10 Hair Care Rules to Break Now!

It is time to break hair care rules you have been following for years. By doing so, you may discover how healthy your hair can be with simple changes.

Break This Rule: Get a trim every 6 - 8 weeks. Getting a regular trim is a vital necessity for healthy hair. 
If you want to grow out your hair than space out those trims to every 8 - 12 weeks, and continue to follow hair care rules to minimize breakage.

Break This Rule: You can never get enough moisture for your hair. 
Too much moisture can cause problems. Moisturizing incorrectly can weigh hair down and possibly cause bacterial infections. Make sure to find the right styling products for your hair type.

Break This Rule: Vigorously towel-dry your hair before using the blow dryer.
Never treat wet hair to excessive rubbing or pulling because it is extremely fragile when wet. Let your hair air dry for as long as possible and towel drying your hair, make sure to blot not rub.

Break This Rule: Buy salon products for the best hair treatments. 
It is easy to believe that the $30.00 serum is why your hair looks fabulous when your stylist shows you the mirror. Hair health begins from the inside out, and your hair will show if you are not taking care of yourself.

Break This Rule: Switching products keeps hair looking fresh.
Build up from hair products is not going to disappear by changing hair products. Use clarifying shampoo about twice a month and an intensive moisturizing treatment to enhance the shine we all crave.

Break This Rule: Buy products with labels that say natural, organic or claimto have healthy oils. 
You read the labels on your cereal, snacks and other food. Read your labels on hair care products too.  Products that jump on the all-natural bandwagon may still have fragrances, alcohol and chemicals that will damage hair.

Break This Rule: Banish all signs of gray hair. 
Gray hairs make fantastic highlights when taken care of correctly. Stylists can also give proper advice about how to make gray hair look stunning.

Break This Rule: it is my -insert age here- birthday, and I am too old for long hair. 
There is no reason to feel pressure to cut your hair after a certain age. Banish this rule along with any other age related barrier holding us back.

Break This Rule: Your best friend's hair rules are not necessarily going to work for you. 
Pay attention to what your hair type is - not what works for your bestfriend. Using the wrong products are going to make for lousy hair days - every day.

Break This Rule: Mother knows best. 
Stop following the old wives tales that may even harm your hair. Lather, rinse and repeat is a smart marketing tool, but the practice is murder on the moisture content in your hair. Brushing hair a hundred strokes only breaks the hair and makes it staticky. Hair does not grow back thicker after shaving, it only seems that way.

The most significant rule to follow that allows hair to be its healthiest is to take care of yourself. Healthy hair needs a diet with antioxidants, vitamins and proteins. Treat your hair well with minimal chemicals and embrace your tresses in their natural state.

Giving your hair a break from the stress of heat and chemicals will reward you with terrific hair days.

Cindi Lewis writes for Glossy, a hair care productsand beauty products online retailer.

Natural Beauty

The everyday beauty of the woman pictured below is debatable (her slender build, even skin, and dazzling teeth are exceptional), and, while unprocessed hair and non-white skin are "natural" buzzwords, the obvious thought and effort and the fantasy inspiration that shape this look are the opposite of how "natural" is usually used in the cosmetics industry.  But, I think this photo exemplifies natural beauty:  her radiance comes neither from "flawless" nor "natural" features but from her smile and the individuality of her look.  The amazing hair and makeup in this shot seem custom-made to celebrate the woman showing them.  Bravo!

Photo via Going-Natural.com
Click through to Going-Natural.com, a site full of inspiration and resources for "Going Natural: How to Fall in Love with Nappy Hair."

Yoga for Beginners

Chances are good that you've heard of yoga, or know someone who practices it. You've been thinking about trying it yourself, but you'd like to know more about it. Is it meditation? Is it exercise? Will it improve your posture or help relieve stress? The answer is that yoga is a little bit of all of these things and more.

Yoga is the harmony of mind, body and spirit. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word "union." It is a discipline that started in India. People who practice yoga do so to achieve balance within the body by gaining strength and flexibility. This is done by performing different poses. Almost anyone can do yoga, even if you are not very strong or coordinated. The longer you perform the movements, the more your strength and flexibility will improve. 

Yoga is not about trying to be better than everyone else: it is about doing the best you can and using it to improve your life.

There are many benefits to practicing yoga besides getting stronger and more flexible. It can improve sleep, reduce symptoms of asthma, and decrease anger and stress. Regular practice helps to improve feelings of anxiety and moodiness more than jogging or walking. It gives you greater feelings of well-being and increases your quality of life.

Yoga is so powerful it has even been shown to help people who have problems with addiction. It has been studied extensively in medical science and found to be an excellent form of mind-body exercise. And you will see the benefits quickly.

It is fairly easy to get started in yoga. The first thing you will need to do is decide what type of yoga you want to practice. Once you've decided on the style you're interested in, find a place that teaches a class in that style. There are good resources to help you with this: the internet, local newspapers and fitness magazines. If you live in an area that doesn't offer any classes, you can find
yoga videos online to help you learn. If at all possible, however, go to a class. Learning directly from a teacher is the best option for beginners.

Your instructor will tell you on the first day of class what you will need to bring with you. On the first day wear comfortable clothing in a fabric that breathes easily. A T-shirt and exercise pants or shorts are fine. Most yoga is taught and practiced barefoot, so you won't need to worry about having a certain type of shoe. You'll probably need to buy or rent a yoga mat. They can be purchased for as little as $20.00. There are other items you might use depending on the type of yoga you've chosen to study.

During the study of yoga, you can expect to learn breathing exercises and stretching techniques. Then you will progress to learning poses. There will be warm-up poses to start, followed by progressively difficult ones. If a pose is too hard for you to achieve right away or you are getting too tired, you can rest in what is known as Child's Pose, with your knees spread and your body leaning forward until your forehead touches the floor. After the poses are finished, there is a cool down period and the final relaxation. Depending on your level of fitness you could be mildly or severely sore a day or two after your first class.

There are many different kinds of yoga, each with a different focus. The basic poses will be nearly the same no matter what style you decide on, but each style has a different emphasis:

Hatha: is a slow-paced style that is very good for beginners to learn basic poses.

Vinyasa: is a more vigorous style where poses are matched to your breathing.

Ashtanga: is very fast-paced with constant movement from pose to pose.

Iyengar: focuses more on body alignment and holding poses for long periods of time.

Bikram: is practiced in a room where the temperature is between 95 to 100 degrees so that you can be cleansed through sweating.

Anusara: is a light-hearted form good for students of different abilities that emphasize the goodness in all beings.

Sivananda yoga: focuses on core principles such as proper diet and positive thinking.

Yin Yoga: concentrates on sitting still for long periods of time to stretch connective tissue.

Yoga is great for children and adults of all ages to improve physical, mental and spiritual well-being. It can fit easily into your schedule and requires little equipment and no prior experience. As you progress, the movements will become easier and you will feel more relaxed and confident performing them. No matter where you learn or which style you study, yoga is an excellent path for a healthier, more relaxed life.

Nathan Joynt writes for Gaiam.com, a leading lifestyle media company and world leader of quality yoga products and fitness videos online.

Diversifying Beauty

Commentary on the absence of diversity at the recently-ended Fashion Week, from a post entitled "Beauty According to Whom?":

[...] from the images I’ve seen, the majority of the young women chosen to represent the world's most celebrated event in beauty and fashion looked nothing like the world. In fact, they had one thing in common: blond hair and blue eyes.

Now let’s be realistic here: In 2012 in New York City, are you trying to tell me there's a shortage of working models of color? I beg to differ.
Read the full post here: http://bed-stuy.patch.com/articles/beauty-according-to-whom.

The post focuses on the under-representation of non-white runway models as a manifestation of our culture's limited appreciation for a wide spectrum of coloration and features.  It's a good article, which I agree with and recommend.  I'd like to add, though, that from my perspective, even the blond-haired and blue-eyed models look "nothing like the world." At least one blonde on the runway achieves an unreal look by not even being woman.

A model of any race or ethnicity may certainly have smooth even skin, a tall slender body, and the grace and stamina for the hard work of runway modelling.  The fashion industry can and should do a much better job hiring from a wider pool. But, how much does increased racial and ethnic diversity among runway models make fashion reflect reality?  A beautiful woman of any race or ethnicity is more likely than not to have acne scars, wrinkles, less-than-perfect teeth, a figure that does not fit into an off-the-rack size 4, or any other number of individualistic characteristics that make her look unique.

Then again, is this true diversity right for the runway?  Probably not.  The individuality promoted at fashion shows is not that of models, but of the designer; models generally function as a blank slate onto which a designer's creative vision can be projected.    While beauty is a requirement for modelling, the particular brand of preternatural beauty favored by the runway is deliberately unreal.   Intriguing idiosyncrasies in a runway model's appearance may occasionally help her career, but are more likely to be a hindrance.

While diversifying the ranks of runway models without question makes a positive contribution to diversifying fantasy representations of beauty, it's not a big step toward widening the appreciation of individuality.  Changing the culture at large ultimately means fostering an appreciation of the transcendent spark that may illuminate each of us--the inner beauty that transforms true individuality in all its permutations of shape, size, color, facial structure, and hair texture, so-called "flaws" and all, into an expression of the beautiful mystery of life itself.

Is this "real" beauty less compelling than the fantasy images of haute couture?  As something that can't effectively be sold or bought, it's certainly less compelling from an advertiser's perspective:  every woman and man can choose to take ownership of "real" beauty, simply by claiming it and acknowledging it in others.  But, once seen as the true, lush, rich experience of life, it touches in a way that fantasy can not.  We're equally entitled to enjoy beauty where ever we see it, in both real life and fantasy.  As authors of beauty, we should put no limits on our imaginations (and the images that inspire them).  My suggestion is that we we are most enriched when our appreciation of beauty encompasses the diversity of the natural and preternatural alike.

Self Discipline and Dieting

Being and staying healthy is very important. Doing so is a good way to prevent diseases from inflicting our at-risk bodies from the simple flu to potentially life-threatening diseases such as heart conditions and breathing problems. However, going on a healthy diet is very difficult. An even more difficult task than this is actually maintaining your progress and gains. Among others, it will require a big amount of discipline for sustenance so your efforts do not go to waste.

It would be very hard to get anywhere without coming up with achievable goals where you will base everything you will be doing in the entire feat. Instead of the single goal of “weight loss”, come up with simple steps that will lead you there. In this manner, you can easily commit to these simple steps and actually get to where you want to be. You can start with food item swapping to their healthier alternatives and then gradually work into incorporating that in your daily diet. Before you know it, you will have achieved you ultimate goal of weight loss without you even knowing it.

Think of eating as an enjoyable experience. Otherwise, you will never have the will to follow and stick to your diet plan. You might not be able to take in the food items that you would want to eat but there are some ways for you to make eating more desirable. Do so by slowly eating and chewing your food so you can fully enjoy its flavors. You can also dine with good company or take in small portions so you can eat more than three times all throughout the day.

Know the progress of your dieting feat by monitoring and recording your activity levels, food items eaten, and your overall weight loss. Not only will this be important for your health care provider to determine if there are changes in your current diet plan that needed to be issued but this will also serve as your own tool to keep you motivated and push you to go on with the whole diet process.

Along with positive reinforcement, a reward can help you sustain the discipline that is required in dieting. You just have to make sure that the reward will come right after you have achieved a goal. Opt to give yourself small rewards for small goals achieved as doing things on a bigger scale will require great effort. These self-motivators can come in the form of a new book, a spa treatment, or even a half-day off from your obligations.

A good companion of diet is exercise. A good exercise routine will help in both achieving that desired weight along with its maintenance. Apart from calorie building and muscle building, it is also a very effective way to relieve and even eliminate stress. You do not have to go the gym or work with complex equipment, a simple half hour or brisk walking or jogging would be good enough.

Resource Box:
Amy C. is a fitness aficionado and blogger who takes a fancy on the many ways to live a healthier lifestyle. Her interest is especially geared into the various forms of dieting and its maintenance. During her downtime, she helps with the administrative and blogging activities of Greyside Group, a maritime security and executive protection company. Stay tuned for her next dieting tips on her next post.

Human Canvases

From the Daily Mail:

Flamingo by Gesine Marwedel, Via the Daily Mail

The photo essay from which this image was taken features several other artistically painted bodies.  The painted bodies are (tastefully) nude, so click through at your discretion.

Keeping and Regaining Natural Hair Color

Do you ever go to the mirror and see a gray hair on top of your head and just want to yank it out? It can happen when you are young and middle aged as well as when you are older. And, nobody wants to lose their natural hair color, but everyone has a certain age when they will most likely start to have gray hair. So, is there any hope of keeping your natural hair color longer or reversing gray hair? What are the alternatives? Most people choose to dye their hair when this dilemma starts to happen.

There are some natural solutions that you can try in order to: not have your hair color turn gray so fast. You might think that having hair turn gray is your genetic fate, but it is possible to increase or decrease this likelihood. You can have premature gray hair at a young age, or you can regain your natural hair color back at an older age. Here are some helpful tips.

  1. Avoid Sugar - Sugar depletes vitamins and minerals. And, when that happens, you won't have the various essential nutrients that your body needs to help you keep your natural hair color. It has also been found through various studies, that regular white table sugar is a form of narcotics, like alcohol. It gives people an initial high and can be very addictive. Have you ever seen someone who has been     alcoholic? They tend to look a lot older than their actual age.
  2. Use Sprouts as Part of Your Daily Meal Plans - There is a lady named Ann Wigmore who was able to regain her natural hair color back through growing and eating sprouts. She wrote a book called Sprouting, where she explains all the benefits of sprouts and how to sprout various types of seeds. Sprouts have a much higher degree of nutrition than the original seed. They are alive with enzymes, and are very usable by the body. She and others have followed a raw diet plan which includes sprouts, and they were able to get their original hair color back.
  3. Eat Foods that are High in Minerals - Getting enough nutrients in your diet will help you have the proper nutrition and healthier head of hair. Getting your minerals through supplements is one of the worst ways to increase minerals in your body. Many of these supplements are nothing more than powdered rocks. They aren't recognized by the body as a digestible form of food. It's far better to get your minerals from foods you eat. Plants are able to assimilate the minerals from the ground, and humans assimilate the minerals from the plants in a natural form. The two best food sources for extra minerals are dark greens and molasses.                              
  4. Learn How to Handle Stress - Too much stress in your life can bring on some premature aging, unless you learn how to deal with it effectively. It's important to do whatever you can to maintain good health. Working too much and not sleeping or relaxing enough is not good. Having too many worries about the choices your children make can really tax your mental health. If you don't learn some helpful coping strategies this can be aging. People joke about stresses causing them to get gray hair, and it's really true.
  5. Take a Brisk Walk for 30 Minutes Daily - Exercising daily will do a lot to promote youthfulness, reduce the risk of diseases, and even help to prevent premature aging. People that exercise everyday feel happier and have a more youthful glow and energy. Active people get proper circulation, which helps to fight off free radicals.
The best strategy for maintaining natural hair color, as long as possible, is to practice healthier eating, exercise regularly, get sufficient sleep, and have a positive mental attitude. If you already have gray hair and would like to reverse it, try an improved diet that includes plenty of sprouts and raw foods.

About the Author: Janet Hailstone is a nutrition and cooking instructor for Community Education at Dixie State College in Southern Utah. She has a blog at NutriBuff.com and recommends Treadmill Coupons deals on youthful exercise equipment.

Have the Perfect Smile on your Wedding Day

Everyone wants to look special on their wedding day – the groom included – but with all the costs of paying for your venue, food, outfits and flowers, finding the cash to get your teeth whitened isn’t always an option.

Especially if you plan to go to your dentist. Teeth whitening at your dentist costs on average £400 – more than you can afford.

So what can you do?

The last thing you want is to look back on your wedding photos and see yellow, discoloured teeth.

Learn how to whiten your teeth naturally

Your dentist isn’t your only route to whiter teeth. In fact there are a number of natural alternatives which can help to lighten your teeth and remove staining.

  1. Strawberries – this fruit contains healthy acids which can help to remove spots and staining. Simply cut one in half and rub the inside of the strawberry over your teeth, before rinsing and brushing and strawberries can help to gently whiten your teeth.

    Alternatively you can try rubbing these onto your teeth: hard wood ash (a natural teeth whitener it contains potassium hydroxide); orange peel or lemon juice and salt (blend in equal amounts)

  2. Eliminate common causes of teeth staining – coffee, wine, smoking, sugary foods… are all common causes of staining which over time can make your teeth look discoloured. To help reduce staining on your teeth try to limit if not eliminate these from your day to day diet, as well as brush regularly to stop them from staining your teeth.

  3. Adopt good dental hygiene – it is surprising how many of us don’t brush our teeth twice a day let alone floss. However good dental hygiene can help to remove stains and the build up of bacteria and food particles which can cause plaque. So aim to brush your teeth at least 2 times a day for 3 minutes and floss in the evening.
Taking care of your teeth is certainly a good starting point for helping to improve the health and appearance of your teeth. However if you are looking for a significant difference to the appearance of your teeth on your wedding day, then any of the following can offer an affordable route to whitening your teeth.

  • Home teeth whitening kits – using the exact same gel used by dentists, teeth whitening kits contain 120ml/cc of 16% Carbamide Peroxide which has been proven to: enter the pores on your teeth, create active oxygen that converts coloured compounds into colourless compounds and whiten your teeth by up to 11 shades in 2 weeks.

    And available for less than £40, teeth whitening kits are nearly 10 times cheaper than going to your dentist.

  • Teeth whitening strips – weaker in concentration compared to teeth whitening gels, these strips are applied directly to your teeth for a few hours a day and can help to whiten your teeth. Just be careful when applying, otherwise your teeth may end up looking streaky. Usual cost: £45-£70

  • Teeth whitening pens – unlike the previous 2 products, you control how much you apply as you rub the teeth whitening pen onto each tooth. Once again be careful when applying to not put more on one tooth than another. Start in price from £14.99.

Achieving a whiter smile for your wedding day is possible, and doesn’t have to be costly. So if you are looking to brighten your smile, why not give the above tips a try and ensure you look radiant on your big day.

Thank you for reading, my name is Tracey and I work as a dental nurse in the day but at night I write about how to whiten teethwithout spending a fortune at the dentist. (Just don’t tell my boss!)

From Thursday Night's Class

"If you take my joy away from me, you destroy the beauty of yourself."

Reasons to Treat Yourself to a Spa Vacation

In recent years, spa vacations have increased in popularity. During one quick retreat, spa goers can enjoy relaxing massages, rejuvenating skin treatments, luxurious pedicures and dozens of other services. If you’ve been considering a spa vacation, but not sure it’s the best choice for you, here are four reasons to embark on a pampering getaway.

Relax and Recharge

Today, people lead more hectic and over-scheduled lives than ever. Treating yourself to a spa vacation allows you to relax and unplug from daily pressures. And nothing melts away stress like a soothing massage, facial or body treatment. In fact, many spas offer stress-reducing services such as hot stone massages, ultra-cleansing treatments and scalp reflexology. Your spa vacation will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated for weeks to come.

Invest in Your Health

Many spa therapies are extremely healthy for the mind, body and soul. Services such as massages and reflexology are excellent ways to relieve stress. Body treatments such as salt scrubs and body wraps are great for moisturizing dry skin to reveal a healthy, youthful glow. Hair treatments can help restore your hair’s health, vibrancy and strength. In addition, many facial services can help reduce acne, irritations and other problematic skin conditions. If you’re still ambivalent about taking a spa vacation, think of it as an investment in your health.

Pain Management

Do you suffer from muscle soreness or joint aches? Spa vacations are also a great way to reduce body pain. Many spa masseuses can focus on your trouble areas to relieve stress, tightness and discomfort. Some spas and spa resorts even offer hydrotherapy, which uses water to diminish or eliminate pain. Recognized as a legitimate pain treatment by many pain management clinics, hydrotherapy consists of sitting in a whirlpool or bathtub filled with warm water jet streams. Hydrotherapy can also include relaxing in steam rooms and taking therapeutic showers. As an organic method to ease pain, warm water naturally soothes and relaxes the body.

Conditions that can be treated by hydrotherapy include:
• Acne
• Anxiety
• Arthritis
• Muscle and joint pain
• Cold and flu
• Depression

Time with Family and Friends

Feeling disconnected from your friends or family? Taking time for a spa vacation is a great way to reconnect. In addition to receiving one-on-one services, spas also allow clients to enjoy treatments with others. Couples massages, pedicures, manicures and hydrotherapy sessions are great ways to catch up with your loved ones in a relaxing environment. Whether you’re looking for a girl’s getaway, mother-daughter time or a romantic weekend with your significant other, spa vacations can help solidify bonds with friends and family.

Taking a spa vacation is more than just enjoying beauty and massage treatments – it allows you to relax and refuel while taking proactive steps to better health. Spa vacations also help you reconnect with the most important people in your lives – including yourself! Book your spa vacation today and feel more relaxed and revitalized tomorrow.

Rosie writes on behalf of St Martins Chalets a business based in the St Martins, Austria specialising in Holidays to Austria, St Martins are a great choice for a ski holiday in Austria at a beautiful eco lodge in the heart of the Austrian Alpes.

Reviewing the Schwinn 220 Recumbent Home Exercise Bicycle

Most people know what it's like to exercise using a traditional bicycle machine, but recumbent technology is the future for home gyms. People appreciate the ability to work out with an added degree of comfort and far less stress on their joints and back. One of the major barriers for many people when it comes to buying a home recumbent bike is the initial cost and size of the machine itself. Thankfully, these machines are becoming much more practical and user-friendly. That means you don't have to sign up to a professional gym anymore to use one regularly, and the Schwinn 220 is something you can bring into your own home at a reasonable price.

Know what to Expect
Make no mistake, this is a serious piece of exercise equipment that requires dedication in order to use properly. You want to make sure that you have realistic expectations so that you don't get too excited about this product only to have it end up in your garage or storage closet a few months down the line. You're still going to have to do the work and this machine will not be some magical answer to your weight loss or fitness efforts. But if you are serious about getting fit or already have a workout plan in place, then the Schwinn 220 could be the best possible addition to your home gym.

Schwinn Reliability
From the get go, you'll see that the Schwinn 220 is built for both comfort and durability. It has a solid frame that can support up to 300 pounds of user weight and a solid frame that is built to last. You'll also appreciate its quiet operation and it's definitely something you can set in front of a big screen TV to keep yourself distracted while you work out. There is also an available magazine rack that you can use to read while you work out.  Assembly of this machine will likely take you less than one hour, but once everything is put in place this bike is easy to maintain and very practical to use.

Customize Your Workout
One of the best aspects about this product is the ability to customize your routine which means it can accommodate people of all fitness levels. Whether you are looking to get back into the action after living a sedentary lifestyle or you're already and exercise enthusiast, you find a way to use the Schwinn 220 four maximum results.

There are 16 different resistance settings and each one is individual enough that you'll notice a difference. You are perfectly free to start off slow and build up your endurance levels, and it feels good to accomplish personal goals related to working your way up. You can also use 12 separate workout programs with the help of the onboard computer and monitor. The computer is useful for keeping track of information related to your work out that you can later use to find tune your exercise plan. You can even come up with your own custom fat loss workouts eventually as you become even more familiar with this bike. This is a quality purchase that will pay for itself eventually if you keep up with regular use and maintain it properly.

Part of a Larger Approach
Whether you’re aiming for fast weight loss or general fitness, this Schwinn model can help you achieve your goals. As part of a general plan for healthy living that includes better food choices, there’s no telling how much value you can get from this model. Affordable, practical, and powerful – Schwinn has come up with a winner.

This review comes to use from rabbitsadvice.com where you can find more information on healthy living with an eye on weight loss. You can find further tips and reviews for other great pieces of home exercise equipment.

Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker Why does Adele's 'Someone Like You' make everyone cry? Science has found the formula

This article from the Wall Street Journal could equally well be titled "Science of Tarab."
If "Someone Like You" produces such intense sadness in listeners, why is it so popular? Last year, Robert Zatorre and his team of neuroscientists at McGill University reported that emotionally intense music releases dopamine in the pleasure and reward centers of the brain, similar to the effects of food, sex and drugs. This makes us feel good and motivates us to repeat the behavior.

Measuring listeners' responses, Dr. Zatorre's team found that the number of goose bumps observed correlated with the amount of dopamine released, even when the music was extremely sad. The results suggest that the more emotions a song provokes—whether depressing or uplifting—the more we crave the song.

Full article.

The Human Element

Dave Grohl's grammy acceptance: 

To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of making music is what's most important.  Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do.  It's not about being perfect, it's not about sounding absolutely correct, it's not about what goes on in a computer.  It's about what goes on in here [heart] and it's about what goes on in here [intellect].

Photo via Buzzfeed

Labor and Deliverance

Labor and Deliverance is the new home for Observations of a Too Busy Ob/Gyn.

Best Hair Care Tips for Chilly Weather

It is well known that our hair can be affected by high temperatures caused by heating tools for example, or simply by the sun. However, a lot of people don’t know that low temperatures or cold wind can also damage the hair.

Because of cold and other external factors, the hair becomes coarse, hard and dry which may lead to breakage, split ends and a lot of other problems. This can be avoided by paying extra attention to your hair during the cold season.

Tip #1: Invest in a Good Leave-In Conditioner
One of the most important things during the winter is to moisturize your hair on a regular basis, even every day or once in a couple of days. Buy yourself a quality leave in conditioner and make sure to keep your hair moisturized, especially your ends. If you dye your hair, the level of care and protection needs to be increased even more.

Besides your “homemade” hair regimen, my personal recommendation is to get a professional treatment once in three weeks or so. An appointment to your local salon will make your hair shiny and healthy again. It will only take 45 minutes of your time.

Tip #2: Regular Trims to Boost Healthy Texture
Another important tip is to trim your hair more often during the winter, because you are more likely to get split ends during the cold season. However this leads to another problem. Combined with the fact that hair grows slower during the cold season, trimming will prevent you from retaining length. So, if you are having this issue you might want to consider a hair growth vitamin such as biotin.
If you use a lot of styling products make sure you choose the best one for your hair. Try to avoid chemicals or heavy products that put a lot of weight on the hair. I personally like to use a lot of water based products.

Tip #3: Revitalize Your Hair From Inside Out
What you eat is extremely important as well, not only for your general health but also for the health of your hair. Foods high in vitamins, minerals, zinc and magnesium are good for your hair and will provide a higher level of protection. If you feel that you can’t get enough nutrients into your system you can take supplements as well.

To round things up, our hair needs lot of attention and care during the winter, and taking good care of it will definitely pay off.

Author bio:
Christine is a part time blogger and hair care junkie. If you are thinking or using biotin vitamin make sure to check out her article on biotin side effects.

7 Health Benefits of Eating More Protein

Protein is one of the most misunderstood nutrients in the human diet. Ask any weightlifter in the local gym and you’ll find that this is the general consensus: The more the merrier! That seems logical. We know that protein, the matrix of amino acids, is the primary fuel of muscle growth and brain health, but if we adopt the “more is more” philosophy in other areas of life we may find ourselves in a rut.

Red wine, for example offers numerous heart benefits, but it would be false to then assume that drinking a bottle a day would be even that much healthier for your heart. The opposite would be true! In fact, studies show that if proteins make up more than 30% of your caloric intake you could experience both added stress on your internal organs and an increased propensity to gaining fat. But most people don’t have this problem with protein. Most people don’t get enough! If you don’t plan on overdosing, proteins are incredibly important nutrients to consider when planning meals. Here are seven reasons why:      

1.                   Enjoy Healthy Food
When considering healthy foods, simple tastiness seems insignificant (or unthinkable).  However, this must not be overlooked.  Healthy proteins make meals much more satisfying! Beans, edamame, chicken, fish, peanut butter, and milk ought to be staples in every meal. Foods that are high in protein also have a higher caloric intake and can allow you to eat less but feel the same level satisfaction of having a much larger meal. Healthy food can be very tasty!  Take pleasure in satisfying foods.

2.                   Be Energized 
Protein molecules are bursting with energy that is ready to use. The calories contained in proteins provide long, sustained energy.

A gram of protein has just as many calories (energy measure) as a gram of sugar.  However, simple sugars, of which glucose is the most simple, are immediately used by the body.  When being burned, sugars provide a quick abundance of energy.  Afterwards, there is no energy left. This is why people experience a sugar high and then a crash after eating a bunch of candy.   

Proteins are not used as quickly by cells.  Proteins provide energy that lasts for hours, so people do not experience a crash 30 minutes after eating.  For athletes, this means they will have energy throughout their sporting events.  For everyone, this means they will not be hungry between meals.

Fats must be processed by the body before they can be used.  Proteins, in contrast, provide energy that can be used immediately without being transformed.  In fact, many proteins are in the exact form that cells need to function.

3.                   Successful Dieting 
Many people enjoy protein-rich diets more than others because they can eat the foods they like.  Rather than reducing calories by restricting food intake, high-protein diets allow individuals to eat a wider variety of foods,  feel fuller longer, and therefore reduce calories, without even thinking about it.  A study published in the Journal of Nutrition has shown that people consume fewer calories when they eat high-protein diets than when they are not on diets.  This happens naturally and takes the chore out of counting calories.

4.                   Lose Weight
Since diets rich with protein reduce caloric intake, they lead to weight loss.  A separate study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a high-protein diet and exercise helped people lose weight.  Dieters often have greater success with these diets than others because they are less tempted to cheat.  They feel full, and therefore have little reason to have another snack.

5.                   Build Muscles 
Proteins are commonly referred to as building blocks, for good reason.  They are the molecules that cells need to build new cells and repair damaged ones.

Proteins are necessary to build muscles.  During a workout, miniscule rips are made in the cells of muscles--once these are repaired, new muscle mass are created--proteins are the molecules responsible for this process.

6.                   Help Cells
Without proteins, cells would be unable to function.  Cells use proteins in many ways.  They are converted into enzymes, which trigger chemical reactions, and they are used to transport water across cellular walls.  Proteins are even used to produce hormones.

7.            Eat Less Junk Food
Since proteins make people feel full, those who eat them are naturally inclined to eat less.  In contrast, eating junk food and fast food temporarily satisfy hunger (although MSG laced burgers are high in protein as well).  These unnatural foods cause the body to desire more of it.  Increasing  the body's need for healthy protein intake will reduce the cravings for junk and fast foods.
Proteins are used by the body in many ways.  Cells need them to function and the many benefits help people lead healthier lives.  Thankfully, incorporating protein into a diet is simple and delicious. 

 A healthy diet is a balanced diet.  Although proteins play a significant role in the body, they do not constitute the entire diet.  Understanding how beneficial proteins are to body cells will encourage persons to partake in healthy amounts in their diet.

Author Bio: Jason S. writes for IronScience, a manufacturer of quality nutritional supplements such as whey protein and creatine monohydrate.

New Ob/Gyn Blog

Via Pharyngula (how does he find the time?), a new Ob/Gyn blog from Dr. Jen Gunter.

Downside to Authenticity

Authenticity is important because if you aren't true to yourself then you can’t be true to others. Plus, it’s more fun to be you. Unless you meet a girl who looks just like you and she’s a princess who’s tired of being rich and wants to switch places with you even though you’re a homeless vagrant who gets beaten every night.  Then I say go for switching places with the princess. Or better yet, kill the princess so you can take her place.
Full post contains profanity in the context of humor.  If you don't mind, read the full post here.

Art Thoughtz: Performance Art

Click through for a humorous commentary on performance art.  Video contains both profanity (in the context of humor) and non-pornographic nudity (shows stills of visual and performance art containing nude models/performers).  Watch at your discretion.

Magic Moments

From the "Emotional Sobriety" blog at the website of Psychology Today magazine: 
Can you remember a distinct, personal and private moment from your past? One where you felt connected to yourself, your purpose, or your essential nature? [...] I encourage you to remember those moments in your life, to be on the lookout for them now, and know that there is magic contained in those spiritual spaces in time where the unique individual that you are is vibrating at a perfect pitch.
Read the full post.

Style and Substance

From New England Public Radio's Classical Music Blog, on the "sound" of authenticity.

In praise of style:
Every conductor worth his/her baton knows that Béla Bartók's music is strongly influenced by the rhythms of the Hungarian language, which places the stress on the first syllable of every word.  So, Bartók's musical phrases should be accented in the same way, and orchestras need to be taught to do it right.
And of substance:
Finally and most elusively, there's the quality that you could call commitment, or belief, or pride.  It's what the late violinist-violist-teacher Philipp Naegele meant when he once told me "we all play Russian music as if it were great; the Russians play it like they know it's great."  How does that translate to sound?  In the best "authentic" performances [...] it can be heard in the unfussy, unfancy approach to the music.  There's no showing off, with stretched phrases or exaggerated dynamic effects, how well you've mastered the work's style.  The performances, taut and direct, call attention not to the interpretation, but to the work.   They have nothing to prove, no one to impress, only the composer to serve.
Read the full post.

Evading Regret

In an article on February 1, the Guardian reported on a group of common regrets frequently shared by those at the end of life, as recorded by Bronnie Ware,an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care.

From the article:
She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Read the full article here.