Posts Tagged ‘caffeine’

Chill

June 15, 2015

 

Old FanIts hot out there. I mean, really hot. After months of complaining about the cold, summer is upon us with a vengeance. Wasn’t it just last week that we were still whining about wearing coats and sweaters in June?

Since there was no slow build up, the high temperature is giving us all a run for our money. Here are a few tips to staying cool in the sweltering heat:

Run your wrists under cool water for a few seconds. Because there is a main vein running through the area, it will help cool the blood that circulates through your body.

Bathe in water just below your body temperature. Hot water might make you feel hotter, and cold water will cause your body to generate heat to warm it back up. A tepid bath or shower will cool you off without raising your core body temperature.

Eat smaller meals. The larger the meal, the more metabolic heat your body creates to break down the food. Smaller, more frequent meals are a better choice in the hot weather.

Avoid over-indulging in caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine revs up your body, increasing the temperature, and alcohol is dehydrating. Good old water is the best drink for your body, especially in the hot weather. Drink up to keep hydrated!

Keep your moisturizer in the fridge. Applying the cool lotion to your body will temporarily cool it.

Leave your pillow in the freezer. Placing your head on the cold surface will keep you cool while you sleep.

Do you have tips for beating the heat? Share them with us in the comments.

Photo:  Glasshouse Images

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Sleepless in New York

August 12, 2013

Lately, I have been sleeping like a baby. For those of you who have never actually had one, let me clarify:

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I wake up every hour or two during the night.

I fall asleep easily, but wake up several times during the night, starting about an hour after I go to bed, and continuing through the night. Sometimes I just look at the clock and fall right back asleep. Other times, it’s not as easy. Since nobody around here gets up to rock me back to sleep, or offer me a bottle, I am looking for my own solutions.

It started during the heat wave, when the air conditioning seemed to die during the course of the night, leaving me hot and uncomfortable. Now that the weather is not an issue, I am still waking up. Sometimes I feel restless and fidgety. Sometimes, I am just thirsty. Often, I just simply wake up. I don’t feel overly stressed out about anything,(except perhaps, not sleeping well!)  but I still keep waking up.

After a few weeks of this, I decided to do a little research on why this is happening and natural solutions for a  better night’s sleep. Here is what I discovered:

What I am experiencing is referred to as “middle insomnia,” or difficulty maintaining sleep. Since our bodies go through various cycles throughout the night, where sleep is deeper or lighter at times, this is considered completely normal. However, if you stay awake for 30 minutes or more, it could be a sign of a deeper sleeping disorder,such as sleep apnea, where one stops breathing during sleep, or narcolepsy, where one falls asleep randomly throughout the day. ( Thankfully,I don’t have any of that.)

Intermittent light or noise can cause frequent wake ups. Living in the city, I am sure there are plenty of these factors that could be jolting me out of slumber. However, I have slept in this bed in this room for almost 18 years, so it would seem odd that something like this is a would just pop up.

Most experts advised skipping naps and avoiding alcohol, which extends the time spent in deep sleep,and shortens the time in light sleep, often disrupting the normal sleep cycle.

Screen time is a big culprit. While the experts suggest getting up and reading  a book, or doing a relaxing activity if you can’t get back to sleep after 20 minutes or so, they all agree that anything with a screen is a no-no. Those electronic devices we are so dependent on exude a blue spectrum light that is proven to disrupt sleep. (now we may be getting somewhere!)

Mother with newborn baby sleeping on shoulder

Some tips for a good night’s sleep:

Power down 1 hour before bed. Unplugging mentally and physically is key to sleeping well.

Have a routine. Try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time, even on the weekends. Giving your body consistency can be helpful in establishing a proper sleep cycle.

Exercise in the morning, or at least several hours before bed. Exercise may rev up your system, making it hard to fall asleep. Exercise earlier in the day is shown to promote good slumber.

Avoid caffeine late in the day, as well as alcohol. Both can act as stimulants, hours after they are consumed. Herbal teas are calming and could help relax you enough to fall asleep normally.

Skip heavy snacks before bed, and avoid overly spicy foods that can cause heartburn or indigestion.

Try doing some simple yoga poses before bed. They will calm your mind, as well as your body. Some recommended poses include fore ward bends, child’ pose, plow, shoulder stands, and spinal twists. End with Savasana, (the corpse pose) and drift off from there.

Deep breathing, and some meditation is also good. Practicing relaxing each body part, from toes on up, can often bring on sleep.

Lavender is also said to bring about calmness and sleep. A dab of lavender oil on your wrists, or pillow could be helpful as well.

You will feel more rested in the morning from relaxing in bed, than you will from staying up all night doing an activity. Try to stay in bed if you can, rather than engage in something that might serve to wake you up.

Sweet dreams!!!

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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Too Much of a Good Thing

August 8, 2013

We pride ourselves in eating healthy foods that taste good and are good for us. It would seem that eating lots of these foods would be a good thing, right?
In some cases yes, but in others, it can be a case of too much of a good thing.

carrots, vegetables, nutrition

Carrots contain beta carotene, which gives them their beautiful orange hue. They are low in calories, and high in vitamin A and fiber. If you eat too many of them, your skin will take on that same orange cast as the carrots. Not so pretty,we think!

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Nutmeg is a spice, generally used as a flavoring in small amounts. Consumed in huge quantities, it can cause hallucinations, fear, anxiety attacks, and in two rare cases, death. We can’t imagine why anyone would willingly consume such a vast amount of the spice, so feel free to keep enjoying it in moderation.

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Fish in general are very heart healthy, and it is recommended that we eat fish at least a few times per week. However, the  kind of fish you eat can come with consequences that out weigh the benefits.  The larger the fish, the higher the mercury content is, due to the fact that these species eat many other smaller fish, causing a cumulative effect in their systems. Tuna, swordfish, and mackerel are among those to eat in moderation. It is recommended not to consume more than 12 oz. of these fish per week, and it is advised that pregnant women avoid them completely.

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Kombucha is a trendy drink, consisting of raw, fermented and naturally carbonated tea. The fermentation brings out probiotic properties, but also produces alcohol. Whole Foods markets recently pulled all Kombucha products from its stores, citing concerns that the alcohol levels exceeded the legal amounts in some cases. Over indulging in kombucha can bring about a nasty hangover. Home produced kombucha also carries the risk of harboring mold and bacteria. We say “YUCK” to that!

Close up detail coffee beans on countertop

Lots has been written lately about the positive effects of coffee. Other than the obvious caffeine kick that gets us up and moving in the morning, coffee also has superfood powers that can help prevent diabetes, protect your brain, and reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. When too much coffee is consumed, it can lead to a serious case of the jitters, involving dizziness, heart palpitations and in some extreme cases, heart attacks.  Limit caffeine consumption from coffee, energy drinks and supplements to keep the effects in check.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Get a “Whif” of This

May 15, 2013

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What if you could just inhale your coffee, getting a quick caffeine buzz, rather than actually drink it? How about getting your chocolate fix, with out the calories?
A new product called “Le Whif,” allows you to do just that.

Developed by Harvard University professor David Edwards, who pioneered inhaled insulin; Le Whif is an inhaler for the senses.

The plastic “puffer” is placed between your lips, and tiny particles small enough to become airborne, but too large to enter the lungs, descend upon the tongue to offer the taste and sensation of eating chocolate or drinking coffee.

Watching video footage of people enjoying Le Whif out socially, is reminiscent of other ‘inhalable” substances illegally enjoyed at clubs and parties.

In an attempt to bring a healthy vibe to the product, the company has also introduced breathable vitamins.

The price of huffing your treats isn’t cheap…each lipstick tube like canister costs about $2.50.

Personally, I’ll pass. How about you? Would you try Le Whif?

Don’t Make a Big Stink Out of It!

August 6, 2012

In this heat, it’s hard to smell daisy fresh all the time. I occasionally take a stealth sniff to make sure my deodorant is working, and carry baby wipes in my bag, for a quick refresher when I get to the office.

While there isn’t much we can do to keep from perspiring, there are some tips to keep us as odor free as possible.

Caffeine can trigger body odor, because it stimulates our sweat glands. When sweat mixes with bacteria, it smells bad. Conversely, drinking lots of water can dilute the perspiration and diminish the unpleasant odor.

Sage tea has antiseptic compounds that can help reduce sweating by relieving stress in the body. Sip the tea, or add it to your bath to reap the benefits.

Zinc is a mineral that regulates detoxification by controlling how your body handles waste. Foods high in zinc are oysters, pumpkin seeds, beans, yogurt and wheat germ.

You are what you eat, literally!  Strong smelling foods like garlic and curry can seep out of you pores and leave a strong “not-so-nice” smell in its wake.  Sulphurous foods, such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli can emit a gas through your skin as well.

Red meat causes stagnation in the digestive system. It putrefies in the digestive track, releasing toxins into your large intestine. All of the other “no-no’s” in a healthy diet such as refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, processed foods and white flour are also B.O. producers. Yet another reason to avoid consuming unhealthy foods.  Clean up your eating and your natural scent should improve as well.

Of course none of this replaces a good old soapy shower! Be sure to dry off completely, as the bacteria that causes body odor develops more quickly on wet skin.

While clothes may smell just fine when you take them off, as the sweat dries and then gets “re-ignited” the next time, it packs a foul punch. Trust me, those gym clothes are not ok to wear again tomorrow!

photo: Glasshouse Images

 

Alternative Energy

April 27, 2011

Looking for healthy ways to boost your energy without consuming loads of caffeine?

Here are a few alternatives that will give you the pick me up, without the jitters.

 

An apple a day keeps the sluggishness away

The natural sugars in the fruit will give you a quick burst of energy, without the crash later.

Hydrate

Dehydration can sap your energy.  A glass of cold water, or a cup of low caffeine green tea can perk you up fast.

 

Get down and give me five:

A few pushups will get your blood circulating, making you more alert.

Holding a downward dog pose can also have the same effect.

Get some air

A short brisk stroll will clear your head and give you a dose of vitamin D, courtesy of the sun. The walk gets the blood flowing again, and stepping away from the task at hand for a few minutes can be reinvigorating.

Before you drop $5 bucks for a sugary snack or a 300-calorie Frappacino, try one of these natural and healthy alternatives!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Four Loko

November 12, 2010

Four Loko, an alcoholic energy drink, is being banned at colleges across the country, and in the entire state of Michigan.

The drink contains 12% alcohol, roughly the equivalent of 6 beers, and as much caffeine as 2 cups of coffee. (Lest I digress, it also packs 66o calories per serving, and few stop at just one!) The combination is literally lethal, sending 23 students at a Washington area university to the hospital with alcohol poisoning, and a 19-year-old student suffered cardiac arrest as a result of ingesting the drink.

Dubbed “black out in a can” and “liquid crack” by its users, the drink allows for both quick inebriation and the increased energy to party the night away.

Colleges have issued warnings on the beverages, as well as a few which have banned the product on campuses completely.


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