The Art and Science of Foods That Fill You Up

A big part of healthy eating is filling up on the right foods. The problem is that trying to avoid cravings can feel crazy sometimes. Some people eat lunch and feel hungry again an hour later. What’s up with that?

The Science Behind Feeling Full

The reason you feel full after eating something is all in your head, literally. As your stomach digests your meal, it sends signals to your brain telling you that you’re not hungry anymore. Your body takes time to break down food into nutrients, releasing hormones that help you feel full and content.

Even your emotions are involved. Have you ever noticed how happy and satisfied you are after eating a meal that you love? On the other hand, when you’re stressed or depressed, you probably feel hungrier than normal. This is all because of hormones.

The Reason Some Foods Make You Feel Full Longer Than Others

Why are some foods more filling than others? One reason is that they take longer to digest. The more time your stomach spends processing food, the less time it has to feel hungry. Here are a few things that can make any meal more filling:

  • Fiber: Foods that are high in fiber take longer for your body to digest. Fiber turns the things you eat into a kind of gel, slowing them down as they move through your intestines. Another benefit of fiber is that it balances your blood-sugar levels, basically telling your body that your energy levels are good so you don’t need to eat anything else.

  • Protein: When you eat protein, your body releases specific hormones responsible for feelings of fullness. High-protein foods are the best snacks for calming the munchies. Eggs have a lot of protein, and so do nuts and different types of fish.

  • Water: Getting enough water with meals is a great way to calm your appetite. Not only does water have zero calories, it contributes to fullness. Fruit that naturally has high water content is very filling, such as a slice of watermelon or some fresh pineapple.

Other foods help you stay full longer because they have a low energy density. In other words, they have a lot of volume but not very many calories. You feel satisfied without feeling guilty.


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The Best Foods for Calming Hunger

The munchies can make cutting calories from your diet easier said than done. To have success with your weight loss goals, reach for these foods at meal time:

  • Soup: Cooked veggies and protein with plenty of water are the perfect recipe for a filling meal.

  • Greek yogurt: This healthy treat has a lot of protein and probiotics to calm hungry feelings.

  • Vegetables: Did you know that broccoli is 90% water? Leafy greens are packed with fiber, too. Carrots are another filling choice.

  • Fresh fruit: Apples, bananas and oranges have plenty of fiber and water, and they’re super-fast to grab on the go.

  • Potatoes: Boiled or baked potatoes are among the most filling foods on the planet. Scientists think they have a special protein that suppresses appetite.

My personal recommendation is to add a salad to everything (but skip the ranch dressing). If you’re making spaghetti for your kids, make some salad, too. That way you eat fewer calories but still feel satisfied. This helps calm nighttime snacking temptations a lot.

How to Use Less Plastic in Your Home

Plastic is one of those persistent enemies that the world just can’t seem to get rid of. Though everyone knows how harmful it is, it’s still used in incredible amounts. Take a 10-minute walk around your house and briefly note everything you see that’s made of plastic. You may be surprised to discover just how much of this undesirable material you have in your own home.

Fortunately, you can do what I did and make these lifestyle changes to turn yourself and your family from plastic consumers to plastic shunners.

Buy Boxed Instead of Bottled Products

This tip may seem nearly impossible at first, but it is possible to avoid some bottled products by looking for boxed alternatives. For example, instead of buying liquid laundry detergent in plastic bottles, shop for laundry detergent in powder form that comes in cardboard boxes. If you absolutely must purchase plastic bottles for food or hygiene items (sometimes it’s unavoidable), choose only bottles that have the recycle symbol on the bottom.

Invest in Reusable Straws

Straws are small and may seem harmless, but they’re used in huge quantities and contribute to the world’s plastic waste problem. If you love straws and don’t want to give them up, don’t worry! There are reusable options available. Consider purchasing a pack of reusable glass or stainless-steel straws and keeping one or two in your purse or car so you can use it when you go out to restaurants.

Ditch the Plasticware

No one likes to do dishes, but if you regularly use plasticware to eat your meals, it’s time to consider how you’re impacting the environment. It’s best to use reusable silverware, even if it means spending a few extra minutes doing the dishes. When you request take-out from nearby restaurants, specifically request no plasticware with your order.


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Use a Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable water bottles are so much better for you and the environment than their plastic counterparts. Plus, they often come with cute patterns that match your personality. Drinking from plastic water bottles can leave a bad flavor in your mouth, so you’ll love switching to reusable bottles for the taste alone.

Invest in a Water Purifier

If you like to drink bottled water because your tap water is gross, why not invest in a water purifier? You’ll not only save money, but you’ll help save the environment as well. Every year, billions of plastic water bottles make their way to the landfill. You can make a small dent in that number by ditching your bottled water habit and using a purifier instead.

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are not only bottled in plastic containers, but they’re also full of toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to you. Instead of purchasing commercial cleaners, consider making your own using natural ingredients such as vinegar, antibacterial essential oils, lemon juice, and/or baking soda. There are plenty of recipes for cleaners online. Use glass spray bottles to store and use your environmentally safe cleaning products.

Use Reusable Produce Bags

Did you know a single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to fully degrade? Instead of using single-use plastic bags, opt for reusable produce bags. Just make sure you wash them frequently to cut back on germs.

Drink Fresh-Squeezed Juice

Do you love drinking juice? Try squeezing it fresh from oranges or apples. You’ll be using less plastic, and you’ll also maximize the health benefits fresh juice can offer. Fresh-squeezed juice is not processed and it hasn’t been sitting on the shelf for days or weeks, so it’s packed full of nutrients.

Once you make it a habit to avoid plastic whenever possible, the task will become easier (I promise!). You’ll also have greater peace of mind knowing you’re doing your part to protect this beautiful planet we call home.

New Year, New You: How to Use Resolutions to Become a Morning Person

Woman Waking Up

Be honest: would you say you're a morning person? If the answer is a resounding no, you're not alone.
Lots of people dread waking up early or can't function until they have at least two cups of coffee coursing through their veins. While molding yourself into a chipper and cheerful morning person may seem unlikely, it's absolutely possible.

With a new year comes a renewed commitment to health, wellness, and personal goals. Like everything else, you just need to tease out those bad habits and develop a strategy for eliminating them. Here are a few great tips to help you beat the morning blues and attack every day with everything you got.

Alarm Clock

Say No to the Snooze Button

The snooze button is an evil temptress. You tell yourself "just a few more minutes", only to find that an hour has passed, and now you're late for work. While it's best to not use the snooze button at all, it can be difficult to go cold turkey completely. Once again, technology comes to the rescue. Smart alarm apps offer creative ways to snooze, including math problems that must be solved before you can secure that ten extra minutes. If you're not a math person, don't fret. The act of working out a problem can help wake up your brain, even if you don't get the correct answer.

Glass of water

Drink a Glass of Water Upon Waking

It's true that coffee is associated with a quick pick-me-up in the morning, but water is a better choice of beverage. Water rehydrates the body, fuels the brain, and gives you the burst of energy you need to function optimally in the early hours. For an even greater rejuvenating effect, make the first beverage you drink in the morning a chilly glass of ice water.

Good night


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Establish a Sleep Schedule

A consistent sleep schedule gets your body in tune with waking up early each morning. Additionally, your schedule should extend to the weekends as well, meaning if you get up at 7 am for work during the week, you should get up at the same time Saturday and Sunday. If you have problems falling asleep at a reasonable hour, develop a bedtime ritual. Avoid exercise, digital screens, and caffeine at least two hours before bedtime. Make your bedroom a work-free zone, meaning no laptops, no emails, and no texting. Try reading or taking a relaxing bath to get you in the mood for sleep.

Morning Yoga

Exercise Right After Waking Up

Much like math problems help wake up your brain, exercise helps wake up your body. Now, that doesn't mean you should pop out of bed and go run a half-marathon every morning. Something simple and low-key, like yoga or stretching exercises, should be enough to get you up and moving. There are plenty of free videos online featuring quick and easy exercises you can do each day. Fair warning, the first morning of exercise will probably be difficult. Stick to it, and you'll find each day getting easier and easier.

Cup of coffee

Invest in a Wake-Up Alarm

A bit of sunlight is just the thing to get you up in the morning. When your bedroom lacks strategically placed windows, or you're faced with a gloomy morning, a wake-up alarm is the next best thing. Also known as sunrise lamps, these devices gradually illuminate to mimic sunrise. This signals to your body that it's time to wake up, which is a more comforting process than being roused out of sleep by a blaring alarm.

Anyone can be a morning person when properly motivated. Using one or more of the above techniques can change your perspective, and your life. With the right attitude, you'll be greeting mornings with a smile before you even know it.

The Best Natural Ways To Get Electrolytes

Bottles

Did you know that electrolytes help your body conduct electricity? I’m not talking about zapping your hair into a frizzy nightmare like in the cartoons. Any time your muscles or nerves go to work, they need energy, which is where electrolytes come in. The more you sweat, the more of these essential vitamins and minerals you lose.

Woman Running on Beach

Electrolytes Are Pure Energy … Literally.

You should be getting potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium every day anyway, but your muscles especially need them before, during and after physical or mental exertion. This is why being dehydrated makes you feel like your body is shutting down. And your brain isn’t exactly thrilled either; low electrolyte levels cause problems with concentration and mood.

Gatorade

Gatorade and Powerade and Vitamin Water, Oh My!

How do sports drinks stack up when it comes to giving your body the electrolytes it needs? They’re popular, that’s for sure. But there’s a bad reason for that: Most are filled with sugar.

In one popular brand, the ingredient list I saw read “water, crystalline fructose, cane sugar” and less than 0.5% of different vitamins. In other words, you’re basically getting water and two types of sugar.

Relying on these drinks for your daily fix of electrolytes is like hitting the snooze button on your alarm by taking a sledgehammer to it. Sure, they give you electrolytes, but they also give you a ton of fat-boosting carbs, which is what I’m trying to get rid of when I exercise!


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Coconut Water

The Best Options for Getting Electrolytes and Staying Hydrated.

Believe it or not, you can actually get a lot of electrolytes for free. My other favorite sources are 100% natural, as close to healthy as you can get. Here’s how to hydrate the right way:

  • Tap water: In may areas, tap water naturally has quite of bit of magnesium, sodium and calcium, meaning it compares to pretty much all of the sports drinks on the market. Of course, some people don’t love the taste.
  • Coconut water: This is nature’s answer to electrolyte water. Coconut water has absolutely everything you need for workouts: sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. It has a pleasant, neutral taste and just 46 calories a cup. I guess getting lost on a desert island isn’t that bad after all!
  • Watermelon: This refreshing summertime fave is over 90% water, making it smart for pre- and post-workout hydration. Sometimes I eat a few slices and other times I drink homemade watermelon juice. Watermelon has a lot of potassium and magnesium.
  • Tart cherry juice: Unsweetened tart cherry juice is rich in electrolytes and vitamins. It has 14% of your daily potassium, 60% of the vitamin A and 40% of the vitamin C you need. Plus, several studies say this juice can increase muscle strength while reducing soreness and recovery time!
  • Milk: Calcium, potassium, protein … remind you of anything? That’s right, milk! Most people wouldn't think of a milk moustache for electrolytes, but this healthy drink is actually one of the most balanced (unless you’re lactose intolerant). Since milk is more filling than other options, however, I would recommend drinking it after workouts, not before.
Coconuts

If you really want to target the perfect electrolyte balance for your body, make a smoothie! A blend of watermelon, frozen mango (or another favorite fruit), milk, pumpkin seeds and coconut water hits the spot after exercising. Always add a sprinkle of sea salt (1/8 teaspoon for every 5 cups of your smoothie) since that’s the electrolyte you sweat the most.

How To Deep Clean Your Kitchen and Save Money With Green Cleaning Products

Clean kitchen

I love green cleaning products. They’re environmentally friendly, practical and safe for my kids. Those benefits are all a huge bonus on my mom checklist. Plus, things such as vinegar and baking soda are insanely cheap! Here are a few of my favorites.

Baking Soda

For Everyday Cleaning/Disinfecting: 

White Vinegar Kitchen Cleaner

What You Need

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Essential oil (optional)

I use this solution every day. It makes me feel great whether I’m mopping the kitchen floor, scrubbing the microwave or cleaning up around the sink. I especially love the touch of essential oils such as rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree. They make the cleaner smell wonderful and my hands never dry out like they used to with harsh cleaning chemicals.

Oil on Water

For Grease:

Olive Oil, Vinegar and Baking Soda Cleanser

What You Need

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp liquid castile soap
  • 1 tbs baking soda
  • 3 cups warm water

Technically, this deep cleaner gets a lot of its cleaning power from something called pure castile soap, not the olive oil in your kitchen. Even though it’s green, castile soap packs quite a punch when it comes to dirt and grime. To boost its grease-cutting power, I add white vinegar and baking soda to the mix. This is everything you need for cleaning the inside of the oven, range hood, grill grate, kitchen backsplash and other greasy areas.


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Granite counter top

For Granite and Marble:

Pure Castile Soap Solution

What You Need

  • 2 tablespoons of pure castile soap
  • 1 gallon of distilled water

The one area you have to be careful with when you choose green cleaners is stone countertops. Granite and marble have a special protective layer that keeps them from scratching or staining, and acidic ingredients such as citrus or vinegar slowly eat away at this coating.

The one area you have to be careful with when you choose green cleaners is stone countertops. Granite and marble have a special protective layer that keeps them from scratching or staining, and acidic ingredients such as citrus or vinegar slowly eat away at this coating.

Citrus Cleaner

For Deep Cleaning:

Citrus DIY Kitchen Cleaner

What You Need

  • Peels from any citrus fruit (grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges)
  • White vinegar
  • Large glass mason jars
  • Mesh sieve
  • Spray bottle

How To Make It

  1. 1
    Save up your citrus peels and put them in the mason jar.
  2. 2
    Add enough white vinegar to cover all of the peels completely. Seal the jar and let it sit for a week or two. The longer you leave it, the more powerful the cleaner will be.
  3. 3
    Use the sieve to pour only the liquid into a separate mason jar or covered container. Get rid of the leftover peels.
  4. 4
    Fill a plastic spray bottle halfway with this citrus liquid and the rest distilled water.
  5. 5
    Use this mixture to clean any kitchen surface except marble or granite. For stubborn grime, use the citrus liquid directly without diluting with water.

The secret to major germ-fighting power actually lies in the peels, not the juice. What I love the most about this cleaner is the fresh scent you get with orange, lemon or grapefruit. It's so bright and cheery.

Cleaning Kitchen

Don't forget: When life hands you lemons, make DIY kitchen disinfectant! Your entire kitchen will smell 100% clean afterwards and look amazing, and your hands will thank you.

5 Tricks To Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Woman Sleeping

Are you having trouble falling asleep at night? Do you wake up many times every night? You’ve love these five easy and effective tricks for getting a great night's sleep all year long:

1. Eat Breakfast at Night

What kind of nonsense is this?! Breakfast for dinner? Well, according to scientists, absolutely.
I know it’s hard to eat a mouthwatering omelet, some lean bacon, a fresh banana and some delicious whole-grain toast for dinner, but … oh, who am I kidding? Breakfast is amazing!

Eating breakfast at night is good for falling asleep because most breakfast foods are rich in the right nutrients. Eggs are packed with protein, toast has filling carbs and bananas are rich in potassium. This combination makes your muscles relax, which is just what your body needs to fall asleep.

Bananas

2. Go Outside

I’m not encouraging you to sleepwalk. What you need is to get some sun and fresh air during the day. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, go for a short walk, admire your summer garden or watch your dog play around in the snow. Sunlight keeps your normal sleep rhythm balanced, so when it gets dark, your body understands that it’s time to sleep.

Sunny Day outside


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3. Try Some Spiced Almond Milk

Just about everyone has heard the secret of drinking warm milk before bedtime. But did you know it doesn’t have to be cow’s milk? Almond milk has a ton of tryptophan, melatonin and magnesium, natural compounds that get your body in the mood to sleep.

Plus, I’ll be honest. The idea of sipping warm cow’s milk doesn’t appeal to me. On the other hand, I love this spiced almond milk recipe. It’s delicious and relaxing, and it helps me sleep like a baby.

What You Need

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tbs almond butter
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or honey

How To Make Spiced Almond Milk

This recipe is really easy. Just put all of the ingredients in a small pot and heat on the stove until it’s warm. Serve in a mug and sip calmly while listening to soft jazz or classical music. I recommend Etta James.

Almond Milk

4. Invest in the Best Sheets

Your mattress isn’t the only thing that makes a huge difference in sleep quality. So do your bedsheets. Look for breathable cotton or silk. Yes, they cost me more than polyester, but they were so worth the investment.
Trust me, if you wake up a lot during the night, tossing and turning, you won’t believe how much great sheets can change that. They keep your body cool, dry and comfortable all night long, so you wake up more refreshed in the morning.

Bed Sheets

5. Let There Be Dark

Your body won’t know it’s sleepy time unless your bedroom is dark. A dimmer switch or lamp is ideal. Turn down the lights about one hour before bedtime, turn off your smartphone or tablet, and try reading a book or listening to an audiobook. You’ll be asleep before you know it.

Dark Bedroom

These are just some of the sleepy-time tricks I have up my pajama sleeves. Next time I’ll tell you about the benefits of wearing socks to bed! Do you have other questions about sleep troubles? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help.

How To Make a Weight-Loss New Year’s Resolution That Will Actually Stick!

Measuring Tape

We open up a shiny new year by declaring all the things that will be different this year. We'll eat better. We'll exercise more. In reality, though, our resolutions last maybe a week, and then it's back to the same old thing, right? What if there was a trick to making a new habit stick? What if this trick worked even for habits you had tried (and failed) to cultivate many times in the past? News flash: There is such a trick, and it really does work. (Spoiler alert: It's actually not a trick at all. It's science.)

2021

Remember Your Why

Take a bit of time to dig down into why you want to lose weight this year. Get specific. Don't settle for a vague feeling of nostalgia. Instead, write down the personal and health benefits you want to gain by losing weight. Focus on outcomes, such as playing with your grandchildren without getting winded or being able to climb stairs without knee pain from the extra weight on your joints. Post your "why" somewhere you can see it often.

Goals

Set Specific Goals

Now that you know exactly why you want to lose weight write down what that will look like for you when you've accomplished it. Will you be down a certain number of pounds or pants sizes? Will you know you've hit your goal when you can walk a set distance without feeling like you need a nap? Write it down, whatever it is.


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Focus on Habits

After completing the two steps above, you've got your resolution. Now comes the part where you make it all happen. You already know how to lose weight. Although the details may vary depending on your health and other circumstances, it basically comes down to eating better and moving more. What new habits do you need to incorporate into your life to make weight loss happen for you? Create two category headings: one for food and one for movement. Under each heading, write down one or two habits to start with. One could be about filling up on fruits and veggies, and another could be about doubling your average daily steps. Try to choose new habits that are slightly out of reach but don't feel impossible.

Exercise

Tie It All Together

Once you have your new habits in mind (and down on paper!), figure out how to tie them to habits you already have. For example, you already brush your teeth every morning. If you want to create a new habit of drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning, attach the new habit to the existing habit by placing your water glass next to the toothpaste so you remember to grab it and fill it up. If your new habit is eating two servings of fruit at breakfast and you're a coffee drinker, place a cutting board next to the coffee maker and link chopping fruit with waiting for the coffee to brew. Once your new behaviors start to truly become habits, add a couple more, always piggybacking onto something you already do.

Happy New Year

Give Yourself Grace

The true secret to success in anything is never to give up. New Year's resolutions that really stick are those you don't give up on, even when you have setbacks. When you feel like you've failed at keeping your resolutions, dust yourself off and start again. You've got this!

Five Home Exercise Programs That Rival Your SoulCycle Classes

Cycling Exercise Class

How have you been doing with your new at-home workout routine since your regular gym, cycling studio or yoga spot closed as a COVID-19 precaution? I know I've been missing both the camaraderie of my classes and the intensity of my SoulCycle routine. While it's hard to exactly match the vibe of boutique fitness at home, these are the five best ways I've found to feel the burn solo these past few months.

FLY LDN

The online outpost of this European wellness studio offers both live and on-demand fitness classes that fit your schedule. Take your pick of low-impact workouts like barre, pilates and yoga designed to build long, lean muscle, create strength and flexibility, and sculpt your shape. Feel the flow as you stream classes on your laptop, Android or iOS device and take advantage of the seven-day free trial to see if FLY LDN fits your lifestyle before you commit. You'll love the under-20 minute workouts if you need to squeeze in your sweat between Zoom meetings.

Peleton Bike

Peleton

You don't need a Peleton bicycle or treadmill to take advantage of offerings from the cult-favorite fitness company. The brand is currently offering a 30-day trial so you can get comfortable with its suite of exercise classes, including boot camp sessions, heart-pumping cardio, relaxing meditation and yoga, strength training, and so much more.

Sharp video quality and clear instructions make Peloton's videos easy even for beginners to follow. If you prefer to exercise outdoors, try the audio running courses on your next circuit around the neighborhood.


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Aaptiv

This app ranked as an iOS App of the Day, with a legion of fans pursuing the program's promise to provide "a new you in 30 days." You'll find one of the most diverse selections of streaming workouts around, with more than 30 new classes added each and every week in categories that include outdoor running, elliptical, strength training, yoga and more. Expert trainers have also developed special programs targeted to your fitness goals, such as the six-week Intro to Weight Loss course and workouts designed to prep you for your first 5K. Your free trial starts with a fitness evaluation so the app can adapt to your preferences, fitness needs and workout goals.

Woman Exercising at home

Body by Ciara

Fitness influencer Ciara London has gotten tons of ink in 2020. Her thousands of followers appreciate her incredible workout playlists, accessible attitude and motivating energy. With a membership to Body by Ciara, you can take part in live workouts with the London-based fitness instructor, view nutrition plans and connect with her online social media squad for the girl-power motivation you need to get going. You can even schedule one-on-one virtual personal fitness classes with London if you're seeking a true transformation. You'll see why this program has landed in the pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Harper's Bazaar over the past few months.

Workout Equipment

Nike Training Club

This app has become my go-to when I'm looking for workouts that require minimal equipment. What's more, there's no charge for the many streaming workouts offered through the Nike Training Club, with robust features such as tools that let you create a personalized workout program. You'll be floored by the array of world-class trainers who offer exercise, nutrition and wellness advice appropriate for sedentary newbies and seasoned athletes alike. In fact, this app has frequently received the coveted Editor's Choice award from the iOS app store.

No matter what your favorite type of exercise, you'll find an option that fits your lifestyle when you start with these five tried-and-true fitness apps. Grab your device and your favorite gym outfit to catch the spirit of SoulCycle without leaving your living room.

Essential Winter Skincare Tips

Woman in Parka

I love winter, but my face doesn’t. The dry, cold air does terrible things to my skin and makes me feel like I’m made out of crumbly crepe paper. Over the years, I’ve discovered that a lot of people feel the same way I do. If you’re one of them, I have some good news for you! Through trial and error, I’ve found out how to keep my skin as smooth and soft as possible, even when Jack Frost is wreaking havoc outside.

Here are some of my essential winter skincare tips I can no longer live without. Give them a try this year and see what a difference they make in the way your skin looks and feels.

Water

Drink More Than You Think You Need!

If I were limited to giving just one tip for beautiful winter skin, it would be to drink, drink, and drink some more! Your body needs a lot of hydration in the wintertime. The kicker is that humans tend to feel less thirsty during the cold months than at any other time of the year. That’s because you don’t spend your days actively sweating as you do in the summer. But don’t let that fool you! One of the number one causes of dry, papery winter skin is dehydration.

Your outer layer requires a lot of water to stay supple and smooth. If you notice that you tend to drink a lot less during the winter, make it a habit to bring a water bottle along with you wherever you go. Drink sips throughout the day and make sure you’re getting at least eight glasses full for optimal skin health.


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Applying cream

Add a More Nourishing Moisturizer

In addition to hydrating internally, you should also step up your moisturizer game in the colder months. Winter air outside and furnace-warmed air inside can quickly suck the moisture right out of your skin. To restore proper hydration, add a more substantial, nourishing moisturizer than you use in the summertime. Winter is the time for heavier, more substantial creams that can soak into your skin and provide the healing hydration it needs.

Bundle Up

Anytime you head outside on a cold winter day, you should cover up as much of your skin as possible. This includes wearing scarves, gloves, coats and hats. The longer you leave your skin exposed to the harsh elements, the more likely you are to experience inflammation, hyperpigmentation and the dreaded “cheek chap.” Covering your skin properly can help reduce those things.

Woman in the snow

Buy a Humidifier

Winter is the perfect time to invest in a humidifier. Set it up in your office, bedroom, or wherever you spend most of your time. The added moisture in the air can help keep your skin from drying out and can help soothe sore airways as well.

Wear Sunscreen

You may think sunscreen is not necessary in the winter because it’s not very hot outside. However, snow on the ground can actually reflect the sun’s rays up onto your face and increase your risk of exposure. That’s why it’s surprisingly easy to get sunburned when you’re out skiing or sledding. To protect your face, don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you go out to play in the snow.

Healthy meal

Eat Well

Your skin pulls essential nutrients from the foods you eat. If you’re eating mostly greasy, highly processed foods, you won’t be able to obtain the nutrients required to keep your skin vibrant and healthy.

During the winter and throughout the rest of the year, try to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and other healthy foods. You should also limit sugary and highly processed foods such as fast food, pastries and candy.

These simple skincare tips are refreshingly easy to follow. Give them a try this winter and take note of the results!

The Worst Sleep Positions for Your Health

Woman sleeping

First of all, let me say that I’m a fan of finding your own ideal sleep posture. I myself often wake up with one foot dangling off the side of the bed, wrinkles on my face and my hair totally messed up. Sleeping a different way just feels “weird” to me and makes it hard to fall asleep. If a certain position helps you wake up refreshed, I say go for it.

If you have certain health conditions, however, sleeping soundly is a little more tricky. People who have sleep apnea, back pain, acid reflux or tender joints may wake up in the morning feeling exhausted instead of rejuvenated. In this case, changing the way you sleep may help improve the quality of your nighttime slumber.

Bed

If You Have Sleep Apnea…

The worst sleeping position for sleep apnea is on lying your back. Sleeping on your back makes it harder for you to breathe consistently during the night because gravity tends to pull your airway shut. In fact, one study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that by sleeping in a different position, many sleep apnea patients experienced a 50% reduction in nighttime events. Get into the habit of sleeping on your side instead, even if you use a CPAP machine.


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Sleeping on your stomach

If You Have Back Pain…

The worst sleep position for back pain or neck pain is sleeping on your stomach. Whether you sleep like a starfish or a freefall expert, getting your z’s belly-down is hard on your back muscles. It moves the spine into an unbalanced position and forces your neck to turn sharply to one side.

The key to giving sore muscles a chance to heal is to sleep in a natural position that provides a lot of support. Sleeping on your back is great for soothing back pain because it distributes your weight evenly and gives your muscles much-needed rest. I know a few people that also swear by side postures with a pillow between the knees.

Sleeping on your side

If You Have Acid Reflux…

The worst sleep position for heartburn is sleeping on your right-hand side. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why, but going to sleep on your right side often makes the symptoms of heartburn worse. This can wake you up during the night constantly. If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), flip over to your left side instead.

Woman sleeping

If You Have Tender Joints or Nerves…

The worst sleep position for irritated joints is any posture that puts extra pressure on them. For example, if your knee hurts, putting your body’s weight on it can make the inflammation worse. For a painful knee joint, lay on your back with a soft pillow underneath it.

In other words, you have to pay attention to individual joints, not just the overall sleep position. If your shoulder aches, stretching it out is a bad idea. People who have shoulder pain should try to sleep with arms resting by the sides, not above the head.

Bed with cat on it

Great sleep and excellent health are closely connected, so it’s worth experimenting to find the best posture for you. When you enjoy a heavenly seven or eight hours of sleep a night, it helps your body repair itself. More sleep lets you wake up with more energy, less stress and less pain!