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10
SEP

Why Women Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Eating Protein

Filed Under: Sports Nutrition,Supplements,Women's Health at 9:33 am | By: Guest Blogger

This post was provided by our friends at About Time and written by Devenee Schumacher.

Some women wonder about consuming substantial amounts of protein and/or using protein powders and protein supplements. Two of the most common comments I hear are, “Am I going to get bulky?” or “I don’t want to look manly.”

So, to address that, let’s talk about where proteins and protein powders come from, what types are available, and how they can be incorporated into your daily diet.

Protein Food Sources

Protein sources in food can be both animal-based or plant-based. Food-based proteins come from:

  • Nuts, seeds and nut butters
  • Animal meats
  • Tofu
  • Quinoa
  • Hemp
  • Kale
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Beans

Whey Protein

Dairy protein powders are a byproduct of cow’s milk. Typically, cheese farmers separate the curds and whey when making cheese. The whey portion is then separated into two types of whey proteins: whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate.

Whey protein isolate is the purest form of protein. It’s 90 percent or more protein with little or no fat, lactose or cholesterol.

Whey protein concentrate can range from 29 percent protein to 89 percent protein. Wondering what makes up the difference? Fat and lactose. So, when buying supplements, it’s important to know what you’re buying and how to choose what fits your personal macronutrients. (Macronutrient is a fancy word for your daily intake of proteins, carbohydrates and fat.)

Plant-Based Protein

Plant-based protein powders are byproducts of vegetables and grains. Whether you are completely vegan, looking to lower your carbon footprint or have issues digesting dairy, plant-based options can up your protein intake. Some of the best choices are pea isolate protein, hemp protein powder and quinoa protein powder.

Why We Need Protein

Our bodies are made of 18 percent to 20 percent protein in our skin, muscles and connective tissue. They need protein to heal, grow and carry out every function we do daily—from walking and bending over to pick something up off the floor to breathing, sweating, blinking your eyelids and, better yet, pumping blood throughout your body. Many people forget what it is that makes the human body work. You need to consume your macronutrients to have your body work at its fullest extent.

Since our bodies can’t store protein, it’s needed often. Eating enough protein is essential to build and maintain healthy muscle mass while in conjunction supporting ligaments, tendons and other bodily tissue. Our bodies require nine essential amino acids, which we need to get from food because our bodies can’t make them. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When we lack in amino acids, skeletal muscle atrophy can take place. This can simply be reversed with adding in exercise and proper nutrition.

Daily Protein Intake

Consuming protein in every meal is not only healthy but ideal to keep our bodies moving. Here are some examples that contain 25 grams of protein:

  • 3 cups quinoa
  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 ¾ cups black beans
  • 1 ½ cups edamame
  • 3 ounces lean beef
  • 1 scoop whey isolate protein

Knowing how much protein to eat each day really comes down to each individual. Industry standards state that average intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For example, a 130-pound woman needs 48 grams of protein per day.

This basic standard doesn’t consider women’s activity level or if they are pregnant. Here’s a simple math problem to figure out your needs: Take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2 to figure out your weight in kilograms. Then multiply that number by 0.8 (not very active), 1.3 (active or pregnant), or 1.8 (extremely active), depending on how much exercise you get.

Here are some guidelines to determine your level of activity:

  • Sedentary (little or no exercise)
  • Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days per week)
  • Moderately active (moderate activity/sports 3-5 days per week)
  • Extremely active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days per week)

Plant-Based Smoothie

Hopefully this protein breakdown helps you get on the right foot and understand that protein is your friend. Get started by enjoying a bowl of Greek yogurt mixed with a little nut butter and honey, or make a plant-based smoothie. Here’s all you need:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 scoop plant-based protein
  • ½ cup mango
  • ½ small avocado
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 3 mint leaves




6
SEP

One Woman’s Gluten-Free Journey: ‘It’s a Process, But You Will Feel Better’

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Gluten Free,Mental Wellbeing,Women's Health at 12:29 pm | By: Aly Semigran

Kate Carey is a mother of three, a loving wife, and she just so happens to have celiac disease. But, unlike those first two titles she wears proudly, she doesn’t let her diagnosis define her, or rule her life.

That doesn’t mean it’s been an easy road for Carey, a stay-at-home mom from West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Carey started to feel sick after the birth of her second child. A few days after she stopped nursing her son (then 6 weeks old), she felt dizzy and was experiencing bouts of diarrhea.

A trip to the ER concluded that she had vertigo and dehydration. As the days went on, the dehydration went away, but the stomach issues and dizziness stayed. “We had no idea what it was,” Carey recalls.

After more ER visits and an eventual trip to a gastrointestinal doctor, Carey had a scope done. It was finally clear what was happening: she had celiac disease.

Coping with Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a serious immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. For those with celiac disease, the consumption of gluten causes a response in the small intestine and, over time, damages the lining of the small intestine and leads to malabsorption of nutrients (1).

Symptoms of celiac disease, like the ones Carey experienced, may include diarrhea, fatigue, dizziness, bloating, weight loss, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and anemia.

The news came as a shock to Carey, who admits, “I had no idea what gluten was, honestly.” It also came at a difficult time, as she was raising her newborn while feeling very sick. “I had trouble getting out of bed even, because I was constantly so dizzy,” she says. “I had also become pretty malnourished. I had no appetite because my stomach was so inflamed.”

Eventually, Carey met with a nutritionist to help her figure out what she could and couldn’t eat to properly manage her condition. During this time, Carey also discovered that she was allergic to dairy, in addition to having celiac disease.

That part came as a major letdown to Carey who, like so many of us, loves dairy and gluten-filled goodies. “I may or may not have cried in friends’ bathrooms, hiding out while they indulged in cookies and all sorts of gluten,” she admits.

Living a Gluten-Free Lifestyle

From that point on, she had to learn how to embrace a gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyle so that she could free her system of the foods that made her sick and get nutrients back into her body.

“I honestly had no idea of all the dairy and gluten that was in foods that I put into my mouth daily,” Carey says. In her research, she found that it wasn’t only foods that contained the very things making her sick: “Even my shampoo, conditioner and pills had wheat in them!”

She also discovered that beauty products she used all the time, such as foundations and lipsticks, contained wheat (e.g., hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed wheat protein), too.

Changing all of these aspects of her life immediately, from diet to beauty products, was definitely a challenge at first for Carey. But, in the eight years since her initial diagnosis, she says that she has adapted to living with celiac disease.

While Carey admits she misses certain foods (especially a slice of “real” pizza), her family has healthier eating habits as a whole now. “Lots of roasted veggies, shakes, and protein,” she says.

Carey can still indulge within the boundaries of what her diet allows. She says that she still bakes, but when she does, she substitutes her old recipes with gluten-free King Arthur flour.

She has to be careful though, as any exposure to gluten, be it in food or products or through cross-contamination, will lead to bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea for roughly three days.

Even though Carey has had to alter parts of her life to keep the symptoms of celiac disease at bay, she advises anyone else who is just starting their own journey to do their research and check all labels thoroughly.

“You are the best advocate for you,” Carey says. “You can tell your doctor exactly what you are feeling and what is going on in your body.”

Carey also urges anyone going through an initial celiac disease diagnosis not to be discouraged, as difficult as it can be at times. “It’s a process, but you will feel better as soon as your gut heals, I promise.”




17
JAN

Omega-3s And Breast Health

Filed Under: Women's Health at 2:45 pm | By: admin
 

We know that Omega-3s protect heart health and support healthy aging of the brain, but a considerable amount of research shows that they are also important for maintaining optimal breast health. Taking fish oils and eating fish not only supports healthy breasts but aids in a woman’s successful treatment of breast cancer. In this webinar, you’ll learn more about what science tells us about omega-3s and breast health.

 

Subscribe to LuckyVitamin’s YouTube Channel!

 




19
SEP

6 Resistance Band Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Filed Under: Exercise and Fitness,Men's Health,Women's Health at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak
Athlete training with a resistance band

If you want to get in shape but can’t afford a gym membership or kettlebells and dumbbells, we have great news for you. Resistance bands are the way to go! Affordable, space-efficient, highly portable and even more effective than a set of dumbbells, these bands are known to improve strength and balance by working in a full range of motion, targeting muscles that you may miss with weights. So, let’s look at 6 resistance band workouts you can do anywhere.

1. Band Pull Apart

This exercise targets chest, triceps, and upper back. Simply stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and head facing forward. Hold a resistance band in front of you with your arms extended straight out. Leave a little bit of band left at the ends and pull the band apart by bringing your shoulder blades together so that the band touches your chest. Slowly return to the starting position by bringing your arms back down in front you at eye level. Repeat slowly and under control, up to 10 reps.

2. Lunge with Biceps Curl

Place the center of the band under the instep of your left foot and position your right foot about two feet behind you. With an underhand grip on the band’s handles, perform a biceps curl while bending your knees to lower into a lunge position, repeating up to 20 times, then switch legs.

3. Donkey Kicks

A great exercise for legs. Get down on all fours holding the ends of the band with your hands and loop it around your foot. Kick your leg straight back while raising your foot slightly towards the ceiling against the resistance of the band. Hold for a couple of seconds at the top and slowly lower to starting position. Repeat as many times as you can and up to 15 reps per leg.

4. Squat with Overhead Press

Stand in the middle of the band with feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Hold handles at shoulder height, with palms facing away from you and elbows bent. Squat deeply while pressing your arms directly over your head. Keep your weight on your heels and resist the band as you return to standing position. Repeat about 10-15 times.

5. Glute Bridge

An easy and effective exercise. Tie a band around your legs right above your knees. Lie on your back with your feet on the floor, bending your knees to 90 degrees. Rise up with your hips until your shoulders, hips and knees align, contracting your glutes through the entire movement.

6. Lateral Band Wall

This exercise targets hips, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Just place the band around your ankles and get into a squat position with your thighs parallel to the ground and feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Step out laterally to the left against the band, remaining in the squat position with your hands in front you in an athletic stance. Alternate sides and step to your right against the band. Step out five times on each side and repeat up to 10 reps.

 

 




4
OCT

Breast Cancer: Not Just For Women

healthcare concept-woman`s hands holding pink breast cancer awareness ribbon

Pink – it’s either Spring or it’s October! In this case, we’re talking about Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most of us are aware we should be checking for breast cancer, but do you? And have you read up on some of the latest news and findings?

Male Breast Cancer

Yes, it’s true that 1 in 8 women (about 12%) will most likely be diagnosed with breast cancer but do you know that men can be diagnosed as well? This year it is projected that over 2,600 new cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed and over 400 men will die from the disease.  

There are many factors that increase the risk for men regarding breast cancer.

First, do men (or women) acknowledge that men have breasts? Young boys and girls both have breast tissue that includes ducts. Once puberty begins, while girls will continue to develop, male hormones such as Testosterone suppress the growth of breast tissue, however, it still exists. Male breast cancer has the same causes as for women, higher levels of estrogen, family history, genetics, lifestyle or other exposures.

Genetics

Although a large percentage of breast cancers for women and men are not genetic, many are due to a genetic or hereditary background.  Approximately 5-10% of breast cancer can be caused from a variety of gene mutations including BRCA (breast cancer susceptibility gene).  BRCA1 and BRCA2 are responsible for approximately 20-25 of hereditary breast cancers.  Learning about your hereditary health can save your life. If you have a family member with early age diagnosis of Prostate, Melanoma, Pancreatic, Breast (including male or female) and other cancers, then you may be at a higher risk. If you’re concerned, seek a genetic counselor to find out more. Even if you are a carrier of the BRCA or other gene mutation this does not mean you will get breast cancer, it just means you are at a higher risk and need to take the necessary precautions and be educated. Perform a self breast exam more often or having frequent mammograms or breast MRIs (yes, men can have these and should do self exams!). These are important tools for early detection.

Additional Advances

There are many new types of hormone therapy used to prevent estrogen from binding to estrogen receptor positive cancer. New studies discuss remaining on treatment from 5 to now 10 years. Learning more about your type of cancer, the Oncotype DX and MammaPrint, help to determine the risk of recurrence or spread of the disease. This is important information for the plan of treatment. PARP inhibitors have recently been studied to be helpful against some cancers especially that are caused from BRCA mutations.

There are also advances in the study of supplements being tested to determine how they may help reduce breast cancer risk. Some of these supplements includes: grapeseed extract, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric/curcumin, vitamin D3, green tea and melatonin, just to name a few.

Lifestyle, the foods we eat (organic, hormone free, etc), less meat, more cruciferous vegetables, the products we put on our body and use around our home (less chemicals) the amount of exercise we get and alcohol intake all may make a difference to our health. It’s important to feel that even though our genetic background may say one thing, we can make certain choices that are in our control.

For more information on breast cancer in men, genetics, prevention tips and more visit: HIS Breast Cancer Awareness




7
JUN

5 Reasons You Might Need an Iron Supplement

Filed Under: Exercise and Fitness,Mental Wellbeing,Vitamins and Minerals,Women's Health at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
They are called essential minerals for a reason. A member of this group, iron is very important for your health as all cells contain some iron. The majority of iron is located in the red blood cells, responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the organs and tissues throughout the body. Iron has a role in creating energy from nutrients but it also contributes to the transmission of nerve impulses, which coordinates the actions of different parts of your body. Maintaining healthy iron levels is essential for good health and we present you 5 reasons you may need an iron supplement.

1.Deficiency

If you have iron deficiency anemia, your body is lacking iron for the red blood cells to effectively provide oxygen to cells and tissues, resulting in fatigue, weakness, and dizziness. Iron supplements are commonly recommended to help prevent anemia. Nearly five million Americans have iron deficiency, by far the most common form of anemia in the United States.

2.Exercise

When you exercise, you burn fuel, including iron and other minerals, and replenishing is important to maintain good health. Additionally, people who do regular intense exercise may need up to 30% more iron than less active adults, as iron may cycle through the body more rapidly in people who exercise vigorously.

3.Pregnancy

Recommended by doctors, women who are pregnant or nursing need significantly more iron than the average of 15-18 mg of iron daily. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of iron for pregnant women is 27 mg daily.

4.Kidney Disease

Kidneys make an important hormone called erythropoietin (EPO). When you have kidney disease, the kidneys cannot make enough EPO, causing red blood cells count to drop and anemia to develop. Most people with kidney disease will develop anemia and iron supplements can help avoiding that.

5.Concentration

Lack of iron may lead to difficulty concentrating and is a common problem among students. Low iron levels can also lead to unusual tiredness, shortness of breath, decrease in physical performance, and learning problems in children and adults.

Check with your health care provider before start taking an iron supplement.




3
MAY

The Benefits of a Probiotic

probioticsProbiotics balance the spectrum of live organisms that naturally colonize the human GI tract. Probiotic bacteria is essential for healthy digestion, ensures the intestinal lining stays up to par and aids in the detoxification process.

Immune Support – Did you know that 80 percent of your immune system is located within your digestive system? Simply put: a healthy gut equals a healthy you! Without a good probiotic, your body cannot absorb fiber, sugars or starches. The good bacteria in your GI tract converts carbs into energy and nutrients for your body.

Childhood Allergies – A recent study found that women who took probiotics during pregnancy had a 30 percent reduction in the instance of childhood eczema (an early sign of allergies) in their infants.

Weight Control – Stanford University researchers found that obese people had different gut bacteria than those whose weights fell in the “normal” range. Weight factors including metabolism, hormones and inflammation are all influenced by gut health andprobiotics can help restore this system back to balance.

Women’s Health – Probiotics play an important role in maintaining balance and preventing bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections in women. Also, L. acidophilius can not only help prevent infection but can help manage active ones.

Urinary Health – If you suffer from frequent UTI then you need a probiotic, stat! The good bacteria may help fight off bad bacteria that can invade your urinary tract.

Infant Health – Colicky babies can benefit from a probiotic. According to Italian researchers, infants given probiotics during the first three months of life appear to have fewer bouts of colic. And it can also help with constipation and acid reflux in babies.

 




26
FEB

Natural Nail Polish: What is 5-Free?

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care,Women's Health at 11:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak
NPA new term has arrived in the nail polish world and some people are quickly searching for the meaning of 5-Free.

5-Free refers to the newest way to label non-toxic nail polish products which do not have the five most common dangerous chemicals found in nail polishes: toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor.

The term is actually very useful when shopping nail polishers. Some brands have removed these potentially dangerous ingredients without sacrificing quality or performance, creating a product that is free of all 5 chemicals, known to cause cancer, skin irritations and disrupt the endocrine system. It’s important to remember that polish is applied to nails, which aren’t made of living tissue and, therefore, these ingredients are not likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream. However, people may inhale potent fumes or make contact with the skin while applying the product. So, prevention is better than cure.

Here’s more information about the 5 chemicals that are NOT used in 5-Free Nail Polishers:

Toluene: a liquid that is used as a solvent and has the smell of paint thinner. Known to cause skin irritation, nausea, and light-headedness, toluene can also damage the nervous system, and may cause birth defects and developmental problems in children of pregnant women.

Dibutyl Phthalate: known as DBP, it is a commonly used plasticizer and has been linked to cancer. DBP has also been connected to birth defects and is considered a suspected teratogens, which are agents that cause malformations of an embryo.

Formaldehyde: this chemical’s vapors are irritating and can trigger asthma. Formaldehyde is also a known human carcinogen.

Formaldehyde Resin: a derivative of formaldehyde, this allergen is mainly used in the production of coatings and adhesives.

Camphor: this is actually a poison that can cause seizures and disorientation if used in large doses. This chemical acts as a cover on your nails, depriving them of nutrients and causing yellow staining on your nails.




16
FEB

Beautiful Hair Naturally with Argan Oil

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care,Women's Health at 6:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak
B16 AOIf you are looking for ways to naturally make your hair healthy and beautiful, one product could be your best bet: argan oil.

Argan oil is extracted from the kernels of the argan tree, which is native to Morocco. This oil is extremely rich in beneficial nutrients including fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E. Its properties make it particularly beneficial for hair and skin, making it a popular cosmetic choice for many celebrities.

Known as the liquid gold, argan oil is proven to make hair softer, silkier and shinier and is often used as a main ingredient for hair conditioners. Argan oil can also help to treat split ends, tame frizzy hair and give hair shine. A variety of styling products contain argan oil too as it helps make hair more manageable and adds a healthy, attractive shine to any hair style. An ideal product for a daily routine after blow-drying, just rub a few drops of argan oil over your palms and then comb your fingers through your hair to apply.

Additionally, argan oil can be helpful for some health conditions as its properties may help prevent prostate cancer as well as balance cholesterol levels. Plus, studies have showed that argan oil has antimicrobial properties and can be used to treat damaged skin and inflammation as well as protect against skin infections, clear up acne, ease eczema, and heal cracks and burns.

Pure argan oil can moisturize instantly, help repair damaged hair, and prevent split ends while restoring shine. This amazing product is also known to increase hair growth and help prevent dry and itchy scalp. Click here to shop 100% organic, all-natural, pure argan oil at LuckyVitamin.com.




16
JAN

Lucky New Year, New Brands: Evalar Femiwell / CannaVest

Filed Under: Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals,Women's Health at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
2016 has just started and with a couple weeks in the books, Lucky Vitamin continues to present new brands to our loyal customers. Today, we look at a couple new top quality brand of supplements that can help your achieve a much healthier life in 2016. We are proud to introduce Evalar Femiwell and CannaVest.

Evalar Femiwell offers natural dietary supplements to preserve health and quality of life. A leading brand in Europe for more than 20 years, the company offers over 200 products created with the purest, gluten-free, non-GMO ingredients from their own farms. In the pristine Altai Mountains, Evalar’s own plantations cultivate over 30 varieties of herbs and is one of the first European companies with a complete cycle of production: from farm to final product.

Evalar’s Femiwell is a natural, gluten-free line of supplements designed by women, for women. The company understands your needs, from help to manage weight and stress, to heart health, beauty, and overall wellness.

CannaVest is another top-quality brand just added to our site. From harvesting hemp seeds to laboratory testing, the company is fully committed to providing the health and wellness benefits of products from the hemp plant.

CannaVest specializes in providing the purest, non-GMO, gluten-free hemp-based cannabidol (CBD) oil. All products feature this federally legal substance that can be used in foods and nutritional supplements for consumer health and wellness benefits. CannaVest is committed to pioneering the hemp revolution as the world’s leading producer of quality hemp-derived CBD products.

You can save even more when you shop Evalar Femiwell / CannaVest products at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter promo code JAN16NEW16 at checkout to save an additional 15% of all items of these new brands.




21
DEC

Breastfeeding Essentials for the New Mom

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health,Women's Health at 8:00 am | By: Jessica Justh
breastfeeding (1)If you’re a new mom then you’ve probably heard that “breast is best” – and with good reason. Breastfeeding not only has significant nutritional benefits, but it also helps ensure that baby is getting all of the vitamins and antibodies that he needs to combat viruses and disease. So whether you have just started, or are planning on nursing in the future, this list of breastfeeding must-haves will get you started on your way.

Tea

There are many herbal teas out there to help with your supply including some of our favorite brands like Yogi Tea, Traditional Medicinals and Earth Mama Angel Baby. These teas contain proprietary blends of herbs that increase breast milk production. Sit back and enjoy a pleasantly aromatic balance of sweet, spicy and slightly bitter tastes. For a full infusion steep for 10 to 15  minutes.

Fenugreek

If you’re looking to increase your milk supply, most lactation consultants will recommend taking Fenugreek. This herb has been used since ancient times and is one of the most well-known galactagogues (any food and medication that increases your supply.) Remember that  herbal remedies can affect everyone differently, so if it works for you expect to see a change in supply within 24-72 hours. It’s recommended to take two or three capsules 3x/day to improve milk production.

Nipple Cream

Those first couple of weeks when your baby is feeding “on demand” can cause dry, cracked and sore nipples. Toss in a healthy dose of sleep deprivation and it’s easy to see why the first weeks post-birth can send even the most hardened breastfeeding supporters scrambling for formula. However, a really good nipple cream can restore and ease the pain so you can continue nursing. Look for a cream that’s safe for ingestion and contains only natural ingredients.

Manual Breast Pump

A manual breast pump can be a more affordable option, especially for moms who only need to pump on occasion. You control the suction and the speed and since it doesn’t require batteries or an outlet it frees you to pump just about anywhere. These easy to operate one-handed pumps make for a good back-up in case your electric pump goes on the fritz,  and are lightweight and small enough to fit in most diaper bags.

Nursing Pads

Did you know that just thinking about you baby can stimulate the release of the hormone oxytocin which tells your breast to release the milk? A sudden release of milk is called a “let down” and without a nursing pad in place it could lead to an embarrassing moment. We recommend this super soft brand made from 100% organic cotton.

For additional information and breastfeeding support, visit La Leche League’s website to find a group near you.

 




11
OCT

A Peek Inside the Natural Mom’s Hospital Bag

Filed Under: Aromatherapy,Baby and Child Health,Green Living,Women's Health at 6:33 pm | By: Jessica Justh
leafmamaCalling all mamas to be! Does it seem like you’re spending as much time figuring out what to pack in your overnight hospital bag as you have been researching pediatricians and creating elaborate stroller comparison spreadsheets? There’s a lot of information out there and everybody seems to have an opinion on what classifies as “must brings”.

Besides the obvious staples like toiletries, comfy clothes and an outfit for your little one, if you’re like me and planning a natural birth, there’s a whole lot more to think about. After attending hours of workshop and seminars from doulas and midwives, here a list of must-haves to help you on your labor journey.

Magnesium Oil – Makes a great labor aid by relaxing the muscles. This stuff will definitely come in handy during contractions. Have your doula or birth partner gently massage some magnesium oil into your skin during labor.

Honey Sticks – Labor has been compared to running a marathon, so you need to maintain your stamina for the long haul. The sweet honey stick helps by giving you a sugary burst of energy to power you through the valleys of a natural birth. If you’re delivering at a hospital with strict restrictions around food and drink, honey sticks are even more crucial since they’re considered a liquid!

Lavender Essential Oil – Not only does this essential oil smell great but its therapeutic benefits will help you relax, too, which is vital during labor. Lavender has also been found to reduce headaches and backaches too!

Coconut Water – You wouldn’t run a marathon without downing plenty of water on the way, would you? In labor, hydration is key! Coconut water is a natural isotonic – simply put, it helps quickly replace lost fluids — loaded with electrolytes.

Protein Bar – After your baby is born, chances are that you’ll be very hungry. Ravenous, even. If you deliver during the middle of the night, the hospital cafeteria will likely be closed, so plan ahead and bring a couple of protein bars along with you. Your body will need to replenish itself after all the hard work.

Ginger – No one wants to be nauseous or vomiting during labor, but it happens. Be prepared with some of ginger candies. Ginger has been shown to be effective in preventing and easing nausea. Plus, the sugar will give you some added energy when you’re feeling down.

Birth Ball – There’s a ton of pain management techniques for labor but a birth ball is a definite. It’s versatile and can be used in different positions to help turn and move your baby down the birth canal. During early labor, rocking and bouncing can decrease back pain.

Good luck with your natural birth. If you have an amazing birth story we’d love to hear from you!




28
JUL

The Importance of Beauty Sleep

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care,Women's Health at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
SSHow much sleep do you need? Experts say most people require between seven to nine hours of sleep in order to maintain good health. However, not just enough sleep but also good, deep sleep is very important to prevent a variety of health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and skin problems.

The term beauty sleep, which refers to the act of sleeping early to maintain healthy, beautiful skin, is definitely a reality for many people around the globe. Sleep repairs tired skin and research has shown that the whole body goes into repair mode when you sleep.

While you sleep, your skin renews itself as new skin cells grow and replace older cells. In addition, during your sleep, a number of hormonal and metabolic changes happen in the body and a good number of these changes happen in the skin and lack of sleep can significantly disrupt those processes. For example, lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, causing the look of dark circles. It can also increase stress levels, consequently making you tired, angry, sad, and increasing the chance of premature wrinkles.

If your main concern is skin care, three easy tips can make a big difference for you. First, follow a beauty regimen with a cleanse before going to bed using a mild or exfoliating cleanser as well as a moisturizing cream, preferably a night cream. Second, avoid smoking, alcohol and heavy eating in late hours not only to prevent skin issues but also to improve overall sleep. Lastly, it is highly recommended that you establish a good sleep habit, going to bed and waking up around the same time every day.




27
JUL

5 Products Every Woman Needs in Her Medicine Cabinet

Filed Under: Herbs,Supplements,Women's Health at 4:53 pm | By: Jessica Justh
medicineCollagen – Look your best and age beautifully with collagen. One of our favorites is derived from pasture-raised collagen protein. Unlike gelatin, these peptides are soluble in cold liquids as well as hot. Enjoy a scoop in your morning coffee and feel beautiful from the inside out. Did we mention that collagen also increases elasticity and regeneration of tendons, cartilage, bones, and joints? You better believe it!

Probiotic – By now most people know that taking a daily probiotic is one of the biggest keys to maintaining maximum gut flora health. But what you may not know is that they are also one of the best supplements for women in regards to urinary and vaginal health. Bacteria such as Lactobacillus species, as well as the strain Bacillus coagulans help keep the pH level in these regions slightly acidic making it difficult for yeast and “unwanted” bacteria to thrive.

Daily Vitamin – Ahh, the great vitamin debate. Do you need one? The answer is yes. Today, a majority of conventional food is grown in poor soils that lack essential nutrients. Therefore if we’re not getting vital nutrients from food, then we NEED to take vitamins. A daily, one a day formula is an easy way to get complete energizing support in one capsule specifically design and formulated for a women’s chemistry.

Red Raspberry Leaf –  Red raspberry leaf can help relieve PMS symptoms such as cramping, irritability, and depression. That’s all well and good, but the leaf is most commonly known for its effects in helping maintain a healthy pregnancy. A favorite herb amongst midwifes, red raspberry leaf  is reported to increase fertility, helps tone the uterus of an expectant mother and can lessen the strain felt from contractions. Some reports have even shown that it can increase milk production. However, most experts agree that pregnant women should limit their consumption of red raspberry leaf to the third trimester, only.

Vitex – Another “women’s” herb, vitex helps keep hormones in balance. Used for centuries as a female remedy, Vvtex works by supporting the pituitary gland — the master gland for hormone production. Traditionally, vitex was used to stimulate breast milk production in nursing mothers, boost fertility and relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. This herb can also shorten a woman’s monthly visit from “Aunt Flow” – always a welcome benefit. Please note that vitex should be strictly avoided during pregnancy.

 

 




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MAY

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Sport Nutrition: BCAA, Thermogenics, Pre and Post Workout Boosters

Filed Under: Exercise and Fitness,Sports Nutrition,Women's Health at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
FitnessProper nutrition can be the difference between a successful workout program and frustration with poor results. Women trying to lose weight often have a diet lacking essential nutrients which may result in fatigue, lack of results and even some health problems. Women’s sport nutrition supplements can correct this lack of nutrients by providing the proper amount of macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates and lipids for a specific fitness goal. So, we present you a quick guide to women’s sport nutrition.

BCAA

BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acid) supplements may help you build a solid base of lean, feminine muscle, and help to trim the excess fat. The human body needs BCAA’s three aminos (isoleucine, leucine, and valine) in order to meet the increased demand for amino acids during exercise without breaking down muscle tissue. BCAA supplementation is ideal to enhance sports performance and recovery, meaning you can go harder and longer in the gym, without experiencing muscle fatigue. BCAAs are also directly involved in the creation of new muscle tissue, both as the building blocks and as the builder.

Thermogenics

Thermogenic fat-burning supplements are one of women’s top-selling sport nutrition products due to its ability to increase the body’s thermogenesis or core body temperature, and consequently increasing the amount of calories burned. Rasperry Ketone, green tea (EGCG), and capsaicin (chili peppers) supplements are the most popular and often found in women’s weight-loss diets.

Pre- and Post-Workout Boosters

Pre- and post-workout boosters are essential to most fitness programs. As a simple rule, a good supplement prior to workout ensures that your body has enough fuel for exercising and a supplement after the workout is completed ensures proper recovery and prevents injuries. Women’s booster supplements are pretty much the same as men’s products. For pre-workout, nitric oxide can be an excellent helper, relaxing muscles that control blood vessels and allowing better blood flow. This will result in better energy production, so you can train longer and harder as well as getting better recovery from workouts. For post-workout, a good protein shake can be the perfect fit as the body tends to digest faster within 30 minutes after training. Protein shakes can also be taken before workouts (ideally 20-30 minutes) to prepare the muscles for physical activity.