Category: Beauty

A Fit Chic’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Headphones…..

Even the Most Interesting Man in the World Chooses the Right Headphones!

For many of us finding the perfect earphones can be very daunting….They are either too big, fall out of our ears, or just plain hurt your ears.

According to the American Council on Exercise, “Important factors to consider when selecting headphones include fit, acoustics, portability, compatibility with your music player and if they stay on while you are exercising.”

Here are a few great tips to take in to consideration when choosing the headphones for your sport:

1. Use headphones with a rubber casing instead of cloth, foam, or plastic. This allows the sweat to disintegrate and helps them not to slip out of your ears.

2. Don’t purchase headphones that are too big…. Although “big” headphones are being promoted everywhere you turn.. they are not practical, they slip off, and get in the way of your workout. Stick to small buds for the ears, which allows them to stay in and the content that you are listening to is much clearer as well.

3. Find an ear bud that fits your ear: We obviously have many different ear sizes and shapes. So you need to find an ear bud to match your ear size and shape.

4. Do not purchase ear buds that are placed on top of your head or neck. These earphones are uncomfortable or do not stay in a good position when exercising.

5. Find an ear bud for your sport:

For Runners: Polk Audio has come out with a ultra fit collection, that is great for all types of running activities.

For interval, cardio, and/or kickboxing activities: Try Zippearz Nouveau it comes with three different sized ear gels as well.

For Triathletes, Swimmers, or Sports involving water: Use H2O’s Audio Surge Pro Headphones.

Now you can have these helpful tools to find the perfect ear bud for your ears. You no longer have to focus on your ear buds, you can now focus solely on your workout!

For many other helpful tips and tools to make your workout the best it can be go to www.fitchicla.net and like me on Facebook at Fitchicla.

Fit Chic

Sunscreen Labeling to Watch Out For….

With Summer Right around the corner, we are going to want to protect our skin more than ever!  Here are some great points from health.yahoo.net on terms to look out for when purchasing the right sunscreen.

Now you can literally have “fun in the sun” and not have to pay the price!

1.  “Broad spectrum” is not broad.

The Scoop: There are two main types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are responsible for aging changes like wrinkles and discoloration, while UVB rays cause sunburn. Both of these rays contribute to skin cancer. However, SPF only refers to the level of UVB protection, and up until this point, there hasn’t been a scale for UVA protection.

New Rules: New labeling rules state that in order to put the words “broad spectrum” on a bottle of sunscreen, the product must shield skin from 90% of UVA rays, and have an SPF of all least 15, which means it provides protection from UVB rays as well

2.  SPF in cosmetics is not reliable.

The Scoop: If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you know I always advise patients not to trust the SPF in makeup. Cosmetic labeling has not been required to follow the same rules as sunscreens.

New Rules: From now on, beach products and cosmetics products will be treated the same in terms of sun protection labeling. This means your favorite tinted moisturizer or foundation must meet the same criteria as sunscreens and carry a drug facts label if it claims to have SPF. Expect to see many of those sun protection claims go away—or to see skin cancer and skin aging warnings on products that do not meet the broad-spectrum criteria.

3.  Shampoo or body wash is not sunscreen.

The Scoop: You may own body wash with SPF claims in its label. In the past, all kinds of products (including shampoo and powders) could claim to have sun protection.

New Rules: The FDA is tightening the rules on other types of products that claim to offer sun protection. Powders, towelettes, wipes, shampoos, or body washes will no longer be able to be classified as sunscreens. Even continuous spray formulas that we’ve all come to depend on must be subjected to additional testing in order to confirm that the average user actually applies enough product to get the protection stated on the package.

4.  “Waterproof” and “sweatproof” are dangerous words.

The Scoop: These terms have been problematic for dermatologists for a long time, mainly because they give a false sense of security. Regardless of the formulation, and sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, or after swimming, perspiring or towel-drying.

New Rules: New labeling rules only allow companies to state that a sunscreen is “water-resistant for 40 minutes” or “very water-resistant for 80 minutes.”

Another Type of Ray You Should Know

We wear sunscreen every day to shield our skin from the damage caused by UVA and UVB rays, but you probably didn’t know that there’s another type of sun ray we need to think about. Odds are you’ve heard of infrared rays, but research is beginning to shed light (no pun intended) on the ill effects this energy has on our skin.

What are infrared rays?

Simply put, infrared rays are produced by the sun, ovens, hairdryers and light bulbs. (In fact, 54% of the solar energy that reaches the skin’s surface is infrared.) Similar to UV rays, there are three kinds of infrared rays: IFA, IFB and IFC. We can’t feel the IFA type rays, but they penetrate deeper in the skin than UV does, and cause damage that leads to skin aging.  (You can feel IFB and IFC, which get reflected off of the skin’s surface.)

How do they affect our skin?

IFA rays do not generate heat, but they penetrate deep into the skin and damage the mitochondria (energy-producing organelles) and other parts of our skin cells by generating free radicals. Infrared rays have also been found to increase pigment production within the skin. Recent research also shows that IFA rays cause inflammation as well as signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Infrared rays may also be the root cause of “laptop rash,” a red, blotchy irritation (medically known as erythema ab igne) that looks like brown, red patches in areas of heat contact.

How can you protect yourself?

Sunscreens do not shield skin from any type of infrared rays. Topical antioxidants should help shield the skin but the only one that has been tested (and proven) to protect against IFA is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic.

Now that you are informed your summer will be off to a great start!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!

Fit Chic

How to Avoid and Treat Blisters This Summer Season

Be Blister Free This Summer Season!

There are so many wonderful benefits from working out, but sometimes we get a few pesky injuries that are not only annoying but very painful as well!

Here is a great article from Women’s Health about how to prevent and properly take care of blisters, so they don’t leave you and your feet feeling down!

1. Sock and slip

Before you even step out the door in new sandals, Weisenfeld recommends wearing them in the house the day before—with lightweight socks. “It can help you see if the new shoes are rubbing and where,” says Weisenfeld. “Also, it makes the leather more supple—almost like ‘breaking them in.’”

Once you’ve identified your hot spots, preemptively slather on a slicking solution that can bulletproof the area. It feels like lotion but acts like wax. “The solution covers your skin with a light film that acts as a barrier between your skin and the shoe,” says Weisenfeld. It won’t help you after you have a blister, but if you reapply whenever you start to feel irritation, you can keep one from popping up.

Try Dr. Scholl’s For Her Miracle Shield, $6.99, drscholls.com. It comes in a jumbo-lip-balm-size roll-on bottle that you can easily toss in your bag.

2. Make like a mole 

Tiny band-aids are no match for a blister. Instead, try moleskin, a softer, more breathable bandage alternative. Put a small piece of gauze over the blister and cover it with the moleskin. It’s more pliable, stickier, and can take shoe friction like a champ.

Try ProFoot’s Velvetex Moleskin, $3.99-$4.99, drugstores.

3. What blister? 

Smooth over rough patches—like half-healed blisters—with creams containing urea, says Weisenfeld. It works as an exfoliant and smooths away thick dead skin to help prevent cracking.

Try Butter London’s Stiletto Stick. It isn’t greasy, and comes as a solid roll-up stick so your hands don’t get caked with foot cream. $30, butterlondon.com

Just have to pop it? How to treat blisters
Leaving it sealed can prevent infection, so only pop a blister if it’s filled with fluid and so painful that you can’t even slip on your comfiest kicks, says Weisenfeld.

Pierce the blister where it meets the skin with a clean, sterile needle to drain the fluid. To sterilize, wash needle with soapy water, dry and rub down with alcohol. Make sure to leave the roof of the blister intact and never cut skin that hurts when you pierce it (dead skin—like the tops of blisters—won’t hurt, but healthy skin will).

Apply an antiseptic or antibiotic cream and cover with gauze and moleskin. Change your bandage daily. The deeper the blister, the longer it will take to heal.

Now that the season of heat is vastly approaching, we can obviate these pesky injuries that prevent us from doing what we love!

Fit Chic

So Fit Chicks…What Do You Put in Your Gym Bag?

This is a common theme with many of my clients.

Do I bring a bag, or do I bring my purse, or both?

And, if I bring a bag what in the world do I put there?

So here is a great checklist for you and your Fit Friends to have when you take your workout bag to CrossFit.

First don’t bring luggage keep your bag limited to a small backpack.

In the main compartment have shoes, your workout clothes, and a small and large towel.

I often keep water and snacks  in the front compartment of my bag like a larabar or paleo kit, just in case I am running from work to the gym or leaving the gym to go out after.

In the side compartments I include: deodorant, body spray, little hair spray, small lotion, a brush, hair ties and bobby pins.

You might want to keep  a plastic bag in your bag for your “after workout” clothes.

I also like to keep a little kit of makeup ….. i.e. eyeliner, eyeshadow, lip gloss and mascara in case I need to freshen up!

I hope this helps all of you Fit Ones, and now there is NO excuse to not get to the gym!

3….2….1…. Pack!

Fit Chic

Acne: Are Milk and Sugar the Causes?

This is a great article taken from the Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com) from a Dr. by the name of Mark Hyman. According to www.livestrong.com The AAD reports that Americans spend upwards of $1.2 billion each year on acne treatments, which include over-the-counter products, prescription medications and physical procedures such as laser treatment.

What if we could eliminate not only the cost, but our acne as well by just a few simple changes to our diet…..

Acne: Are Milk and Sugar the Causes?

It’s confirmed. Dairy products and sugar cause acne.

As our sugar and dairy consumption has increased over the last 100 years so has the number of people with acne. We now have over 17 million acne sufferers, costing our health care system $1 billion a year, and 80-90 percent of teenagers suffer acne to varying degrees. The pimply millions rely on infomercial products hawked by celebrities or over-the-counter lotions, cleansers, and topical remedies. Recent research suggests that it’s not what we slather on our skin that matters most but what we put in our mouth.

Many have suggested a diet-acne link, but until recently it has not been proven in large clinical studies. Instead dermatologists prescribe long-term antibiotics and Accutane, both of which may cause long-term harmful effects. In 2009, a systematic review of 21 observational studies and six clinical trials found clear links. Two large controlled trials found that cow’s milk increased both the number of people who got acne and its severity. Other large randomized prospective controlled trials (the gold standard of medical research) found that people who had higher sugar intake and a high glycemic load diet (more bread, rice, cereal, pasta, sugar, and flour products of all kinds) had significantly more acne. The good news is that chocolate (dark chocolate that is) didn’t seem to cause acne.

The dietary pimple producing culprits–diary and sugar (in all its blood sugar raising forms)–both cause spikes in certain pimple producing hormones. Dairy boosts male sex hormones (various forms of testosterone or androgens) and increases insulin levels just as foods that quickly raise blood sugar (sugar and starchy carbs) spike insulin.

Androgens and insulin both stimulate your skin to make those nasty, embarrassing pimples. One patient recently told me he would give a million dollars for a pill to cure acne. He doesn’t need to. It seems that for many the cure to acne is at the end of their fork, not in a prescription pad.

While pimples are not as simple as too much milk or sugar in your diet, both have a significant impact. Nutritional deficiencies as well as excesses can worsen acne. Correcting common deficiencies including low levels of healthy omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats, low levels of antioxidants such as vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin A, and including an important anti-inflammatory omega-6 fat called evening primrose oil all may be helpful in preventing and treating unwanted pimples. I will explain how you can correct and incorporate all of these nutritional elements of your diet and outlines some supplements that will help you fight acne in a moment.

But first it is worth taking a deeper look at milk and sugar.

Stay Away from Dairy and Avoid Acne

One scientist referred to milk as a “complex aqueous, suspended fat, liposomal, suspended protein emulsion”. What we do know is that milk is designed to grow things–namely, babies–and in the case of cow’s milk, calves. It is naturally full of what we call anabolic hormones (the same ones that body builders and A Rod use to grow big muscles, and which cause bad acne). These are mostly androgens (like testosterone) and growth hormones including insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). There is no such thing as hormone-free milk.

Here’s a short list of the 60-some hormones in your average glass of milk–even the organic, raw, and bovine growth hormone free milk:

  • 20α-dihydropregnenolone
  • progesterone (from pregnenolone)
  • 5α-pregnanedione
  • 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-one, 20α- and 20β-dihydroprogesterone (from progesterone)
  • 5α-androstene-3β17β-diol
  • 5α-androstanedione
  • 5α-androstan-3β-ol-17-one
  • androstenedione
  • testosterone
  • dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate acyl ester
  • insulin like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1 and IGF-2)
  • insulin

This is what our government suggests we drink in high doses–at least 3 glasses a day for me, a healthy adult male, according to the mypyramid.gov website. Those guidelines have been strongly criticized by many including leading nutrition scientists from Harvard such as Walter Willett and David Ludwig.

The famous Nurse’s Health Study examining health habits of 47,000 nurses found that those who drank more milk as teenagers had much higher rates of severe acne than those who had little or no milk as teenagers. If you think it is the fat in milk, think again. It was actually the skim milk that had the strongest risk for acne. In other studies of over 10,000 boys and girls from 9 to 15 years old, there was a direct link between the amount of milk consumed and the severity of acne.

It appears that it is not just the anabolic or sex hormones in milk that causes problem but milk’s ability to stimulate insulin production. It actually may be the lactose or milk sugar in milk that acts more like a soft drink than an egg. Drinking a glass of milk can spike insulin levels 300 percent. Not only does that cause pimples, but it also may contribute to prediabetes. This is true despite studies funded by the dairy council showing that milk helps with weight loss. The question is compared to WHAT diet–a diet of bagels and Coke, or a healthy phytonutrient, antioxidant-rich, plant-based diet with lean animal protein?

Stay Away from Sugar, Refined Carbs, and Pimples

If a glass of milk causes pimples, that may drive you back to your Pepsi. But not so fast. Recent studies also show that sugar and refined carbs (a high-glycemic diet) cause acne. More importantly, taking kids off sugar and putting them on a healthy, whole foods, low-glycemic load diet resulted in significant improvements in acne compared to a control group eating a regular, high-sugar American diet. In addition to less pimples, the participants lost weight, became more sensitive to the effects of insulin (resulting in less pimple-producing insulin circulating around the blood). They also had less of the sex hormones floating around their blood that drive pimples. We know that women who have too much sugar and insulin resistance get acne, hair growth on their face, hair loss on the head, and infertility. This is caused by high levels of circulating male hormones and is called polycystic ovarian syndrome but is a nutritional, not gynecologic disease.

But the dietary influences don’t stop there. It is not just sugar, but the bad fats we eat that may also contribute to acne.

Get an Oil Change

Our typical Western diet is full of inflammatory fats–saturated fats, trans fats, too many omega-6, inflammatory, processed vegetable oils like soy and corn oils. These increase IGF-1 and stimulate pimple follicles. Inflammation has been linked to acne, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats (from fish oil) may help improve acne and help with many skin disorders.

Balance the Hormones that Cause Skin Problems

The link is clear–hormonal imbalances caused by our diet trigger acne. Our diet influences sex hormones like testosterone, IGF-1, and insulin, which promote acne. The biggest factors affecting your hormones is the glycemic load of your diet (which is determined by how quickly the food you eat increases your blood sugar and insulin levels), and the amount of dairy products you eat. The good news is that eating a healthy diet and taking a few supplements can balance those hormones. Exercise also helps improve insulin function.

How To Prevent and Treat Acne

Eight simple steps will help most overcome their acne problems.

1. Stay away from milk. It is nature’s perfect food–but only if you are a calf.

2. Eat a low glycemic load, low sugar diet. Sugar, liquid calories, and flour products all drive up insulin and cause pimples.

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. People who eat more veggies (containing more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds) have less acne. Make sure you get your 5-9 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables every day.

4. Get more healthy anti-inflammatory fats. Make sure to get omega-3 fats (fish oil) and anti-inflammatory omega-6 fats (evening primrose oil). You will need supplements to get adequate amounts (more on that in a moment).

5. Include foods that correct acne problems. Certain foods have been linked to improvements in many of the underlying causes of acne and can help correct it. These include fish oil, turmeric, ginger, green tea, nuts, dark purple and red foods such as berries, green foods like dark green leafy vegetables, and omega 3-eggs.

6. Take acne-fighting supplements. Some supplements are critical for skin health. Antioxidant levels have been shown to be low in acne sufferers. And healthy fats can make a big difference. Here are the supplements I recommend:

  • Evening primrose oil: Take 1000 to 1500mg twice a day.
  • Zinc citrate: Take 30 mg a day.
  • Vitamin A: Take 25000 IU a day. Only do this for three months. Do not do this if you are pregnant.
  • Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols, not alpha tocopherol): Take 400 IU a day.

7. Try probiotics. Probiotics also help reduce inflammation in the gut that may be linked to acne. Taking probiotics (lactobacillus, etc.) can improve acne.

8. Avoid foods you are sensitive to. Delayed food allergies are among the most common causes of acne–foods like gluten, dairy, yeast, and eggs are common culprits and can be a problem if you have a leaky gut.

Following these simple tips will help you eliminate acne and have that glowing skin you have always dreamed of. And it’s much cheaper (and safer) than expensive medications and dermatologist visits. Improve your diet and take acne-fighting supplements and you will watch your pimples disappear.

For the full link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/do-milk-and-sugar-cause-a_b_822163.html

Not only is this great for your skin, but it is very beneficial to your body (inside and out) as well!

What steps are you going to take to get or keep clear skin?

Post in the comments below……

Fit Chic

Paleo for Beauty????

homemade-face-masks.jpg

I found this really fun post from the wellness mama at www.everydaypaleo.com. She shows you great ways to make nautural beauty options with paleo foods. So now you can look great on the inside and out, for half the cost!

*Enjoy another great post from Katie of Wellness Mama!!

Beauty products and toiletries are a major source of chemical exposure for a lot of people. From parabens in make-up and shampoo to sulfates/sulfites in everything from lotion to toothpaste, chemicals can be hard to escape!

Fortunately, there are some easy and natural options for most beauty products, and many can be found in your kitchen!

Natural Lotion:

-Use Coconut Oil straight or in combination with Almond Oil for an extremely moisturizing and firming option. Consuming enough healthy fats like coconut oil internally will also help moisturize from the inside out.

This works for supermodels too!

Oil Cleansing for face:

-Use olive, coconut or almond oil with Castor oil to clean your skin instead of a harsh soap. This will cleanse your skin naturally and keep from pulling out natural oils. My personal blend is 25% Castor Oil (don’t use straight!) and 75% sweet almond oil.

How to do it: Rub a small amount of oil onto dry face and massage into skin for several minutes. To remove, Soak a clean washcloth in steamy water and place on face until it starts to cool. Gently use the washcloth to wipe your face until the oil is gone. Softest. Skin. Ever! Here’s a website with much more detailed info if you are interested.

Natural Make-up and Mascara Remover:

-Olive and Coconut Oils are great for naturally and safely removing make-up and mascara, even waterproof versions. Added benefit: helps smooth or prevent wrinkles around the eyes!

Natural Sugar Scrub:

Sugar is not good for your body. It is, however, great for your skin! Since your skin doesn’t metabolize and store glucose or fructose like your fat cells do, sugar is a great way to tighten and smooth skin! Sugar scrubs in stores are expensive! Sugar scrubs in the kitchen are not!

How to do it: Mix equal parts of white or brown sugar and olive or almond oil and add essential oils of choice (optional). To exfoliate skin, rub the mixture onto skin and massage in for a couple of minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Enjoy!

Natural Hairspray:

-Juicing a lemon and mixing with a couple cups of water in a spray bottle makes a simple hair spray. It works, but has to be stored in the fridge.

-An easier recipe is to mix a cup of boiling water with 1-4 teaspoons of sugar (depending on the level of hold you want). Stir and let sugar dissolve completely and pour into a fine mister bottle. This will hold hair and make it shine. For difficult hair, let first application dry and apply another application.

-For the natural beach waves look, make the above recipe with salt instead. This will give a flexible hold without being dull at all. Supposedly, top stylists are turning to sea salt products lately too.

Natural Exfoliation:

Ever seen those ads for microdermabrasion (not even sure I’m spelling it right!). Well, they look expensive and I’m leery of the chemicals they might contain. No worries though… the kitchen can help! Baking soda is a very effective natural and gentle abrasive that pulls off dead skin cells and makes skin glow!

How to Do It: Wet face with warm water. Pour some baking soda into hands and massage into your face for at least 3 minutes. It will sting a little (its called abrasion!). Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Natural Intensive Hair Conditioner:

Mix one ripe banana and half of an avocado and puree until smooth. Massage into hair and comb through. Leave on with a shower cap for at least 15 minutes for shiny hair. Use some essential oils if banana isn’t your favorite fragrance!

Natural Skin Bronzers:

Until I switched to eating healthy, I never tanned well at all! I used to try all kinds of natural “bronzers” and self tanning lotions (cringe on the ingredients!) in hopes of golden skin. Now, I’m excited to be able to tan easily, but for days when I want a slightly more bronze look, I head to the kitchen…

How to Do It: Mix cocoa powder, cinnamon and arrowroot (optional) until you get a shade you like. For me, this was at least half cocoa powder, about 30-40% cinnamon and a little arrowroot, but experiment to get your skin tone. Store in a small jar or container and brush onto skin for an instant bronze look. Bonus: it smells good! You can also mix this into lotion for a liquid version!

Fit Chic