Archive for November, 2012

How to Keep Your Skin Soft and Moisturized All Winter Long


The winter months are some of the harshest months on your delicate skin. But you can follow these tips to help protect your skin from the harshness of winter and your body will thank you for it.

Don’t forget the sunscreen – Just because the temperature drops doesn’t mean the ultraviolet rays have gone away. While the UVB rays are weaker, you shouldn’t skimp on the sunscreen during the winter months. Dermatologists suggest using a cream or moisturizer with an SPF of 30 year round.

Turn down the thermostat … just a few degrees – Surprisingly people who spend most of their time outdoors aren’t the ones with dry, peeling skin. It is just the opposite. Those people who spend their time indoors with indoor heat constantly are those who experience parched skin the most. If you can, turn down the thermostat a few degrees and use a humidifier to put some moisture in the air. This combination will help to replace some moisture in your skin and will alleviate parched skin.

Nutrients are key to quench dry skin – While many people believe that drinking an abundance of water will help quench dry skin, dermatologists suggest that getting the appropriate nutrients is more important than downing water when it comes to healing dry skin. Getting appropriate levels of omega-3 fatty acids through a diet rich in foods like salmon and halibut can help to combat skin dryness. The acid in these types of fish lessens inflammation and plays a huge role in strengthening the lipid layer, thereby helping your skin retain its natural oils.

Skip the long, hot baths – While a good long soak in a hot bath sounds like just what the doctor ordered after a day out in the elements, that hot bath is a big no-no when it comes to protecting your skin in the cold. Taking a bath that is warmer than your body temperature opens up your pores and releases the moisture that your body desperately needs during the winter. If you would like a bath over a shower, limit your time in the tub to about five minutes and be sure to use a creamy oil wash to give your skin that moisture back that it may lose.

Exfoliate those rough feet – While the logical cure for dry feet is to moisturize them, dermatologists suggest that exfoliating your feet should be the cure instead. A moisturizer cannot work if you continue to put it on dead skin. Once you get rid of those rough spots on your feet, then the moisturizer you use will take to your feet so much better. Try a crystal buffer while your feet are damp or a stainless steel file while your feet are dry for the best results.

Avoid licking those lips – Overusing lip balm is not the culprit when it comes to dry, cracked lips. Instead the culprit is more than likely the acid from your saliva left on your lips when you lick them. The skin on our lips is very thin and when that acid, which is used for digestion, is left on the lips for extended periods of time, dryness occurs. Make a conscious effort not to lick your lips when you are out in the elements and use a lip balm with softeners like shea butter or jojoba oil. Avoid minty lip balms as they may contain a drying menthol which will defeat the purpose of wearing the balm to begin with.

While these are only a few tips to protect your skin this winter, we hope that this is a good jump start for you and that the winter won’t be as painful on your skin this year or in years to come.

How Many Calories Are In Your Thanksgiving Feast?


Use this handy calorie counter to find out how many calories are in some of your favorite Thanksgiving foods, and avoid packing on some extra pounds this holiday season.

Salads and Appetizers:

3 cups salad (with light dressing): 100 calories
½ cup jello with fruit: 120 calories
½ cup Waldorf salad: 110 calories
1 cracker with cheese: 70 calories
½ cup mixed raw vegetables: 25 calories
½ cup mixed nuts: 440 calories
1 oz. tortilla or potato chips: 150 calories (75 extra calories per tablespoon of dip)

Main Course:

6 oz. cured ham: 300 calories
6 oz. white and dark turkey: 340 calories
½ cup stuffing: 180 calories
½ cup cranberry sauce: 190 calories
½ cup mashed potatoes: 150 calories
½ cup gravy: 150 calories
½ cup green bean casserole: 225 calories
½ cup candied sweet potatoes: 150 calories
1 dinner roll: 110 calories (45 extra calories with one pat of butter)

Drinks:

1 mixed drink: 250 calories
1 glass of wine: 120 calories
1 glass of cider: 120 calories
1 cup eggnog: 343 calories

Desserts:

2 small chocolate chip cookies: 150 calories
1 piece apple pie: 410 calories
1 piece pecan pie: 480 calories
1 piece pumpkin pie: 180 calories
½ cup whipped cream: 75 calories
½ cup ice cream: 145 calories

Leftovers:

1 turkey sandwich with mayo and cranberry sauce: 450 calories
1 open-face turkey sandwich with stuffing and gravy: 290 calories

Simple Strength Building Exercises: Three Exercises to Kick Start Your Workout


Instead of dragging yourself to the gym every day, fit these three simple exercises into your daily regimen at home and you will see results in no time. Begin any work out with a quick stretching routine and then do the following exercises, which target your upper, middle and lower muscle groups, gradually.

Push Ups: (Reps: Three sets of five, or five sets of three) Do simple push-ups, using your knees as your stability, instead of your toes. When lowering your body, try to go as slow as possible for the best work out.

Crunches: (Reps: Three sets of twenty) Do crunches instead of sit-ups because sit-ups tend to harm your back. Lay on your back with your hands locked behind your head, bend knees so your feet are on the floor and lift your shoulders and head up forming the crunch. If you can hold it for one second the work out will be more beneficial.

Half-knee bends: (Reps: Twenty) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands on hips, lower your hips halfway and hold, placing your weight on the balls of your feet. Hold for a ten count and then go back to a normal stance.

Giving Your Child the Essential Vitamins They Need


When given the chance to choose their own meals, many children would opt for foods that don’t necessarily make a complete meal with all of the vitamins and nutrients that they need.

That’s why as parents we need to make sure that they are getting all of these important vitamins when we are choosing their daily meals.

Besides giving your child a daily multi-vitamin keep these tips in mind when label reading to make sure that they are getting all that they need from their food:

• Calcium: Getting enough calcium is important to everyone, especially children. That’s why children require at least 800 mg of calcium for children ages 4 to 8, and at least 1,300 mg of calcium for children 9 and older.

• Iron: Many multi-vitamins do not contain iron, so be sure to supplement your child’s meals with iron-rich foods to be sure they get the recommended 10 mg of iron a day.

• Folic Acid: Important for so many reasons, including the production of red blood cells and healthy skin, hair and gums, a typical child’s dose of folic acid is 75 to 150 mcg daily.

• Vitamin C: Especially during cold and flu season, be sure to increase your child’s daily intake of Vitamin C to at least 1 gram per day.

• Vitamin D: Children’s growing bones require plenty of Vitamin D, so many pediatricians recommend that children take a supplement with 800 to 1,000 IU of Vitamin D daily.

• Vitamin A: Vitamin A is also important for a growing child’s body, but too much Vitamin A can also be toxic, therefore many pediatricians suggest increasing your child’s beta carotene intake, which is converted into Vitamin A in the body.

While these are just some of the main vitamins that your school-aged child needs on a daily basis, be sure to check with your own pediatrician to see what vitamins and minerals they suggest specifically for your child.

Make sure that your child is eating balanced meals and taking a daily multi-vitamin and your child will be well on their way to healthy lifestyle.