 10 private sessions and then proceed into classes (and brush up with a private lesson about once a month), or look into duets or trios, which still offer individual attention for considerably less money.

Be sure your instructor follows strict safety guidelines. The Pilates system should always be taught by an instructor who adheres to the “safety first” policy. If the equipment is misused or a client is worked beyond his or her strength level, injuries can occur.

If you have concerns about whether or not a studio or instructor is appropriate, you can always contact the two studios in New York that train instructors under the original Pilates method: True Pilates (212-757-0724) or the New York Pilates Studio (212-245-8367) to see what affiliations they have in your city.

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For Inner and Outer Beauty: Stress Less

A life filled with beauty from the inside out begins with eating healthfully, including my Top 10 Beauty Foods in your diet, and adding exercise to your daily routine. There’s just one more part of your life that needs attention. You’ll also need to decrease your stress—an inevitable factor in life that detracts from your beautiful appearance and ruins your calm demeanor. In addition to exercise, R & R (rest and relaxation) are key to looking and feeling your best. The more relaxed you are, the better you feel and the more beautiful you look.

Tension Is the Enemy of Beauty

We all know that stress exacerbates skin conditions like acne and that being constantly tired and worried makes people look old. But for many years there was no scientific explanation for this mind/body connection. When a 2004 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed a connection between life stress and looking old, this seemed like a blinding flash of the obvious, but it was a big deal in scientific circles. The study compared biological markers between a group of women who cared for a chronically ill child and a control group of women with healthy children. The study found that the more years of caregiving a woman had experienced, the shorter the length of her telomeres (the caps of DNA protein on chromosomes that are reduced every time a cell divides), the lower her telomerase activity (an enzyme that protects telomeres), and the greater her oxidative stress. Additionally, the telomeres of women with the highest perceived psychological stress—across both groups—had undergone the equivalent of approximately 10 years of additional aging, compared with the women across both groups who had the lowest perception of being stressed.

Stress can contribute to wrinkles and may aggravate skin conditions including eczema and acne. The effects of stress not only can show up in your face, but also around your middle! If you’ve ever gone through half a bag of Hershey’s Kisses without realizing it, you know there is a link between anxiety and eating.

Adding Relaxing Moments to Your Life

Busy lives don’t lend themselves to long periods of relaxation on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. But the key is not the length of time you incorporate relaxation into your daily life. The most important thing is that you make some time for it, even if it’s very small, on a regular basis. Anything that allows your mind to escape the stresses of life can be helpful in making you feel calm and at peace. In addition to dancing and Pilates, here are some of my favorite stress-reducing activities.

CREATE A RELAXATION ROOM AT HOME. Many spas have relaxation rooms to sit in before and after treatments. It’s great to create a relaxation space at home too. It doesn’t have to be a “room” per se—it can be a space in your bedroom, for example—but the key is having an area at home that is devoted solely to relaxing. You may want to add a really comfortable chair or daybed, put a dimmer on the lights, or have candles on hand—whatever it is that you enjoy and find relaxing. This will give you an opportunity to decompress. The key is not to have too many outside stimuli. Forget the BlackBerry, cell phone, and laptop; this is a time to unwind and clear your mind of distractions and stressors.

MEDITATE. Meditation is a great way to relax, especially if you are under a lot of stress. Research has shown that meditation can lower heart rate and blood pressure and even improve cognitive performance. Important factors to consider when meditating include finding a comfortable place, relaxing your muscles, and focusing on one thing, whether it’s your breathing, an object (a flower or a painting), or even a picture in your mind. You might visualize a peaceful place, like a secret garden. Or you might imagine sitting on a beach in the Caribbean or standing on the summit of a mountain. Meditating for as little as 10 minutes is enough to have a beneficial effect on your stress level. The key is staying focused and not letting any distractions or thoughts enter your mind. This may be difficult at first and may take a lot of time and practice. Being mindful is key.

LISTEN TO YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC. Listening to soothing music can be very relaxing—and slow tempos in particular can induce a calm state of mind. Calming music can slow your breathing and heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and relax tense muscles too. This can be particularly beneficial when you’re getting ready for a tough day at work, if you’re in your car stuck in traffic, or if you’re lying in bed trying to free your mind of stressful thoughts. Music therapy has been shown to be helpful in decreasing anxiety associated with medical procedures: one recent study from Temple University found that individuals who listened to music during a colonoscopy required less sedation during the procedure than those who didn’t listen to their favorite tunes.

GET A MASSAGE. Having a massage is a great way to free yourself of tension, and adding aromatherapy oils such as chamomile or lavender can be particularly beneficial. One recent study found that emergency-room nurses experienced reduced stress levels with aromatherapy massage. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, found that at least 50 percent of the emergency-room staff suffered moderate to extreme anxiety. However, this figure fell to 8 percent once staff received 15-minute aromatherapy massages while listening to music. While it may be preferable, you don’t necessarily need a full hour to experience benefits!

TAKE A HOT BATH. Heat relaxes muscles—and taking a long bath can be soothing to the mind as well. Stock up on your favorite bath salts and soaps, get a bath pillow, and decorate the room with candles. You can even create an in-home spa by incorporating treatments like facials into your routine.

TAKE A VACATION. Even when you have a day off, it’s hard to relax if you’re surrounded by all the usual stressors—piles of bills, home repair jobs that need to be done, shopping to do, and all the other obligations of daily life that make your “to do” list go on for two pages. To escape your day-to-day worries, you need to escape your surroundings! For most people, a vacation to a warm climate, preferably on a sandy beach, is ideal. On the other hand, you may have always wanted to go to Alaska. Whether you prefer a no-frills campout or a luxury hotel, do whatever you find rejuvenating. If you can possibly swing it, get away to relax.

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Finding the Fun in Fitness

Exercise doesn’t have to mean endless hours of pain and boredom. In fact, it can be fun! It’s your workout, so your job is to personalize it just as you would your home décor or your wedding. Following are some forms of exercise that I feel best promote beauty and satisfy the desire to have fun.

Dancing up a Storm

There are so many kinds of dancing that one of them is sure to suit you. Belly dancing? Irish dancing? Modern dance? Ballet? Jazz? Ballroom dancing has become increasingly popular with my favorite TV show “Dancing with the Stars”! Wherever there’s music, there’s dancing. Take your dancing up a notch and you’ll burn calories, tone your muscles, improve your circulation, and boost your mood and energy level. Dancing can increase your strength, endurance, and flexibility, plus it relieves stress and lets you be creative. Dancing can be as convenient and affordable as you want it to be. You can sign up for private ballroom dance lessons (I take lessons with my husband, David) or just put on your favorite CD and boogie.

You’ll get cardiovascular benefits from dancing three times a week for 20 minutes. If you goal is to lose weight, you’ll need to stay on your toes a little longer. There are many different ways to dance your way to fitness, so to make it fun, pick more than one.

Mindful Exercise: Yoga and Tai Chi

Over the past 10 years, yoga and tai chi have established their own growing sector of the fitness world called mindful exercise. These forms of exercise are so wildly popular that they’re often on the daily schedules at fitness centers. The reason so many women can be seen sporting their own yoga mats and shoulder bags on any given Saturday is that these are exercises that work your body while relaxing your mind.

Yoga is no passing trend. In fact, it’s more than 5,000 years old. Because of its gentle nature, yoga is suitable for most adults of any age or fitness level. When it’s practiced regularly, practitioners notice physical, emotional, and perhaps even spiritual effects of yoga.

If you’re exploring the world of yoga, you should know that there is not just one type. There are actually many different practices of yoga, each focusing on a different set of benefits. Hatha yoga, the most popular form practiced in Western countries, focuses on breathing and posture. Other forms of yoga may focus on goals such as relaxation, intuition, or healing. But whatever the form, three integral tenets of yoga—exercise, breathing, and meditation—help students achieve their goals. To find out which form is right for you, head straight to your nearest yoga studio and try it out.

If you’re a beginner, it’s a good idea to take an introductory workshop. You may prefer to learn what downward dog looks like first, before hearing about it in class! I took an introductory workshop at my neighborhood favorite, New York Yoga, and it offered me an opportunity to learn various poses while receiving constructive feedback.

Tai chi is suitable for anyone who wants to move with greater strength, grace, and ease, from adolescents to the aged. This ancient Chinese method of movement is nonimpact.
It incorporates flowing movements while shifting the body’s balance.

Tai chi movements are performed slowly, evenly, and mindfully. The Chinese compare the movement to pulling the silk from a cocoon: pull steadily and the strand will unravel; pull too fast or too slow, and it breaks. In tai chi, the body is always moving, but under complete control as it remains soft and relaxed. Practiced for just 20 minutes a day, tai chi can relieve stress, increase flexibility, build stamina, and strengthen the body, all without any huffing and puffing on your part.


People often ask me how I stay in such good shape, and I am happy to tell them, “Pilates!” Pilates exercises have been sculpting dancers’ bodies for years. The method was developed in the early 1900s by German-born boxer and fitness enthusiast Joseph Pilates. He devised a series of physical movements that—coupled with focused breathing patterns— stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. He also invented unique equipment that challenges and supports the body during special exercises. The Pilates system is made up of a sequence of exercises meant to be followed in a certain order. The routines done on the floor are known as matwork, and they are complemented by the exercises that use equipment. In Pilates, exercises are done with careful precision and with only a few repetitions, maximizing the effects of the work by how the exercises are executed, not by the number of repetitions.

The first thing a Pilates instructor will tell you is that Pilates is not just a series of exercises but an approach to developing body awareness. The Pilates method has been described as an intelligent form of exercise—a holistic approach to the mind, body, and spirit that offers multiple benefits.

My Pilates instructor, Tara Bridger, told me during my first session that Pilates focuses on the body’s core or “powerhouse”— the deep abdominals, lower back muscles, hips, and buttocks—and then extends outward to the rest of the body, providing balance, strength, posture, and efficient movement. It builds strength upward along the spine while supporting the other joints and muscles. Specific attention is also paid to strengthening the upper back muscles that draw the shoulders down and open the chest. When the exercises are done with precision and mental focus, you learn to feel your imbalances and to see how your body has compensated for them over the years. Tara explained to me that Pilates corrects these weaknesses, optimizes how the body functions, and teaches the body to remember its natural alignment and to move in the safest and most energy-efficient way. The overall benefits include a strong, flexible spine, deep core strength, increased muscle tone, greater flexibility, better alignment, stronger mental focus, increased circulation, decreased stress, greater energy, and, the benefit I have noticed the most during my sessions, improved posture. When correct posture is relearned (we all started with it, according to Tara), our presence becomes stronger and more attractive and we appear and eventually feel more confident.

Pilates creates a flat, strong tummy and builds long, lean muscles without bulk. How? Because the system was designed to lengthen and stretch the muscles as it strengthens them. Pilates has narrowed my waistline and toned my buttocks and thighs. It has defined the muscles in and around my spine and along my arms. Overall, it makes the whole body look and feel strong, supple, vibrant, and naturally beautiful.

Tara tells me there are over 500 exercises in the Pilates system (I haven’t learned them all yet!). Though every regimen strengthens the core and tones the whole body, the system allows for specific focus on whatever area of the body needs the most attention, because every body is different.


Weight Training Gives Women Big, Bulky Muscles: Some women are afraid of weight training because they don’t want to get big, bulky muscles. I, for one, can attest that I used to avoid weights out of fear of getting too bulky. But after doing some research, I discovered this is a myth: strength training does not make you look like a bodybuilder unless you want to look like a bodybuilder. Women ordinarily do not have enough testosterone to create giant muscles. Working out with weights, stretch bands, or resistance tubing is extremely beneficial to women because we naturally have less muscle and bone than men, and we begin to lose both with age. So, it is one of the best things we can do to counteract these inevitable changes. Overall, strength training is a terrific way to look beautiful and toned while relieving stress. After overcoming my fear of weights, I can tell you my arms looked great in my wedding dress!

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Staying Fit and Fabulous

So far I’ve shared my best advice for keeping your skin clear and smooth; maintaining your full, luxuriant, shiny hair; nurturing your long, strong, shapely fingernails; protecting your healthy, gleaming smile; and nourishing your bright, sparkling eyes. I’ve drawn on the latest scientific studies and offered you proven recommendations for enhancing your natural beauty from head to toe. I’ve provided you with vital information about nutrition, and in the chapter after this one I’ll give you specific meal plans that offer an abundance of savory snacks and mouthwatering meals that all make use of my Top 10 Beauty Foods. If you read this book from beginning to end and follow my Beauty Diet, you will begin to see wonderful changes in your appearance from the inside out, in as little as four weeks.

But adopting nutritional habits that enhance your health and beauty is only one part of the journey. The Beauty Diet would not be complete without mentioning some other aspects of daily life that play an important role in how you look and feel. I’m talking about your willingness to physically challenge your body and your ability to decompress from the various stressors that surround you. So, in addition to telling you about the best foods and nutrients to consume for optimal beauty, I feel it is pertinent to tell you about lifestyle factors that affect your appearance, including physical activities and behaviors that encourage and maintain your attractiveness and health. Here are the best beauty enhancing lifestyle secrets I’ve found—and used myself!

As a woman concerned with beauty, you’re probably pretty finely attuned to the changes you’ve seen in your body over the past few years. Maybe your body has adjusted to adult life with a little more sagging—a body your partner describes as “cushy.” Maybe you’ve acquired some dreaded cellulite in areas you never could have imagined. And if these are unhappy thoughts, let your mind wander for a bit to the changes you can’t see—changes that impact your overall health. To get the whole package—a boost in confidence, a higher energy level, antiaging benefits, and an all-around healthier and more beautiful body—you absolutely must add exercise to the mix.

The Beauty and Health Benefits of Exercise

In addition to offering various health benefits, exercise improves your posture, balance, and coordination. Being graceful is an important part of being attractive! Exercise also burns calories, helping you stay slim and beautiful. Bodies require a certain amount of energy to sustain life, but once you’ve fulfilled that need, the rest is just excess calories that get stored as fat, unless you burn them off. Weight-bearing exercise is particularly important because it builds muscle, and since muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in the body, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn—even when you are sitting. By helping you stay slim, exercise not only keeps you looking fantastic but also fights obesity and all the health problems associated with it, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

A healthier and more beautiful body is just one dimension of the benefits of exercise. A whole other dimension lies with your state of mind. Exercise can lift your mood and is a great way to manage stress. Research has shown that exercise elevates levels of serotonin (a brain chemical responsible for feelings of calmness and relaxation) to provide an instant lift. Just 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise—done at 60 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate—has been shown to significantly improve both mood and energy levels. Exercise also stimulates endorphins, other neurotransmitters that provide natural pain relief and make you feel good all over.

Burning Calories with Exercise

The number of calories you burn during different activities depends on several factors, including your weight and how long and vigorously you exercise. Following are some figures for someone who weighs 150 pounds and spends 20 minutes on various activities.

Note: these numbers should be used as rough estimates because technique can vary widely.

Bicycling (moderate effort) -- 191
Bicycling (stationary bike, vigorous effort) -- 250
Bowling -- 71
Boxing (punching a heavy bag) -- 143
Carrying groceries upstairs -- 179
Dancing (disco) -- 107                    
Dancing (ballroom, waltz) -- 71
Dancing (modern, jazz, tap, ballet) -- 114
Gardening -- 95
Jumping rope, fast -- 286
Kayaking -- 119
Roller-blading -- 286
Running (5 mph) -- 191
Scrubbing the floor (on hands and knees) -- 90
Sexual activity -- 31
Shoveling snow -- 143
Skiing (downhill) -- 119
Skiing (cross-country, moderate speed) -- 191
Stair treadmill -- 214
Swimming (laps, fast, vigorous effort) -- 238
Swimming (laps, moderate effort) -- 167
Tennis (singles) -- 191
Vacuuming -- 83
Walking (moderate pace, 3 mph) -- 79
Walking (very brisk pace, 4 mph) -- 119
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Expert Advice: Makeup Tips for Beautiful Eyes

My friend Giella produces her own custom-blended cosmetics for the high-end department store Henri Bendel in New York City. I asked Giella for her expert advice for using makeup to enhance your eyes, especially when it comes to getting rid of dark circles and bags.

Here’s what she had to say: Concealing dark circles is always a challenge. Here are some rules: Light colors give a more pronounced look, and dark colors recede. It’s important to get the perfect combination of light and dark colors to disguise dark circles. Typically, concealers are too light, and that just makes circles more apparent. One tip is to blend two colors: one color that has a peach tone to cancel the skin’s blue and another that is lighter to brighten the eye.

When blending, always use a concealer brush. It makes it much easier to control the coverage. A synthetic brush, made out of Taklon, has the feel of silk but the firmness of synthetic hairs. A brush will also warm up the concealer when stroking it, making it easier to apply. You can paint it on very lightly by using the tip of your brush, or you can use the flat side of the brush for a larger area. Remember, put concealer only where you need it. For example, you may not need it completely under your eyes. Typically, the inner corner of your eyes is sufficient. After applying the concealer with your brush, tap it with your ring finger (tap, tap, tap) until it disappears. Do not rub.

Skin texture can make bags or circles look more pronounced. If skin is dry and dehydrated, eyes look much older, so keep the area concealed and hydrated. Use nourishing oils with anti-inflammatory properties to condition skin:

*Grapeseed oil is an excellent healing oil that contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. It is a pale green moisturizer that is lighter and more absorbent than most oils. It is a good choice for those with nut allergies.

*Another good oil to try is emu oil, a natural oil with anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. The product is obtained from the fat of emu birds from Australia. Emu oil also contains essential fatty acids.

*Kukui oil comes from the candlenut tree. This rare Hawaiian plant oil is high in essential fatty acids for the maintenance of healthy skin. It is light and nongreasy and easily absorbed by the skin.

*Avocado oil lubricates and nourishes the skin and is a rich source of vitamin E. Avocado oil has the highest penetration rate of any plant oil, making it an excellent base for skin preparations. It also is antibacterial.

*Soybean oil has long been used in cooking, but lately this oil has grown in popularity for its use in cosmetic applications such as soap, body butter, lip and body balms, face creams and lotions, etc.

*Soy butter is another delicious addition for the skin. You can use it alone or mix it in with your concealer. It is a soft material that spreads easily on the skin, making it easier for concealer to glide on.

If your eyes are prone to puffiness, try keeping your concealer and/or creams in the refrigerator. Coolness helps reduce inflammation. A new lightening powder on the market comes from Phyllanthus emblica, or the Indian gooseberry. It is mostly helpful when dealing with hyperpigmentation. It can be added to eye cream or concealer to actually lighten dark circles. Significant lightening has been seen after 8 to 10 weeks of use.

Vitamin A’s Role in Beauty

Recommended Dietary Allowance: WOMEN: 700 RE (2,333 IU), MEN: 900 RE (3,000 IU)

Vitamin A is a natural skin smoother. It is also important to healthy bones, teeth, hair, and fingernails. The active form of vitamin A (retinyl palmitate, a storage form of retinol) is found only in animal food sources. However, the precursor of vitamin A is beta-carotene, a plant compound with antioxidant properties. Your body can convert beta-carotene into vitamin A. While it is possible to take too many vitamin A supplements (do not exceed 10,000 IU per day, and exercise caution if you are simultaneously using a vitamin A–based medication, especially if you are considering pregnancy), it is not possible to overdose on beta-carotene.

Five Good Whole-Food Sources of Vitamin A
1. Beef liver, 3 oz. 9,196 RE
2. Chicken liver, 3 oz. 4,211 RE
3. Cheddar cheese, 1 oz. 86 RE
4. Egg, 1 boiled 84 RE
5. Swiss cheese, 1 oz. 65 RE

Five Good Whole-Food Sources of Beta-Carotene
(Which the Body Can Convert to Vitamin A)
1. Pumpkin, canned, 1 cup 5,382 RE
2. Sweet potato, baked with skin, 1 2,487 RE
3. Carrot, raw, 1 medium 2,025 RE
4. Mango, 1 medium 805 RE
5. Spinach, boiled, 1/2 cup 737 RE

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