Advertisements
Tag Archives: Health

Health and Relaxation – Meditation

3 Nov

Yesterday was National Stress Awareness Day.  Stress sucks.  It makes you look like this:

stressed-girl

And it makes you feel ever worse.

I wanted to share how I de-stress and specifically talk about meditation.

Guided meditation is my absolute favorite.  There are tons of videos available for free on YouTube with all sorts of meditations.  There are ones for relaxation, sleep, healing, raising vibrations, etc.

meditation-cartoon

I prefer meditations with background music, and low pitched voices.  I know that’s pretty specific, but I’ve been at this for a few years now, and I have learned that high pitched female voices actually raise my anxiety, thus having the opposite effect instead of relaxation.

I have two favorite sources for guided meditations, which I am excited to share with you lovelies.

First is Kelly Howell.  She has her own website and her meditations are usually paid.  They do appear on YouTube regularly, and they do get pulled down regularly.  I ended up buying two because I got tired of my favorites being pulled.  The good news is that you can also try it for free through her website.

Second are The Honest Guys.  My top five favorite guided meditations is their Blissful Deep Relaxation session. I love the voice and I love the sounds of the sea in the background.  The sea is my go to happy place thought, so if you hate the beach this may not be your thing.  Their videos are available on YouTube and I’ve  never experienced one being pulled down.  I think I marked the Blissful meditation as a favorite in 2011 and it’s still online.  I still use it too!

So, now that I shared with you my faves you are probably wondering why should I meditate?

It can change your brain.  Check out this article from Forbes.com

Here is what the Mayo Clinic says about the benefits of meditation:

Benefits of meditation

 

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health.

And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may improve certain medical conditions.

 

Meditation and emotional well-being

When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.

The emotional benefits of meditation can include:

  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Building skills to manage your stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions

Meditation and illness

Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.

While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation, some researchers believe it’s not yet possible to draw conclusions about the possible benefits of meditation.

With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Pain
  • Sleep problems

Meditation got me though one of my most difficult times in my life, my dad’s brain injury in 2011.  It was horrible and stressful and I couldn’t cope.  Then I found Kelly Howell, and my world started to change.

I meditate outside on my lunch breaks (weather permitting).   I love doing this, actually.  I have a park near my work and it’s perfect for a quick session.

There is also no shame in doing it in your car when the weather sucks!

At home before bed or at wake-up.  Both are great.  One winds me down, and the other starts my day in a pleasant and relaxed way.

Of course, I do not go around meditating 3 times a day.  I have, when I needed it.  But, normally it’s a one a day thing.

If you are new to this, it may feel super weird in the beginning.  You may be anxious about not being able to relax enough or be in the moment enough, that your thoughts will race.  They will, and it’s okay.  With time, you are learn to let those thoughts go and get in the meditation zone.  It can take months of regular practice to get there, so don’t get discouraged.

Thanks for reading!

How do you relax?

~Anna

Advertisements

Review – Dr. Jart+ UV Sun Fluid

27 Sep

I received the Dr. Jart UV Sun Fluid in my August Birchbox.  I’m usually very wary of sun screen products because they normally break me out.  I was a bit skeptical of this, even though I have previously heard good things.  However, I decided to try it for SCIENCE and BEAUTY!

dr-jart+

 This retails at Sephora for $34.00 for 3.4 fl oz.

Here’s what the product blurb says:

What it is:
A sunscreen with a fresh feeling that protects from UV rays and fine dust.

What it is formulated to do:
This formula provides powerful sun protection and a cationic shield that blocks fine dust to protect the skin. By utilizing the characteristics of magnets that repel each other, it is designed to have the same electrical charge as fine dust in order to form a protective skin barrier. Cypress water and seaweed extract purify the skin while soothing and moisturizing. The liquid gel formulation is moist without being sticky to impart immediate moisture for a refreshing burst of hydration.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Parabens
– Sulfates

My thoughts

I’m not really sure about this all magnet science happening here, sounds a little like Dr. Who, which I am okay with…

drwho-and-donna

(it’s all about the 10th Doctor, no?  I mean there is not even a question here.  There is some internal debate about Donna and Rose though)

Benefits:

It didn’t break me out

It melts easily into the skin

Not greasy

Has no obnoxious scent

A little goes a long way

Cons:

It costs $34.00

Would I purchase?

Probably.

Since this is the only facial sun screen that didn’t cause my face to look like a 12 year old after a few days of consecutive use, I would purchase to have for long outdoor days.

Have you tried the  Dr. Jart+ UV Sun Fluid?  What did you think?

Thanks reading!

~Anna

Review – All Natural Deodorant by NorthCoast Organics

4 Dec

Winter is a great time to switch to an all natural deodorant. I know this can seem scary (and stinky) but regular deodorants/antiperspirants have not so healthy ingredients in them. There are products out there that actually work at de-stinky you, it’s just a matter of finding one that works with your body’s chemistry. It’s also good to have a close enough friend who will tell you if you stink.

I personally use Death By Lavender from NorthCoast Organics. Look how cute this is!

deathbylavender1

The skull is totally why I tried it, not gonna lie.  “An elite assassin of odor you can trust.”

Their line of deodorants include three scents: Revolver [Cedarwood, Cypress and Clary Sage], Naked [unscented] and Death By Lavender [lavender, duh]. All three scents are totally unisex, although Revolver seems to be the most masculine.

00002994_l

Does it work? Will i smell?

First things first, I think it smells amazing! I am super biased though because I love lavender scented things. Revolver also smells great, very natural and kind of woodsy.

The deodorant lasts me all day and keeps me smelling fresh. I will admit, I don’t use it on the weekends if I know i’m going to be at a hot club or dancing around, I am just not that brave. Those nights I use regular, nasty ole Secret.

Remember, this is an deodorant not an antiperspirant so you will sweat a little. Although, since baking soda and corn starch are the main ingredients, it does absorb a good amount of the pit moisture. I even wear it working out and don’t find my pits to sloppy.

As I said before, everyone is different.

The one main draw back to this product is that it doesn’t glide on as softly as regular deodorants and I have heard complaints about it causing some irritation for some people as a result of that.

Where can I buy it?

I found it at Whole Foods. They also sell travel sized so you can try it out, or keep one in your purse or gym bag.

You can also find it online directly from the Chicago-based company: CLICK HERE

You can also click here to see the list of other retailers in your area.

30 Day Ab Challenge

27 May

I am starting this today. You should too!

It’s for all fitness levels. Get healthy and get that summer bod. #30dayfitnessImage

 

Review – Clearasil Daily Clear® Refreshing Superfruit Wash

16 Dec

I received a sample of this from Clearasil a while back, and liked it so much I bought a full size bottle.

wpid-PhotoGrid_1386966480270.jpg

As you can see, I have put a good dent in it with regular use.

I personally really like drugstore cleansers.  I don’t think you need to spend major bucks on a cleanser, I think  better investments are creams and treatments.

Kassi’s and I could not have the most different skin.  This probably works well for the blog though 🙂  You lovelies get to read the woes of two very different girls.

My skin issues are that: 1) it’s crazy combination  – really oily on my forehead and really dry on cheeks and nose.  So dry it peels.  So I  exfoliate a lot. 2) I get blackheads and clogged pores really easily.  Dirt just likes me, yo.

So I look for cleansers that get rid of the gunk on a deeper level, especially on my nose.

Clearasil Daily Clear® Refreshing Superfruit Wash has been really good to my skin.  I was afraid it would be overly drying as the weather gets colder, but that is not the case. My skin still feels comfortable after a cleansing.  It also helps with keeping my nose free of blackheads.  I LIKE THIS A LOT.

I don’t repurchase cleansers super often because I am always searching for something new and/or better.   However, this may be the exception.  I am happy that it is still working for me through 2 different Seasons.   Normally, I can’t use the same product in summer that I do in winter.

HG?  Maybe!

~Anna

Have you tried Clearasil Daily Clear® Refreshing Superfruit Wash?

Healthcare dot Gov Update

5 Dec

I am still working on getting me insurance figured out – I have to select my plan for 2014 before the year is up.  Adventures in Adulthood, good times.

At any rate the site has been easy for me to use although sometimes it takes forever for random pages to load.

I also didn’t get any magical tax break for my insurance rates, which I had been kind of hoping for so that I could save money.

I am meeting with my rep from Blue Cross Blue Shield in the next couple of days to see what kind of rates I can get directly from them, so I will let you know what I decide on doing.

But until then here are some comparisons between 3 – Silver, Gold and Platinum plans.  (These do not include vision or Dental.)

Image

$3000 deductible is pretty damn high.  That means you have to spend $3000 in health care before any of your insurance kicks in.

$30 copays seem to be the typical across most plans.  I’m curious to see if my prescription drugs would be covered completely if I could switch to any generics.  Again, I feel like I never really know until I switch how much I’m going to be paying for scripts.

Image

Has anyone else been exploring the HealthCare.gov site?  Anyone been successful?

I have heard some rumors about how the site is very easy to be hacked.  Not sure if this is just the far right trying to scare people from using the website or if it’s a legit theft.

Here is some media coverage of that:

The Daily Dot

DIY Tooth Whitening

1 Nov

Image

Remember – like most whitening kits this can cause some minor tooth sensitivity.  

You will see results but be realistic about your expectations.  

Happy Halloween – Get scary fit!

31 Oct

I know I just posted another workout video but couldn’t resist sharing this one.  Plus- it’s only 4 minutes long.   You have no excuses not to try it.

Zombie Workout!  I recommend listening to Thriller while you do this workout.  😛

Image

Have a happy, fun and safe halloween!  -k

Victoria’s Secret Model workout

30 Oct

In only 10 minutes you can feel great and get your heart pumping!  No – you don’t not have to be model thin to be beautiful but working out helps you feel less stressed, sleep better and helps you feel like a badass.

Image

read more HERE and HERE

Affordable Healthcare Act – United States

29 Oct

Now that the website has died down I am currently investigating how this Obamacare business really works.

I am self-employed and pay about $400/month for Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO. I am going to see if I can get a better rate via the Affordable Health Care act.

I know this isn’t beauty related – but health has a huge impact on your life and wellbeing AND your wallet.

Image

So far all I have done is submitted my information to Healthcare.gov for my application.  Your income can alter how much you have to pay for insurance if you are self-employed or if your place of work doesn’t cover you.

Here is the generic breakdown of who gets a discount based on income.  I took this graphic from the website itself.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 12.19.52 PM

At any rate, I have no complaints about the site as of right now- aside from a couple pages that took a bit longer to load, but it wasn’t annoying to me.  It was easy to use and has a very intuitive interface.  I will let you know if I end up saving a bunch of money – because that is kind of what I care about but also getting the same health care coverage I have now.

-k