6 Foods That Can Help Save Your Skin From Sun Damage

Written by lyricsmama on March 21, 2017 – 6:32 PM -

Just as an unhealthy diet can have a negative effect on your skin and health, a healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can help protect your body, even from the sun. Since antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals, loading your diet with them will go a long way against sunburn and skin damage as a result of UV rays. We connected with Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine for his list of foods that help prevent sun damage.

To be clear, Dr. Calapai is not saying you should completely replace using daily use of sunscreen with food, but what you eat can offer additional protection for your skin. So if you’re looking for some ingestible sun protection, add these six sun-friendly foods to your next shopping list.

1. Berries & stone fruits
Strawberries, blueberries and cherries contain high levels of vitamin C, which can reduce free radical damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production, important for skin’s youthful appearance. As a bonus, cherries contain melatonin, which protects skin from UV radiation and repairs sunburn damage.

2. Leafy greens
If it’s green and it’s got leaves, chances are it’s good for sun protection. According to one study, spinach, kale and swiss chard can reduce the risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 50%. Broccoli is also a good choice: it’s full of sulphoraphane, an antioxidant that helps your cells protect themselves against UV radiation.

Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, sage and rosemary are also packed with free radical-fighting, skin-protecting antioxidants. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to cruciferous vegetables.

3. Red & orange produce
The antioxidant lycopene has been shown to protect the skin against sunburn and is at least twice as effective an antioxidant as betacarotene when it comes to blocking UV light. It also helps rid the body of free radicals. Chow down on tomatoes, papaya, guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit. Watermelon is an especially good choice: it contains 40% more lycopene than tomatoes.

4. Micro-algae
Spirulna has been dubbed “the next great superfood,” and for good reason. This micro-algea, along with chlorella, contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which has been shown to protect the skin and eyes against UV radiation. It also fights free radicals and inflammation to prevent sun damage by preventing UV-induced cell damage.

If micro-algea isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can find this powerful antioxidant in shrimp and salmon.

5. Chocolate
As long as it’s dark chocolate you’re eating, you’ll be ingesting plenty of flavanoids, which can improve your skin’s ability protect against sunburns and other UV-induced issues.

Research found that people who ate about one ounce of high-percentage dark chocolate every day for three months could withstand twice the amount of UVB rays before their skin started to turn red, compared to those who didn’t.

6. Green & black tea
The myriad health benefits of tea are well known, but it’s nice to know that the cups you’re drinking can also help protect against sun damage. Green and black teas are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area. Green tea can even help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.

About the Doctor:
Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s. He has worked with Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham’s, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net

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My Visit To The Arnold Sports Festival Was Motivating and Inspiring!

Written by lyricsmama on March 7, 2017 – 1:27 PM -

My visit to the Arnold Sports Festival was simply put…. AMAZING! This past Friday me and the hubby had a chance to take a trip down to Columbus Ohio without kids in tow to attend. For me, it was an exciting day. Fitness has become a passion and basically my life over the past year, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, so being among other fitness minded people who have a love of the industry, I couldn’t wait! I was worried about my husband having a good time though, because although he works out, he’s nowhere near……obsessed……addicted……or loves the fitness lifestyle like I do. For him, it was more of a tag along thing to keep me happy.

When most people think of the Arnold they think bodybuilding, that was my husband included. I know a lot of people might be intimidated to attend, thinking they’re not up to par, thinking that when you walk in it’s a bunch of muscle heads walking around, and that’s not it at all!

The Arnold yes promotes a lot of bodybuilding, and that is one of the major focuses of the event, however there is so much more! Tennis, Ping Pong, Fencing, Wrestling, Pole Dancing and even a Kids Expo to visit. The Arnold Sports Festival is for just about anyone who is at any level and has any sort of love for sports or fitness in general. Sure there were bodybuilders around, but there were average people around too, everyone in the convention center together, celebrating fitness!

 

We decided to go on a Friday at the advice of some others who have been there before. We met up with our friends / my trainer (NGA Figure Pro Betty Thomas and IFBB Pro Phil Thomas from CNC Lifestyle Management) when we got there as well. It was…BUSY! But apparently wasn’t even close to what Saturday’s look like where I’ve heard it’s elbow to elbow. I had a plan walking in, which booths I wanted to go to first, but once I walked in, my mind was overloaded and I said screw my plan let’s start at that end and just GO!

My only real plan was to get to the PrimEval booth to meet my idol, my inspiration since I started realizing my dream of getting into bodybuilding IFBB Pro Dani Reardon. She’s amazing (Follow her on Instagram). Since I started on this journey, she is the one I’ve been looking to for inspiration and motivation, so meeting her was a MUST! When I first got to her booth she wasn’t there, and I was heartbroken, but we went back later in the day and I got to meet, and talk to her for a good amount of time. She’s so amazing, genuine and interested in hearing about my journey and where I hope to go.

A few others I had hoped to meet didn’t happen because I simply didn’t want to wait in line. Be prepared! If there’s someone there that you want to meet, get there early, and be patient because you will be waiting quite awhile to meet them. The best part about the expo is getting all the swag and samples. I can’t tell you how much apparel I have, supplement samples etc. This is just a portion of our haul, I’m telling you freebies everywhere!

My husband actually had an AMAZING time, he loved it and can’t wait to go back again next year. I loved the atmosphere so much I was begging him to go back on Sunday again, but it didn’t happen. For anyone wondering if it’s something they should go to, my advice is GO! Not only for the ‘celebs’ to meet, the ‘freebies’ and great deals you can get on supplements, but because of the atmosphere.

I came away from The Arnold with a better, brighter outlook. Everyone I met there was so nice, so inspiring and supportive. The negative stereotypes of fitness or bodybuilder type people go out the door once you’re there and see it’s a community of people with a love that they all share with one another. People motivate and inspire one another, no matter what their fitness level is. My motivation to keep going, to get to my dream and goal was made clear when I walked out, I was encouraged by many people including my idol to keep going and to push beyond my limits because I WILL get there. I walked away inspired and with a love for this lifestyle and community more than I had before.

If you have any interest in health, fitness or sports make it a bucket list item to go at least once to the Arnold Sports Festival, you won’t regret a moment of being there!

If you’d like to see more photos from our day at the expo you can visit our entire album HERE.

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Spring Clean your Eating Habits by Ditching Food Triggers and Mindless Snacking

Written by lyricsmama on March 6, 2017 – 7:09 PM -

Cues to eat are everywhere – and we cave. Food psychology expert, author, tells how to take back control of when & where we eat & trim down for spring in this food-saturated world.

We’ve all been there: The mere sight of the Starbucks logo makes us crave a caramel latte. Ditto craving a chocolate-glazed treat when driving by Dunkin Donuts at the end of each work day.

These, along with dozens, if not hundreds, of other sights, sounds and smells in the world around are our food triggers, says Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., author of the new book Bright Line Eating, releasing March 21 (Hay House).

They cue us to eat, whether we’re hungry or not. And they are one of our waistline’s biggest enemies.

We are fighting off food triggers all day long, says Susan, who is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester and an expert in the psychology of eating.

Our culture promotes eating at any time of the day, in any imaginable location. Long gone are meal times at the family table. Which means that nearly every situation has become a cue to eat.

But mindlessly putting food in our mouth as a knee-jerk reaction to triggers not only leads to overeating and weight gain, but actually rewires the brain to create constant cravings. In a vicious cycle, the more we give in to food triggers, the more we have them.

 

But breaking the cycle is relatively easy once you’re aware of it – and spring cleaning your eating habits to ditch food triggers away may be just what you need to slim down for the season ahead.

Here’s how:

Eat regular meals

A steady schedule of three meals a day at regular mealtimes—breakfast, lunch, and dinner —trains the brain to eat the right things at the right times and to pass up the wrong things in between.

Establish food-free zones

Draw up a list of places you tend to eat beyond the table: your car, the couch, your office desk… Designate them food-free zones – and stick to it.

Practice an attitude of gratitude

Research shows that something as simple as expressing gratitude will replenish willpower. Gratitude also helps shift the focus from what you want, or crave, to what you have – making it easier for you to drive right by that donut shop as you count your blessings.

Gradually you’ll take back control, clean away those triggers and be the only one deciding where and when you eat.

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester and an expert in the psychology of eating. She is President of the Institute for Sustainable Weight Loss and CEO of Bright Line Eating Solutions, a company dedicated to sharing the psychology and neuroscience of sustainable weight loss and helping people live Happy, Thin, and Free.

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3 Ways to Serve After School Snack Kids Will Love

Written by lyricsmama on March 8, 2016 – 11:37 AM -

Can you feel it? Can you hear it? It’s SPRING ON THE WAY!!! Soon the kids will be outside running around and getting rid of some of that pent up winter energy, with that comes the many calls of “I’m hungry!”.

Below are a few easy ways to serve up healthy snacks that your kids will actually eat. These three strategies are easy to plan and execute, and you can adjust portion sizes as needed depending on whether there’s a sports practice, lesson, or if dinner will be later than normal.

After School Snacks

Make a snack box or drawer: Clean out the junk drawer or create a special snack box in the kitchen and turn it over to the kids. Fill it with an assortment of healthy, mom-approved snacks – think granola bars (look for ones that are lower in added sugars and higher in fiber and protein), mini Larabars, portioned out bags of trail mix, or dried fruit- and let kids help themselves to one after school.

Serve up a cheese plate.  Plate up a mix of sliced, shredded, or diced cheese; crackers, pita chips, or tortillas; raw snap peas, sliced cucumber, or cherry tomatoes; and sliced apples, grapes, or dried apricots. Let them help themselves to the assortment.

Blend up a smoothie.  Let the kids choose fruits-banana, frozen berries, kiwi, and pineapple- to add to a simple yogurt-based smoothie. Work together to prep the ingredients and let them adjust the mix by adding a little OJ, milk, honey, cocoa powder, and/or vanilla.

Remember: A snack should be smaller than a meal since it’s just meant to tide your kids over until dinner. You want them to be hungry by the time dinner rolls around since it will increase the likelihood that they will eat what you make.

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Can you get fit without leaving the house?

Written by lyricsmama on November 15, 2015 – 9:38 PM -

Ahh convenience, we all want it. The easiest fastest way possible is what we all crave to find. That also includes when it comes to working out. Sure, we join that gym that we all see on the way home from work, thinking how convenient homeworkoutit is. Just stop in after work and go home. But, by creating your own home gym, you’ve got an even easier more convenient route.

The first thing you probably think of buying is a bigger piece of equipment. A treadmill may seem the most obvious answer, but don’t forget about the other smaller items like dumbbells, resistance bands, a medicine ball and don’t forget about using your own body for resistance with workouts. Also, don’t forget about the exercise mat to use for stretches and cushions for things like crunches and push-ups.

Your home gym doesn’t have to mimic “the gym” you need to make it your own, for your needs and fitness level. Remember you can always add on to the equipment as you need to, there’s no need to rush. Start small, with the most simple things. Think of the area’s you want to improve on, or what you enjoy doing with your workouts.

Exercise is important and you need to find things that work for you, sometimes without requiring equipment at all. Find ways to make your workouts fun like blasting music, or watching TV. Forget the excuses, you don’t need all the fancy equipment.

Here are some great workouts you can do:
– Walking: It’s great to get outside and enjoy the weather, but if it’s just not working out for you that day do a flight of stairs, or just walk around the house a few times.
– Jumping Jacks: They can make you feel like a kid again, but guess what, it’s great cardio!
– Pushups: Yea, they kind of suck. But you need to find the best way to do them where you feel comfortable. Use your knees instead of keeping your legs straight, or do them standing up against the wall.
– Leg Lifts: They don’t always have to be done straight to be effective, try bending your legs slightly while lifting.
– Crunches: You want those abs? You have to get down and do those crunches, as a beginner, don’t worry about getting all the way up, as long as you feel the stretch in your muscles, you’re doing good!
– Jogging in place: Make it interesting so that the time goes faster, play some music or watch TV.
– Squats: Sitting or standing up from a chair, as long as you do a few reps you’ll be doing something for your legs and buttocks.
– Dancing: Talk about having a fun workout, dancing is great and hey, if you can’t think of a dance, pop in that Just Dance game and go at it, include the kids, you’ll be surprised at how much fun you’ll all have and how much of a workout you’ll get.

Getting some sort of exercise in is important, but you don’t have to go all out, paying gyms or buying expensive equipment to have an effective workout. Use what you have on hand, in your home, you’ll be more likely to keep up if you’re comfortable!

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