Super foods for Detoxification

Renowned health professional and author of ‘Healthy Healing’s Detoxification’ Linda Page aptly describes body detoxification as a ‘spring cleaning’ ritual to arouse the body from its sluggish state, and encourage a more active lifestyle. The food we consume, the water we drink, even the atmosphere around us is charged with toxins. Furthermore, over-the-counter hazardous chemicals…

Renowned health professional and author of ‘Healthy Healing’s Detoxification’ Linda Page aptly describes body detoxification as a ‘spring cleaning’ ritual to arouse the body from its sluggish state, and encourage a more active lifestyle.

The food we consume, the water we drink, even the atmosphere around us is charged with toxins. Furthermore, over-the-counter hazardous chemicals like bleach and various other cleaning solvents that are used worldwide emit gases, which when inhaled by humans are extremely harmful to the eyes, skin and even the respiratory tract. Moreover, bleach, when mixed with other cleaning solvents turns poisonous and leads to headaches, bleeding nose and other neurological disorders.

A 2014 study published in  the PLOS Computational Biology journal noted that environmental toxins in the body could harm the fetus and lead to autism and various other intellectual disability disorders. Some common symptoms of a toxic body may include sluggishness, bloating, fatigue, puffy eyes, mental incertitude and infections.

However, your body naturally eliminates toxins to avoid heath problems and this process is called – detoxification. Carried out mainly by the liver and the gall bladder, the process of detoxification is all about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. All in one, detoxification protects your body from a plethora of diseases and ultimately promotes your optimal health.

And all you need to do towards proper detoxification of your body is – dump detox super-foods into your diet. These foods will then assist your liver in eliminating the harmful toxins and flushing them out from your body, thus keeping it healthy and clean.

So, here is a list of detoxifying super-foods you can incorporate into your diets:

superfoods for detoxification

According to a 2007 study published in the Nutrition journal, beets contain betaine and polyphenols, compounds that increase the formation of glutathione (antioxidant) and superoxide dismutase (free-radical eliminating enzyme) in the liver. Both these substances support the detoxification system of the body.

Beetroot is a valuable source of essential minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and calcium, vitamins like A, B and C and fiber and folic acid, all of the essentials for optimal detoxification and elimination of waste.

The vitamins and minerals in beetroot further help in protecting the liver, cleansing the body and stabilizing the blood’s acid-alkaline balance (pH), which in turn leads to healthy detoxification.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, beta-carotene and vitamin A activate a chemical called PXR that in turn produces the biochemical responsible for eliminating toxins from our bodies. Beets also support the gall bladder and liver in breaking down toxins. Furthermore, the fiber content in beets attaches itself to any unwanted toxin in the body and flushes it out.

You can consume beetroot raw in a salad form or extract the juice out of it.

Here’s a quick side beetroot salad that you can try:

Beetroot Salad

  1. Wash, peel and chop 3 raw beetroots into long and thin slices.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan.
  3. Fry the chopped chunks of beet for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and serve.
  5. Garnish with 1 tablespoon of honey and grainy mustard each, mix together and enjoy!

Note: Beetroot is high in oxalates, so, do not consume beetroot if you have kidney stones or are prone to the trouble.

Garlic contains sulfur, a compound that attracts heavy metals (lead, mercury, aluminum) from the body, causing them to unfasten from soft tissues and cling to the sulfur instead. This helps in fighting harmful bacteria and yeast from the intestines, flushing them out at one go.

Garlic also aids the detoxification process by stimulating the production of glutathione, a compound that helps filter toxins from the digestive system.

Moreover, garlic is rich in vitamin C which further helps in boosting your immunity and ensuring optimal functioning of the liver.

A study published in the journal “Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology” in 2012 proved that garlic is as effective as D-penicillamine (drug used for eliminating heavy metals) and much safer than it, too. The research observed that garlic showed amazing results in reducing blood-lead concentration in the body.

How to Consume Raw Garlic for Maximum Health Benefit:

Chop, peel and consume 2 to 3 cloves of a medium sized garlic. Since raw garlic can be too pungent, mince some parsley with the garlic. In case the smell irritates you, eat some flavored yoghurt or cardamom to do away with the bad breath.

Note: Upon cooking, garlic loses some of its sulfur content, and therefore, is best when consumed raw.

Asparagus contains asparagines, an amino acid that acts as a natural diuretic to aid the passing of urine from the body.

Diuretic drugs cause excessive urination in the body thus flushing your system of metabolic wastes and toxins. Moreover, they aid in the elimination of too much sodium and electrolyte content in our body, the excess of which can lead to nausea, dizziness, diarrhea and blood pressure troubles.

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science concluded that asparagus helped in the protection of liver cells against toxic insults. Owing to its diuretic function, asparagus helps in maintaining the balance of water in organs and cells, purifies your blood, and rids your skin of excess cellulite, reducing eczema and acne.

Furthermore, asparagus contains glutathione, a carrier antioxidant that helps in deactivating liver toxins leading them out for elimination.

Here’s how you can consume the food:

Asparagus Juice:

  1. Grab 8 to 10 large asparagus spears, 1 medium cucumber, 2 celery ribs, 1 small lemon (peeled), 1 lime (peeled), 1 green apple (optional) and 1 cup of cilantro.
  2. Extract the juice of all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Drink and enjoy.

The recipe makes around 16 ounces of asparagus juice. Consume 1/4th glass of this juice daily.

Note: Those suffering from kidney inflammation must consult their doctor before consuming this drink as it can cause pain and irritation.   

Artichokes are an incredible source of various antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that make it a preferred choice of food for proper cleansing of your system.

Artichoke offers following benefits to the body:

  • They contain cynarine, a chemical that aids in the production of bile in the liver, thus accelerating the elimination process for the toxins. Artichokes also contain silymarin, a flavonoid that aids in the protection of liver cells and cell membranes.
  • Artichokes are rich in dietary fibers that attach themselves to the toxins and unused hormones in the body and carry these along out of the body.
  • They offer amazing protecting properties by obstructing the toxins from re-circulating between the liver and the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Artichokes are a rich source of vitamins C and K, antioxidants (caffeic acid, gallic acid, lutein, ferulic acid, tuin and beta carotene), minerals (manganese, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorous and copper) and folic acid.
  • Artichokes also help in protecting your system against liver toxicity (hepatotoxicity) and the detrimental effects of alcohol, processed foods and other pollutants.
  • They contain natural diuretic properties, that aid in digestion and help in lowering bad cholesterol from the body.

According to a 2014 study published in the Cancer Prevention journal, broccoli helped in decreasing the risk of airborne diseases in the body. 291 participants of China’s He-He Township, Qidong – a rural locality where air pollutants are in the excess, often leading to lung cancer and other chronic lung ailments, were put under a 12-week trial. The participants consumed a daily dose of a broccoli sprout drink. After 12 weeks, researchers noted that participants on the broccoli beverage reported significantly decreased levels of airborne toxins in the body.

Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, creates enzymes in the body that help in deactivating toxins from the liver. These enzymes then attach the toxins to carrier antioxidant for final elimination. The fiber obtained from broccoli absorbs the toxins transferred to intestines by the liver.

Furthermore, broccoli contains three nutrients – lucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin – that aid the liver’s detoxification process. It also contains a substance called suforaphane that is responsible for activating toxin-neutralizing enzymes during the process.

Broccoli can be enjoyed sautéed, steamed or boiled. You can also add the florets to your favorite salads and soups.

Here’s one way you can incorporate broccoli in your diet:

Broccoli Soup

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan.
  2. Sauté 1 chopped onion and 2 cloves of garlic (finely minced) until the onion turns translucent.
  3. Add 6 to 8 cups of vegetable stock (organic) and 2 pounds of chopped broccoli to the onions.
  4. Season with 1 teaspoon of grounded thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper (As per taste).
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, simmer and cover with a lid for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve hot fresh parsley. You can puree the soup if you like.

Apples are a rich source of pectin (soluble fiber) and cellulose (insoluble fiber) that serve incredible purpose in the detoxification process of your system. While pectin helps in preventing the buildup of plaque in blood vessels, cellulose, the insoluble fiber, adds bulk to the waste and assists the digestive system in quick movement of the waste through the intestinal tract.

According to a 2008 study published in the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine journal, apples are a great contributor towards reducing lead levels in your body. The study was conducted on children with significant amount of lead in their blood, and who had not been given any detoxification for the past three months. For a cycle of 28 days, the children were put on a dose of 15gm of citrus pectin, administered thrice daily. The final results of the study showed a considerable reduction of lead in the blood serum.

Apples are also a natural source of glucaric acid that helps fix progesterone deficiency (also called estrogen dominance) and destroys toxins received through artificial additives in food. Apples also contain phlorizidin (plant metabolites) that enhance the production of bile in the live. The increased production of bile in the liver leads to increased toxin-elimination through stool from the body.

Simply eat an apple every day, or add it to your muesli for some extra punch in your cereal:

Apple Cinnamon Detox Water

Detox water

Infused apple water with cinnamon.

  1. Take water in a jar.
  2. Add a few slices of apple in the water.
  3. Add 2 to 3 sticks of cinnamon.
  4. Keep aside for 2 hours and then drink.

Note: People suffering from chronic degenerative diseases such tuberculosis or cancer, nursing mothers, and children must consult a doctor before adopting any kind of rigorous detoxing regime.

Spinach, the green veggie is loaded with fibers and antioxidants that have an alkalizing effect on the body. This helps in fighting bad bacteria, yeast and in sucking up environmental toxins from the blood.

With its content of fibers and antioxidants, spinach stimulates the detoxification process of your system by speeding up the elimination of toxins from blood. Moreover, spinach contains phyto-nutrients that help in detoxification by supporting your liver function and preventing bacterial overgrowth in the gut microflora.

It is best to consume the vegetable in its raw state, as it loses its nutrients when cooked. It contains  a whopping 166 milligrams of glutathione per serving when eaten raw. Cook it and it’s all gone.

You can try a spinach salad or smoothie at home. Here’s one simple recipe for a spinach smoothie at home:

Spinach Smoothie

  1. Place 1 cup of spinach leaves in a blender.
  2. Add 1 or 2 ginger pieces, 1 cup of brewed and chilled green tea, coconut water, pineapple chunks and chopped green apple each.
  3. Add ½ cucumber, cut into pieces. In case of an organic cucumber, do not peel away the skin.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 6 to 8 fresh leaves of mint.
  5. Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy your smoothie.

Resources:

Nutrition: Liver-protecting effects of table beet (Beta vulgaris var. rubra) during ischemia-reperfusion.

Journal of Food Science: Effects of Asparagus officinalis extracts on liver cell toxicity and ethanol metabolism.

Cancer Prevention Research Journal: Rapid and Sustainable Detoxication of Airborne Pollutants by Broccoli Sprout Beverage: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial in China

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine: The role of modified citrus pectin as an effective chelator of lead in children hospitalized with toxic lead levels.

 

How to Curl Hair With a Straightener for Beginners

Straight hair has been a default style over the years. But lately, the decade-old trend of pin-straight hair has been ditched by curls. Curly hair has become a special and exotic hairstyle. You must have seen Blake Lively rocking her waves many times. Be it beachy waves, tight curls, or loose curls, curly hair just…

Straight hair has been a default style over the years. But lately, the decade-old trend of pin-straight hair has been ditched by curls. Curly hair has become a special and exotic hairstyle. You must have seen Blake Lively rocking her waves many times.

Be it beachy waves, tight curls, or loose curls, curly hair just add a finishing touch to your look, enhancing your beauty and making you stand out. Curls provide volume to your hair for a glamorous effect. Curly hair looks great for any occasion, and you can flaunt it anywhere you go.

curly hair
Learn how to curl hair with a straightener for beginners

It is said that “curly hair is special hair,” and anyone born with natural waves is far from ordinary. But not all of us are blessed with natural curls. Good thing you can still imitate this special look just by using some tools and products. Nowadays, it is so easy to glam up just by curling the hair. Gone are the days when you have to go to the salon for the much-coveted curls. Why spend so much money and waste your time when you can achieve gorgeous curls by yourself in just a few minutes?

Don’t have a curling rod? A hair straightener will do! Wait, what?

Yes! Let’s put your hair straightener into good use. We will teach you the ropes of curling your hair using a hair straightener. Here are two different methods that you should try.

Method 1: Braiding

Did you ever imagine of braiding your hair to get curls?

Step 1. Part your hair into different sections

part your hair into different sections
Take your hair in sections
  • Use a comb or a brush to remove any tangles from your hair.
  • Part your hair into different sections.

Step 2. Do the braiding

do the braiding
Make a braid
  • Take a section of your hair.
  • Make a braid leaving an inch at the ends.
  • Secure the braid with a rubber band.

Step 3. Run the straightener over the braided hair

run the straightener over the braided hair
Press the braid between the plates of the straightener
  • Heat the straightener to a temperature that suits your hair.
  • Run it over the braid, applying some pressure.
  • Keep doing it from the root of the braid to the end for a minute or two.

Step 4. Let the hair loose

let the hair loose
Unbraid the hair
  • Let the braid cool down.
  • Remove the rubber band and undo the braid.
  • Let the hair loose.

Repeat these steps to the other sections of your hair to get impressive crimped curls.

after
Crimped curls with a hair straightener

You may also braid all of the sections of your hair at once and then run the straightener over the braids one by one. This technique will save you time.

Crimped curls are a popular hairstyle in the seventies and have made a comeback, both on and off the runways. This undone yet glamorous hairdo makes you look effortlessly chic.

Method 2: Clamp and Turn

Clamp and turn is the most basic and popular method to curl your hair with a straightener.

Step 1. Part your hair into different sections

part your hair into different sections
Divide your hair into sections
  • Use a comb or a brush to remove any tangles from your hair.
  • Part your hair into different sections.

Step 2. Clamp your hair and turn

clamp your hair and turn
Clam and turn your hair
  • Heat the straightener to a temperature that suits your hair.
  • Take one section of hair and clamp the hair straightener around it.
  • Give it a half turn so that your hair is in a U-shape.
  • Hold the straightener in this position for a few seconds and slowly slide to the ends.

Repeat the above steps in small sections of hair to create soft beachy waves.

final
Beachy waves with a hair straightener

Beachy waves are an all-time favorite look. You can do it by yourself easily and quickly, and it is suitable for any occasion. Loose beachy waves are a game changer; it can spice up any casual or formal look in an instant. You can vary the length and size of the curls for a fresh new look every time you want to sport some waves.

Give you hair a quick tousle, and that’s it! Curling your hair has never been this easy!

Who would have thought that a hair straightener can also give us pretty curls? Give it a try and be ready to be awestruck.

No need to buy expensive curling rods! Straightener curls are easy to do, time-saving, and effortless. They are versatile and last all day!

Tips

  • Always use a heat protection product to protect your hair from the damage of thermal styling tools. These products will also offer a little hold and shine to the curls.
  • Make sure that there are no tangles before curling your hair for a neat finish.
  • Always remember to curl your hair at the right side clockwise and that of the left side counter clockwise to open up your face. You don’t want any hair covering your makeup, do you?
  • Thermal styling tools, such as a straightener or curling rod, can damage or burn your hair. Use a hair serum before curling your hair to prevent any damage and nourish your hair at the same time. Try these DIY natural hair serums.
  • Do not clamp your hair for too long to avoid burning your hair. Move or slide your clamp when working with hair sections; you can always repeat or go back to a certain area to achieve your desired result.
  • For beachy waves, you can vary the lengths of the curls. You can start curling at eye level or just a few inches from the tips of your hair. Either technique will give you a different look.
  • There are many more ways to curl your hair. Learn to curl your hair with and without heat.
  • You can create different hairstyles after curling your hair. Know these 15 simple hairstyles for curly hair that’ll never go out of style.

Do You Know What Happens When You Put a Piece of Onion in Your Ear

Onion is an age old remedy for different diseases. For years, it has been used in a variety of ways to fight germs, bacteria and infections. In fact, it has a special place in both Ayurveda as well as Chinese traditional medicine. To understand the importance of onion in traditional medicine, it is essential to…

Onion is an age old remedy for different diseases. For years, it has been used in a variety of ways to fight germs, bacteria and infections. In fact, it has a special place in both Ayurveda as well as Chinese traditional medicine.

To understand the importance of onion in traditional medicine, it is essential to know about onion in details.

Onion contains phosphoric acid which aids in purifying the blood and fighting infections. It is the phosphoric acid content that makes you cry when you cut onions open.

Also, being a natural anti-inflammatory, onion helps in reducing inflammation and pain.

However, it is not always necessary to consume onions in order to reap its benefits. You can apply onion to your skin topically, also known as trans-dermal application, to enjoy its benefits. The amazing internal effect of onion when it comes into contact with the body without ingesting it, has compelled people to use onion in many ways.

In fact, there is a tradition of putting a piece of onion in the ear and it has many benefits.

putting onion in your ear

When it comes to ear infection, you can give this onion remedy a try. The warm nature of the onion as well as its vapor helps to fight the ear infection. It keeps your ears healthy and reduces inflammation.

The phosphoric acid can help in softening the ear wax, thus making it easier to remove. It is also effective in dealing with ringing in your ear (known as tinnitus).

Plus, the flavonoid quercetin, which is highly concentrated in this bulbous vegetable, has certain anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in reducing ear pain.

How to put a piece of onion in the ear:

  1. Take an organic onion. Avoid non-organic ones as it may contain pesticides which can cause more harm than good.
  2. Wash properly and extract the middle part of the onion (also known as onion heart).
  3. Put this onion piece in the microwave to warm it gently.
  4. Place this warm onion heart in the opening of your ear before you go to sleep.
  5. Leave it on for a few hours, or even overnight to let the onion do its work. It will soften any built up ear wax and make it easier to remove.
  6. Remove the onion piece in the morning.
  7. Rinse your ears with water to remove any phosphoric acid or onion residue containing dead bacteria or earwax from the ear.

This age old self-healing trick also helps in effectively decreasing any inflammation in the ear that is causing you pain. Also, this trick is cheap, all natural, and can be done in the comfort of your own home.

However, there are certain drawbacks to this interesting trick. The pungent smell of onion is not very pleasant and usually not liked by everyone.

Tip: Besides using onion for your ear, you can also try placing a piece of onion in your socks before wearing it and leave it for 7 to 8 hours. It is a simple trick that can allegedly remove toxins from the body and can help fight colds, fevers, and flu-like symptoms.

15 Tips to Look Effortlessly Pretty in Photos

Do you fear being tagged in pictures on social media because you are unsure of how you look? Are you at a loss or are you too critical when it comes to posing for a picture? Let’s admit it. We all want to look camera ready and upload flattering pictures on social media. After all,…

Do you fear being tagged in pictures on social media because you are unsure of how you look? Are you at a loss or are you too critical when it comes to posing for a picture? Let’s admit it. We all want to look camera ready and upload flattering pictures on social media. After all, that is one of the purposes of having an Instagram or Facebook account, right? However, we are not supermodels; oftentimes, we are clueless about what to do and how to look picture perfect in front of the camera.

picture perfect
Important tips to look effortlessly pretty in photos

You cannot survive in this social media-obsessed world unless you know how to pose for a picture. Even if there is nothing wrong with the way you look, an unflattering picture can be a nightmare and can haunt you for days, making you feel miserable, unconfident, and insecure. Sadly, as far as how the online world works, you may even lose some friends. How many times have you not worn a particular outfit or done your hair in a particular way because you had a bad picture the last time you did?

What you should understand is that it takes more than just your looks to have that perfect picture. Aside from mastering your camera settings and other technical factors, you need to practice your best poses and know your good angles. Does that sound too complicated to you? Cheer up! Your “bad photo” days are numbered! We are here to help you look your best in front of the camera, whether you are taking a selfie or posing for a portrait.

Here are 15 tips to look effortlessly pretty in photos.

1. Adjust your face at an angle

face
Tilt your face slightly away from the camera

To get that perfect picture, you don’t always have to face your camera straight on and with a full face because it can make your face look wider or larger. In fact, the best pictures are taken at an angle. Turn your face slightly away from the camera, and avoid shots with your head straight. Positioning your face at an angle will show the depths and shadows along the cheekbones and the nose, making the colors more vivid. Know your best angles by moving your head slowly in different directions and choosing one that is comfortable and makes you look good.

2. Keep your chin down

Pointing your chin up looks unnatural in the pictures. Instead, extend your chin and tilt it down a bit, or bring your ears forward. This will define your jaw and help avoid a double chin.

3. Do not let your nose cross the edge of your face

nose
Don’t let your nose cut off your face

Position your face at an angle, but do not turn to the side too much in such a way that your nose crosses the edge of your face. You will look like you have disproportionate facial features. Always make sure that there is some space between the tip of your nose and the edge of your face.

4. Bring your tongue to use

This might sound weird, but your tongue can also help you look good in pictures. No, we are not asking you to stick your tongue out, okay? Relax! What you need to do is press your tongue on the roof of your mouth and smile. Doing this will elongate your neck, define your jawline, and also get rid of the dreaded double chin. This technique will also help you avoid getting jaw aches when you need to smile for a long time.

5. Keep your eyes sharp and appealing

eyes
Let your eyes speak to the camera

Open your eyes wide, bring energy into them, and engage with the camera. Don’t open them so much that you look like you’ve seen a ghost. You want a pretty picture, not a scary one! Also do not give a blank stare and avoid droopy eyelids, as you will look lifeless. For a side shot, do not look away from the camera; keep your glance at the lens. Relax your eyebrows. To avoid blinking in between shots, close your eyes for a few seconds and open them just before the shot will be taken.

6. Turn your shoulders

Twist and turn your shoulders slightly so that you are not standing straight and head-on with the camera, which can make you look bigger or broader. Turning slightly will give you a slimmer profile and a perfect picture.

7. Show your best smile

smile
Relax and smile naturally

Smiling for the camera might seem simple but can sometimes be tricky. To look genuinely happy in your picture, forget the camera and then smile naturally. Smiling too wide will tense up your face, squint your eyes, and puff out your cheeks, making you look silly. Just take a deep breath, relax your face, open your mouth slightly, and then smile.

8. Practice good posture

The way you stand in posing can make a huge difference in the way you look in the picture. Standing up straight will not only make you look taller in photos but will also give you an aura of strength and confidence, which is naturally alluring.

legs
Place your one foot behind the other

Whether you are standing or sitting, cross your legs starting at the calf and keep one foot behind the other. This will make your hips look narrower and your legs look longer.

10. Place your hands on your hips

You must have seen your favorite actress on the red carpet posing with her hands on her hips. In fact, this is a foolproof and the go-to pose of the stars. Wonder why? Putting your hands on your hips can accentuate your waist, making you look slimmer and taller. As this pose is easy to do and shows movement, it will help you look more natural.

11. Do not stand stiffly

relaxed
Relax and look natural in your photo

Relaxing your body while posing for pictures will help you look good. Standing stiffly is unnatural and will give an impression that you are trying too hard. Loosening up and having a little fun will make for a more flattering and natural picture.

12. Put on the perfect makeup

Your makeup should perfectly match your skin tone and style. Make sure your foundation looks like your second skin. Fill in your eyebrows, and do not forget the eyeliner and mascara to open up your eyes. Color the apple of your cheeks and your lips to add vividness to your picture.

13. Flaunt your hair

hair
Play up with your hair

Your hair is the first feature that everyone notices about you. Flaunt your shiny and healthy hair. Do not just let your hair sit on your shoulders. Experiment with different styles. You can let them fall behind your shoulders, gather them on one side, or tie them all up, however, you like.

14. Focus on your own self

Unless you are taking a choreographed photo, you do not have to follow what others are doing in a group picture. Just focus on your own self and stand comfortably without mimicking the people directly next to you. Everyone has a different body shape. The pose that may suit them might look bad on you.

15. Move towards the light

light
Let the light shine on your face

Sufficient light is important to look good in pictures. Aim the light to shine on your face and not on the side of your face. You can try putting the lighting behind, above, and in front of you to find the best placement. Make sure that the light does not put harsh shadows on your face. If you are taking pictures outdoors, one hour after and before sunset provides the best light and makes your skin glow.

Be comfortable and proud of who you are and how you look. Pose to flatter your body but not when it makes you uncomfortable, because what you feel in front of the camera will translate into the photos. If you follow these tips with confidence and smile genuinely, you’ll never be afraid of a random snap or worry about how you look in pictures ever again. Now, you are ready to pose and effortlessly look picture perfect. Are you ready for your next selfie? Feed goals, here we come!


How to Make your Own Natural First Aid Kit

First aid kits are essential in every house. They are necessary to treat any wounds or injuries that might occur at home or even outside, when you are traveling. You should always keep a first aid kit in your home as well as your car. Providing the right treatment immediately after an injury helps protect…

First aid kits are essential in every house. They are necessary to treat any wounds or injuries that might occur at home or even outside, when you are traveling.

You should always keep a first aid kit in your home as well as your car. Providing the right treatment immediately after an injury helps protect the wound against infections. If the wound is a result of an insect bite or poisoning, first aid can prevent infection from spreading to other parts of the body.

A first aid kit contains a variety of items to treat scraps, cuts, burns, sprains and other injuries. It also includes items to deal with common minor ailments.

You can buy a first aid kid from health stores or you can make your own natural first aid kit. These natural first aid kits are minimalistic with few multi – purpose natural remedies. It also generates lesser waste when compared to the store bought one.

natural first aid kit

Some of the must have items for your natural first aid kit, are:

1. Aloe Vera:

A great herb for the skin, aloe vera can be stored in a gel form for immediate use. It can be used for minor burns, rashes, insect bites, sun burns and inflammations.

Aloe vera has anti – inflammatory, anti – oxidant and anti – bacterial properties. These make it a great natural medicine to use in cases of insect bites and rashes.

Aloe vera also has soothing properties and can therefore be used to provide a cooling sensation on skin where it has minor burns and sun burns.

While you can use an aloe vera leaf directly on your skin, gel form of aloe vera or aloe vera tissue is easier to carry when traveling. You can buy both of them from herbal medicine stores or online stores.

2. Cayenne Pepper:

Cayenne pepper is good for your food cabinet as well your first aid kit. It aids in digestion, relieves migraines and works as an anti – irritant.

But the reason it belongs in your first aid box is due to its clotting ability. Make a paste of cayenne pepper and water and apply it on the wound. The wound will stop bleeding within 3 – 4 minutes.

Cayenne capsules should also be kept in handy. These can be used to prevent internal blood loss in case of an accident.

Use empty gel capsules to fill it with cayenne pepper and take it with you whenever you go traveling.

3. Arnica Cream / Gel / Balm:

Arnica is an anti – inflammatory, analgesic and anti – microbial herb that has been used to treat sore throats, inflamed joints, and swelling and bruising from injuries.

While arnica can be used orally (not swallowed) to treat gingivitis, sore throat and mouth ulcers, it should only be used externally in its gel form.

Arnica balm/gel/cream should be applied externally to relieve pain from injuries, swelling and bruising caused by accidents and for any sprains or trauma.

It should not be applied on open wounds or broken skin as it can cause irritation. There are also cases of arnica allergy, so make sure you are not allergic to it.

4. Chamomile:

Chamomile is an ancient medicinal herb that can be used in the form of salve, vapor or tea. It is known to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, astringent, and deodorant properties.

Chamomile tea can be used to relax your upset stomach and as a mild sedative to have a better sleep at night.

In tincture form, chamomile soothes irritated skin, inflamed gums and for various skin diseases like edema, psoriasis and diaper rash. It is also used to wash wounds to prevent bacterial activity.

You can keep chamomile tea bags at your home or carry them with you in a box when you travel. You can also store the tincture in a vial or small bottle for easier carrying.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide:

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic used on the skin to prevent infection from small cuts, scraps and minor wounds. It can also be used to rinse your mouth to relieve mouth irritation due to cold sores or gingivitis.

It can also be used to treat ear infections. Just put in few drops of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in each ear for about 15 minutes. Drain out the liquid on a tissue from one ear before repeating it for the other one.

If you are applying hydrogen peroxide on your skin, clean the area with water first. Then apply a small amount of the product on the affected area, 1 – 3 times daily.

When using as a mouth rinse, mix with an equal amount of water before using. Swish in the mouth over the affected area for at least 1 minute, and then spit out. Do it 4 times daily.

You can carry small bottles of hydrogen peroxide to use it anywhere needed.

6. Activated Charcoal:

Charcoal is made from coal, wood, or other substances. It becomes “activated charcoal” when high temperatures merge with a gas or activating agent to increase its surface area.

Activated charcoal is often used to treat food poisoning, intestinal problems, vomiting or ingestion of toxins. It is sometimes also used to treat hangover.

The activated charcoal is mixed with a liquid, preferably water and given either directly through the mouth or via tubes that go through the mouth and into the stomach.

Activated charcoal is also available in tablet or capsule forms to treat gas. This form is not used to treat a poisoning.

Keeping activated charcoal is handy if you have small children who can ingest a number of things, including toxins. It is also an easy method to treat food poisoning, especially when travelling.

But keep in mind that not all poisoning or toxins can be treated with activated charcoal. Always keep the number of the nearest poisoning center with you and rush to the emergency room.

7. Eucalyptus Oil:

Eucalyptus oil is a well known natural remedy for a variety of illnesses and medical issues. And it’s not surprising as eucalyptus oil has anti – inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti – septic and decongestant properties, making it a must have for your natural first aid kit.

Eucalyptus salve or ointment can be applied on wounds to prevent bacterial infection on the area. Diluted form of eucalyptus oil can be taken orally to treat cough, asthma attacks, sinus pain and respiratory infections.

Eucalyptus essential oil is affective against mouth cavities and can be used to rinse your mouth. It can also be applied on your joints and muscles to ease pain.

Eucalyptus oil is available in easy to carry vials, either online or in herbal medicine stores. You can also use ointments containing eucalyptus or a salve made from it.

8. Probiotics:

If you are traveling to a tropical area, to a country that has issues with clean water or if you just have generally weak stomach that does not tolerate experiments with food, you should have a bottle of probiotic supplements at hand.

Using a high quality probiotic supplement is an effective remedy to deal with traveler’s diarrhea. If you have constant loose motions, taking in probiotic supplements will subside the problem within a few hours.

Read the instructions on the box or consult with a doctor to check what dosage you should be taking. Usually 1/8th of a bottle is taken every hour till the motions stop.

9. Raw Honey:

Always keep raw honey in your house as it has a lot of health as well as medicinal benefits. If you are traveling, carry a small vial with raw honey in it. Or you can buy a small raw honey bottle if space is not a constraint to you.

Raw honey was used in the world war to apply on soldier’s wounds to prevent them from getting infected. It was also used to stick the skin together in an open skin injury.

While you do not have to go to such extremes as we have doctors available all the time, it gives you an idea as to how beneficial it is to always have honey with you.

You can apply it on minor cuts and bruises, scrapes, and even burns. The vitamins, sugars, minerals and enzymes present in it help disinfect and repair damages skin tissue.

Just clean the area with water and soap, preferably with warm water if it is available. Apply a little honey on the absorptive pad and cover it with bandage.

Raw honey can also be used to treat cough and sore throat.

10. Thyme Oil:

Thyme as well as thyme oil has amazing benefits for your health and skin. It has antiseptic, anti – fungal and anti – inflammatory properties that make it a must for every natural first aid kit.

You can use thyme oil to treat burns, itching, ringworms, eczema, psoriasis and parasitic skin infections. A mixture of thyme and honey can be applied on the wound to prevent infections from developing in that part of the skin.

Thyme oil is also an efficient method to keep the insects and mosquitoes away. You can burn thyme leaves in campfire or apply thyme oil to your skin. To make the thyme oil brew, mix 4 drops of thyme oil to every teaspoon of base oil like olive oil. Now apply this mixture on your skin to keep the mosquitoes and insects away from your body.

Some other items that you should keep in your first aid kit are:

  • Bandages
  • Superglue
  • Gauze
  • Scissors
  • Water bottle
  • Safety pins
  • Tweezers

It is a good idea to buy a portable container with sections to keep the different items you would need for your first aid kit. A box that is easy to carry will come in handy when you are traveling.

Resources:

WebMD: Activated Charcoal Uses and Risks

10 Children’s Health Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Bruises, rashes, cuts, coughs and cold are part of every kid’s childhood. You probably had your share when you were younger and now your children come home every day with a new cut or bruise. It is natural to feel anxious about your child’s health when he or she gets cold or worry about their…

Bruises, rashes, cuts, coughs and cold are part of every kid’s childhood. You probably had your share when you were younger and now your children come home every day with a new cut or bruise.

It is natural to feel anxious about your child’s health when he or she gets cold or worry about their safety when they get yet another bruise whilst playing.

The large majority of issues like cough, sore throat or slight difficulty in breathing is usually just symptoms of common cold and will eventually get better.

Even a lot of cuts that your kid might get while playing are usually harmless. Skin rashes or abrasions are not anything serious as they could just be due to scratches.

But that is not to say that kids don’t do dangerous stuff. Sometimes, they may seriously hurt their head or maybe their immune system is unable to fight off a cold virus, leading to prolonged and serious illness.

So how do you decide when is the time to rush to the ER is and when is it alright to just use some home remedies to take care of your child? Well, if you observe any of the 10 signs mentioned below, you should not ignore them and get them immediate medical attention.

children's health symptoms

1. High Fever

Fever is natural phenomenon that occurs when the body is fighting off infection. If a child has a fever, it means that his immune system is working.

You can give your child medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to treat fever, but only if they are at least 6 months old. Pediatricians don’t recommend giving these medications unless the temperature crosses 101 F.

Mostly high fever, defined as 104 F, does not warrant a trip to the ER. You can visit the doctor the next day. And if they are eating and drinking normally, you can just counsel your doctor over the phone. In such cases, what kids usually require is sufficient rest.

However, if your child has extremely high fever – like this is the sickest he has been- and feels week and unable to move, it is time to get medical attention.

If your child is 2 years or older, a doctor is recommended, if he has a fever of 104 degrees F or higher; if he looks unwell, or if he has had a persistent fever for four or more days in a row. A child younger than 2 years should be seen by a doctor within 48 hours of a fever.

2. Persistent Headaches

Headaches in children can be tricky business because young children might be unable to express how bad the pain is and for how long have they had it. Sometimes, children might not even realize they are having a headache.

Usually over-the-counter pain medications are effective in dealing with minor headaches. Coupled with a sleep or rest for a few hours, the headache should go away.

However, if the headache persists for hours, despite giving medication and rest or if the pain is so intense that the child is unable to get up, play, eat or watch television; get in touch with your doctor.

Also, if the pain is causing neurological problems like the child is unable to open their eyes, their vision is blurred, they are confused, the child is having trouble walking or if the headache is accompanied with fever, rush to the emergency room to rule out meningitis or any other neurological issue.

3. Abdominal Pain

Stomachaches are routine for some kids, especially as they work through new diets, try new foods, or have the occasional junk food overload.

But if the stomach pain persists over time and gets progressively worse, it can get serious. If your child complains of dull pain centered on the navel, which progresses to a sharp pain in the lower right side of the abdomen, it can be a sign of appendicitis.

Other signs of appendicitis include:

  • Abdominal pain in the lower right side
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach tenderness when touched.

If your child complains of stomach pains that gets worse and is accompanied by any of the above mentioned symptoms, you should rush to ER.

4. Lack of Response to Loud Sounds

Babies cannot express it if they are not able to hear properly. But by observing their reaction you can evaluate if their hearing is impaired.

If you notice that your child isn’t bothered by or doesn’t respond to loud sounds, make an appointment with your pediatrician to check for hearing problems.

You should also do your bit to prevent hearing loss in children. According to Centre for Disease Control (CDC) about 12.5 percent of children ages 6 to 19 have permanent hearing damage due to exposure to loud noise.

To bring down these numbers, limit the amount of time your children are allowed to spend in front of television, playing video games, doing computer or listening to music, especially via headphones.

Ensure that they keep the volume at safe levels and use noise cancelling headphones that rest over your ear. Headphones that rest over your ears instead of inside your ears are considered better for protecting your hearing.

The noise-cancelling models have memory foam on the ear cushions so as you wear them, the headphones become more fitted to your head, which reduces ambient noise and shifting.

5. Stomach Bugs

If your child has food poisoning or any other stomach bug, like gastroenteritis, observe how often, and sometimes what, they are vomiting or excreting in loose motions.

Vomiting more than 4 times during a single afternoon or 8 bouts of diarrhea can cause mild dehydration. Talk to your doctor for recommended electrolyte solution to replace the loss of fluid in your child’s body.

Monitor their dehydration levels as it can sometimes lead to emergency. In case your child is unable to retain any liquid given, he will need prescription medicine and/or some IV fluids to stop the loss.

During loose motions, if your child is excreting blood along with the stools or if the diarrhea is accompanied with severe abdominal pain, you should head to the ER.

When your child vomits, check to see if the vomit looks like coffee grounds or if it is accompanied with abdominal pain.

If any of the above symptoms persist, get medical attention as soon as possible.

6. Breathing Troubles

Children, especially babies and infants, can often suffer from breathing problems. These problems include shortness of breath, wheezing, breathing fast etc.

These problems could be due to common causes like nasal or chest congestion, cold, cough or dryness in the air. These can be easily rectified at home and often do not need a visit to the doctor.

But on some occasions, breathing issues could be deadly. If you notice that your child’s breathing is getting worse when lies down or they are unable to make a sound due to lack of breathing, then you should take them to the ER.

Other signs that indicate that breathing problems are serious include your child’s lips/nails/skin turning blue; continuous severs cough and persistent wheezing sounds.

In such situations, it is wise to get immediate medical attention.

7. Widespread Rash

Children often get rashes on their arms and feet, since they spend so much time playing outside. These rashes could be due to scratches or reactions from virus or allergy.

If you touch the red rash and it blanches or turns white, then you let go and it turns red again, you usually don’t have to worry about it. These rashes are generally harmless and appear in one part of the body.

However, if you notice rashes that are covering the child’s entire body, you might need to consult with the doctor. If rashes don’t change color and are accompanied by fever, it could indicate a medical emergency.

Also, if you notice hives on the skin, accompanied with lip or facial swelling, take your child to the doctor. If he or she also has labored breathing or has difficulty breathing along with the above mentioned symptoms, call emergency services as this could an anaphylactic reaction.

8. Extreme Thirst

It is normal for children to drink glasses of water after they’ve spent the whole the day playing. In fact, it is a positive sign that your child’s body is adequately hydrated.

But if you notice that your child is drinking loads of water despite minimal or no physical activity at all, there might be something wrong with them.

If your child has insatiable thirst and no amount of drinking water seems to quench it, then you might need to get it checked.

Persistent extreme thirst could be a sign of type 1 diabetes. This is usually the case if extreme thirst is also accompanied with increased urination, extreme hunger, weight loss and fatigue.

Consult with your doctor and get tests done to check if your child has type 1 diabetes.

9. Low Urination and Fatigue

Different individuals have different levels of healthy urine output but on average, a child aged between 6 – 12 years old should go at least seven or eight times a day. Of course, a lot of factors affect this; your kid’s diet, level of activity, amount of water drunk and their overall body functions.

The same way, children also have different levels of energy. And it is absolutely normal to feel tired after playing or laze around on a weekend.

But if you notice that your child has been feeling tired for a few days continuously or doesn’t seem to have the energy that they usually do, it might be of concern.

It is also true for decreased urination. While it is okay for a day or two, persistently low urination can be a sign of a medical problem.

Low urination and chronic fatigue when accompanied with dry skin and lips, dizziness, excessive vomiting and diarrhea is a sign of dehydration.

Dehydration means that your child’s body has lost excessive amount of fluid and is unable to function properly. It requires urgent medical attention so you should seek help without a moment’s delay.

10. Stiff Neck

While stiff neck is a well known sign of meningitis, your child having a stiff neck does not necessarily mean that they have it.

A stiff neck means your child can’t touch the chin to the chest. To test for a stiff neck, lay your child down. Then lift his head until the chin touches the chest. If he fights you, place a toy or coin on the belly. This makes him have to look down to see it. Older children can simply be asked to look at their belly button

It is most often caused by improper positions during sleep. People are not conscious of their body positions while sleeping and may sometimes turn and twist their neck in a way that makes it stiff.

Even if a stiff neck is accompanied by fever, it could easily be a sign of tonsil inflammation or swollen nymph lode. Do not immediately jump to meningitis.

For meningitis, there are a number of symptoms that occur along with stiff neck; this includes fever, light sensitivity, headaches, vomiting and lethargy. If your child displays two or more symptoms at a time, then you should immediately get medical attention.

It is natural for parents to be over – protective of their children and feel anxious about their well being. But a lot times, things are not really that bad.

If however, your gut or instinct tells you that something is not right and that your child needs immediate medical attention, always listen to it and rush to the hospital. Often times, parent’s gut instinct about their children are correct and can prevent children from anything serious.

How to Make Schezwan Sauce (Step-by-Step Recipe with Pictures)

Schezwan (Sichuan or Szechuan) is a popular Chinese cuisine, originally from the Sichuan province of southwestern China. It is known for its bold, pungent and spicy flavors, due to all the chili peppers, ginger, and garlic in it. Schezwan sauce, however, is a fusion Indo Chinese recipe. A combination of red chilies, ginger, garlic and…

Schezwan (Sichuan or Szechuan) is a popular Chinese cuisine, originally from the Sichuan province of southwestern China. It is known for its bold, pungent and spicy flavors, due to all the chili peppers, ginger, and garlic in it.

Schezwan sauce, however, is a fusion Indo Chinese recipe. A combination of red chilies, ginger, garlic and various other flavorful ingredients, this dip is really spicy with a hint of sweetness.

schezwan sauce recipe
Make Schezwan sauce at home with this step-by-step guide

The sauce is mainly served with starters and appetizers, such as dumplings, wontons, nuggets, cutlets, fries, and tacos. With its tantalizing aroma and attractive red color, this condiment has become quite popular among those who love spicy food.

It is also used as an ingredient in Schezwan recipes, such as Schezwan noodles, rice, soups and more. But the uses of this versatile sauce do not end here.

If you like to experiment with different ingredients and come up with new recipes, then Schezwan sauce is just the thing for you. It can be used to bring a tasty twist to even the most boring and bland food preparations.

Looking for new and innovative ways to cook vegetables? Prepare stir-fried vegetables by tossing in a spoonful of Schezwan sauce with the chopped veggies. Schezwan dry mushroom is another popular appetizer you can make with the help of this ingredient.

Schezwan sauce is easy to find in stores. However, commercial food products often contain preservatives that are not good for your health. So why invest in a potentially unhealthy store-bought product when you can easily prepare this amazing dip at home in less than an hour?

You don’t have to be an expert cook to master this recipe. Just a few simple steps and your Schezwan sauce will be ready in no time. If stored properly, this dip has a pretty impressive shelf life.

Steps to Make Schezwan Sauce

Here we bring you the easiest steps to make Schezwan sauce recipe at home.

Things you’ll need:

things need
Gather the ingredients to make Schezwan sauce at home
  • Vegetable oil – ¼ cup
  • Garlic (finely chopped) – 15 cloves
  • Ginger (finely chopped) – 1½-inch piece
  • Onions (chopped) – ½ cup
  • Sichuan pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Whole red chilies –15 to 20
  • Soy sauce – 1 teaspoon
  • Vinegar – 1 teaspoon
  • Water – as needed
  • Tomato puree – ¼ cup
  • Sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – to taste

Note: The number of red chilies used depends on how hot and spicy you want your sauce to be and the variety of chilies you are using. You can alter the recipe as per your taste by using more tomato puree (about ½ cup) to balance the taste.

Step 1. Grind the soaked chilies into a paste

soak and grind red chillies
Soak red chilies before grinding
  • Put 15 to 20 whole red chilies in a bowl and fill it up with water.
  • Cover the bowl and let the chilies soak for about 30 minutes.
  • Strain out the water from the red chilies.
  • Put them in a grinder to make a paste. You may add a little water if needed.

Step 2. Heat vegetable oil in a pan and sauté fresh ginger, garlic, and onion

heat oil to make schezwan sauce
Saute the chopped ingredients in a pan over medium heat
  • Begin by placing the pan on high heat and gradually bring it down to medium.
  • Heat up ¼ cup of vegetable oil in the pan.
  • Add 15 finely chopped garlic cloves to the oil.
  • Now, add finely chopped ginger from a 1½-inch piece of ginger root.
  • Sauté the ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes or until the raw smell goes away.
  • Add ½ cup chopped onion to the ginger and garlic in the pan.
  • Sauté it again for a few minutes.

Step 3. Add the remaining ingredients

add other ingredients
Put in salt, sugar, tomato puree and chili paste
  • Now, add salt as per your taste preference, and sauté until the onion turns brown.
  • Add in 1 tablespoon of sugar to it too.
  • Put in ¼ cup of tomato puree and cook the mixture for about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Next, add the chili paste (from Step 1) to the mix.
  • Add water, if needed.
  • Keep stirring the mixture to prevent it from sticking to the pan.

 Step 4. Mix in the rest of the items & let it simmer briefly

mix in the remainng ingredients
Combine the remaining ingredients to make the schezwan sauce
  • Add 1 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder to the other ingredients.
  • Also, add 1 teaspoon each of soy sauce and vinegar.
  • Mix the ingredients.
  • Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture begins to leave oil.

Allow the sauce to cool down and serve it

schezwan sauce
Enjoy your Schezwan sauce with your favorite snacks
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
  • Transfer the sauce toa condiment or dip bowl and serve it with snacks.

Put any remaining sauce in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for 2 to 3 weeks.

Tips

  • You can boil the red chilies in hot water for about 10 minutes instead of soaking them in water.
  • Adding too much soy sauce will darken the color of the Schezwan sauce. Use it sparingly.
  • Add more sugar if you don’t want that pungent flavor in your sauce.
  • Another way to ensure that your sauce has a smooth, lump-free texture is to grind together the chilies, ginger, garlic, and onions to form a paste before adding them to the oil.
  • Make sure you remove the stems of the red chilies before grinding them.
  • If you do not want your sauce to be too spicy, remove the seeds from the dried chilies before putting them in the grinder.
  • Choosing a less spicy variety of red chilies will also help ensure the sauce isn’t too spicy.
  • You may also add 1 tablespoon of ground celery to the recipe.
  • If you are unable to find Sichuan peppers, use black peppercorns instead as per your taste and requirement
  • You may use shallots or spring onions instead of regular onions.
  • Use a sufficient amount of oil in the recipe. It acts as a preservative when the sauce is stored for a long time.
  • Love barbeque? Then you are going to love these homemade barbeque sauce recipes.
  • Here are two easy-to-follow mustard sauce recipes you should try.
  • Check out our amazing creamy pumpkin dip recipe that goes perfectly with crackers, cookies or bread.

10 Food Items You Should Never Combine

It is extremely rare for people to think if two food items will go together or not, mostly because a lot of you, understandably, are not competing in MasterChef. You likely have a number of fixed dishes that you eat, with no experiments. Even when trying something new, you usually try it in a restaurant…

It is extremely rare for people to think if two food items will go together or not, mostly because a lot of you, understandably, are not competing in MasterChef. You likely have a number of fixed dishes that you eat, with no experiments.

Even when trying something new, you usually try it in a restaurant or diner, where they have a pre – combined food items and you just order whichever combination seems most palatable to you.

But what if, the already fixed dishes that you eat everyday are actually bad food combinations? You see, much like with humans, for 2 food items to work together, they should share a good chemistry.

Sometimes, when you mix two or more food together, you might actually be creating a combination that does nothing for your body, or worse, harm it. Enzymes present in one food might cancel the benefits the other food was likely to provide on its own.

To stop you from making unhealthy combinations, we have a list of food items you should never combine.

foods you should never combine

1. Liquids with Meals

Drinking liquids right after your meal or during it, including tea, juice, alcohol or even water, can dilute the enzymes your body needs to digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

It can also cool down your stomach, reducing the efficiency of digestive process and letting fat get stored in the body.

An ideal time to drink water is at least 15 minutes before you have your meal, and half an hour after you are done eating.

Drinking water 15 minutes before meal times is actually beneficial since it fills you up and makes you eat less than you would usually eat. Drinking hot tea 30 minutes after the meal is also good as the heat helps break down fats even more.

2. Alcohol and Caffeine

Mixing alcohol and caffeine is a big no. Drinking wine after dinner is a routine for many. But sometimes, after drinking wine with dinner, people might opt for a post meal cappuccino which is a bad idea.

Caffeine in the coffee provides you with a boost of energy that can mask your intoxication. This can lead you to underestimate exactly how drunk you are. This can cause accidents like drunk driving.

The same rule applies to directly mixing caffeine and booze or even caffeine and sports/energy drinks.

3. Fruits During or After Meal

You might love having some peppy mango salsa with fish or apple pie for your dessert but eating fruits during or right after the meal is bad for you.

The reason is that fruits pass through the stomach quickly, digesting in the intestines. Meals, on the other hand, are complex and take relatively longer to digest.

When you combine fruits with food like wheat or grain, fruits stay in your stomach for longer periods of time and start to ferment because they behave like sugar.

Instead, fruits should be eaten 30 – 60 minutes before you have your meal. When fruit is eaten alone on an empty stomach before a meal, it prepares the digestive tract for what’s to come. Water rinses and hydrates the tract, fiber sweeps and cleanses it, and enzymes activate the chemical process of digestion. That’s why; eating fruit first makes the digestive tract more capable of absorbing nutrition.

4. Lentils and Red Wine

Red wines contain a compound called tannins. When this compound gets mixed with plant based sources of iron, such as lentils and soybeans, the body is unable to absorb iron properly.

This is particularly problematic for vegans as plant based iron is anyway difficult to absorb. When you add tannins to the mix, you pretty much rule out any chances of providing your body iron.

5. Bacon and Eggs

Eating together two protein rich food can exhaust your digestive system. Concentrated proteins are hard to break down, which exhausts the digestive system and depletes energy.

The same goes for nuts and yogurt or fish and chicken.

Instead of adding meat to your breakfast omelet, add veggies to it. Keep meat dishes for the last meal of the day. Your first meal should not be heavy, it should be light vegetables or protein based.

The best time to eat meat is the last course of supper as digestive enzymes are at their peak. Don’t wait for more than 10 minutes between courses as the enzymes can start to shut off.

6. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Well, basically all protein – starch combinations should be avoided. This includes lasagna, turkey sandwich, meat and potatoes and chicken and pasta.

Proteins and starch need different digestive enzymes and levels of acidity to be digested. When you eat them together, your body processes protein but not starch.

The different digestive juices also nullify each other’s effectiveness leading to lots of flatulence, bloating and gas.

Instead, you can mix protein or starch with non – starchy vegetables. If combining protein and starch is unavoidable, add leafy green vegetables to minimize the negative effect.

7. Tomato and Cheese Pasta Sauce

You probably cannot imagine pasta without tomatoes, cheese sauce or meat. But this combination wrecks havoc on your system.

Tomatoes are acidic and should not be mixed with starchy carbs such as pasta. Food combining theory does not recommend mixing carbohydrates with acid. Tomato has acids that weaken the enzymes in pasta and curdles the dairy in cheese.

This combination is also very difficult for your body to digest; leading to post meal fatigue due to the amount of energy the body has to use to digest the food.

Instead, have a pasta with pesto sauce and grilled vegetables to avoid exhausting your body after the meal.

8. Burgers and Beers

Yeah, they seem like a match made in heaven, but the combination is actually from health hell. Burgers and beers is not just extremely unhealthy, it is also kind of gross.

Burgers contain fats while beer is alcoholic. Both of these substances are broken down by your liver.

When you take them in together, your body prioritizes breaking down beer since it recognizes alcohol as a toxin. This leaves fat floating around in your blood steam (Eww! Gross!) where it can be stored in the fat tissue.

It might also make you feel stuffed till your mouth as fat causes food to digest slowly. This is why, food with high fat content can make you feel bloated long after you’ve eaten it.

9. Meat Fried in Vegetable Oil

This is basically fats combined with the wrong sort of food. It includes olives with bread or tuna with mayonnaise.

The reason this is a bad combination is because fats require bile salts from the lives and gall bladder to break down. When you mix fats with other digestive chemicals, it can cause distress to the body. For example, eating foods with high fat content combined with foods with sufficient proteins can slow the digestive process.

Instead, you can use small amounts of unrefined and organic fats like olive or coconut oil to cook vegetables, grains and proteins. Protein fats like avocados, seeds, and nuts should be combined only with non-starchy vegetables. It is also recommended to include a raw leafy green vegetable when eating fats.

10. Milk and Cereal / Oatmeal with Orange Juice

In short, your everyday breakfast is a terrible food combination. This staple breakfast food is bad for you since milk and cereal, both contain fast digesting carbohydrates. This can put your body under stress and cause your blood sugar to spike. When the blood sugar comes back to normal, you will feel tired and crave junk food.

Drinking orange juice along with your cereal or oatmeal is also bad as orange juice contains acid that destroys the enzyme responsible for digesting starches present in the cereal or oatmeal. It can also curdle milk and turn it into heavy, mucus like substance.

A healthier breakfast option would be to drink orange juice 30 minutes before you have your oatmeal.

How To Look Luxurious Without Spending Much

Being rich is not just about being wealthy; it also means an abundance of elegance and exquisiteness. There are many perks of having a lot of money (or looking like one who has!). When your appearance is oozing with richness, class, and power, you get respect, attention, and special treatment. You don’t need to have…

Being rich is not just about being wealthy; it also means an abundance of elegance and exquisiteness. There are many perks of having a lot of money (or looking like one who has!). When your appearance is oozing with richness, class, and power, you get respect, attention, and special treatment.

You don’t need to have a fat bank account to look like a millionaire because money alone cannot guarantee that you will look rich and expensive. You can dress up in a way that conveys elegance and class, whether to impress someone or blend in at a high-class party, without robbing a bank or selling your kidney! You know why? Because an expensive look doesn’t have to be expensive. Yes, you read that right! All you need for looking upmarket is a sense of style that speaks for itself and stands out.

rich intro
Some tips on how you can look luxurious without spending much

To get that luxe appeal, shopping smart is the key. You do not even have to wait for a mega sale or buy discounted items. You can be low on budget but still, create timeless outfits. There are just a few elements that you need to apply to your dressing style to achieve that sophisticated look.

Here is a guide to look luxurious without spending much.

1. Choose a simple color palette

color
One of the secrets to looking classy is going for solid colors

The color of your clothes decides your overall look. Black, white, grey, and nudes and other soft and simple colors create a minimalistic but rich look. Wear solid colors instead of prints. Monochromes with only small color accents will give your outfit a hint of luxury. You may experiment with colors inspired by precious stones, such as ruby and emerald, once in a while.

2. Invest in the right clothes

You need the right outfits to make you look rich, but that does not mean you should spend all your allowance on buying clothes or that you should own every clothing item that is on trend. Instead of buying multiple cheap clothes, invest in one or two classic pieces at a time. Good clothes can be worn several times on several occasions without being outdated.

3. Go for natural and minimal makeup

makeup
Too much makeup looks highly unattractive

Your makeup can make a huge difference in the way you look. Go for a simple and minimalistic makeup to highlight your natural beauty and achieve that elegant finished look. Apply foundation that matches your skin tone, paint your cheeks and lips a rosy color, and perk up your eyes with mascara. Do your hair right and paint your nails in nudes.

4. Check the fabric before you buy

It is only the good-quality fabric that will give you a rich and classy look. While on your shopping spree, check the label to know the material. Choose linen, silk, or cotton over synthetic fabrics. Natural fibers feel good on the skin, last long, and are always trendy.

5. Put on red lipstick

lipstick
Go for a red lipstick with neutral makeup

You can add on a striking feature to your look by putting on red lipstick. To carry it in style, you must know which shade of red suits you the best. Red lipstick goes perfectly with neutral makeup. Red gives you a sense of power and confidence that every successful woman projects.

6. Wear clothes that fit you well

It is all about the fit. An expensive but ill-fitted dress will look cheap. Likewise, an affordable dress that fits you like a glove will appear like you had it custom made. Hence, always make sure that your clothes fit you perfectly. Never be lazy about it. If you have sloppy clothes lying around, take them to your local tailor and get them altered to your size.

7. Smell good to look good

fragrance
The right fragrance will add to your luxurious look

A luxe fragrance will add to the richness of your look. Find a perfume or scent that represents your style and personality. Apply it on the major points of your body, including your wrists, elbows, and back of your neck. Do not mix too many fragrances. Apply an unscented moisturizer before applying the perfume for a long-lasting scent.

8. Go for dainty jewelry

Wear some dainty yet stunning jewelry. Delicate jewelry, even the inexpensive ones, when styled thoughtfully can uplift the look of your outfit and give you elegance. Buy jewelry in heavy metal and dark colors or with clear crystals. Sometimes, your favorite metal or leather watch is all you need to rock a classic look.

9. Step out in the right shoes

shoes
The right shoes will not only elevate your posture but will also work magic on your appeal

We know how much you love your flats for the comfort they bring to your feet. However, they can ruin an amazing outfit and make you look a little shabby. Height is often associated with authority and class. So for a rich and expensive look, put on some good heels, whether peep toes or pointed-toe stilettos. Find one that you are comfortable wearing and walk in it with confidence.

10. Pay attention to the minor details

To really look rich, you have to be consistent with your style, paying attention to every minute detail. There is a loose thread? Give it a snip. Use a razor to shave off the pills on your sweater. Never wear clothes with a stain, hole, or missing button.

11. Spend on leather jackets and blazers

leather jacket
A leather jacket can be paired with almost anything, and it never goes out of style

Putting on a leather jacket or tailored blazer can upgrade a basic look. Look for high-quality leather, raw denim, or suedes that will last forever and will never go out of style. Collect a few good pieces to match your different outfits.

12. Save on a designer dupe

When you know that you cannot afford the original designer piece, there is no harm in buying a legal dupe. If you style it right, a designer dupe can give a luxurious touch to your outfit without spending a fortune.

13. Carry a structured handbag

handbag
Invest in a neutral colored handbag that can be paired up with almost any dress

Save up and invest in sturdy and structured bags. A quality handbag with a classic design is worth the investment. Pick one in a neutral color to complement most of your outfits and suit several occasions. Simple and elegant clutches are best for parties and formal events. Make sure that your handbag is minimalistic; avoid those that have heavy metals, bulky accessories, or evident logos.

14. Keep your clothes clean and crisp

Creases can be a downer and spoil your otherwise elegant look. Even if you are wearing a cheap store-bought dress, it can make you look neat and classy if it is wrinkle-free. Make sure you iron or steam your clothes before you put them on.

15. Spend on some designer accessories

accessory
A hat, scarf or belt can immediately elevate your style

Accessories can give even a simple and inexpensive outfit a striking appeal. As these are small items, they are not as expensive as designer shoes, clothes, and bags, so you can definitely allocate a budget for these. One designer scarf, hat, or belt is enough to elevate your look. Choose accessories with small prints or in basic colors so that you can wear them with more than one outfit.

16. Do not ignore your skin

You’ll need clear and healthy skin to look rich. It is important that you treat your skin well and follow a regular grooming session. A well-hydrated and glowing skin means you have enough budget for skin care, even if you are just using natural home-made products. Never go out with flaky skin or chapped lips. Keep your nails buffed and your teeth pearly white.

17. Put on sunglasses

sunglasses
The right pair of sunglasses can make you look luxurious

Putting on sunglasses is a cheap and instant hack to looking luxurious. Find the right shape that fits and complements your face. Again, stick to basic colors; you want your sunglasses to make a style statement and not look tacky.

18. Style your hair simply

The way you style your hair can make or break your outfit. Top off your look with a neat and simple hairstyle. A simple blow-dried hair or a high ponytail will make you look sleeker than complicated curls. Plus, it will only take a few minutes of your time and a couple of styling tools and products.

Follow the easy steps to look like you have all the riches in the world, and you are living a good life. But most importantly, never forget to carry out your style with confidence. Believe in yourself and walk with your head held high. Be yourself because no one else is like you, and that is your most precious asset that no amount of money can buy!


How to Manage Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is able to target and eliminate most cancers very effectively. The goal of chemotherapy is to destroy cancer cells. So it targets fast dividing cancer cells; but healthy cells also get damaged in the process. It is when the healthy cells get damaged that you start to experience side effects. It can lead to…

Chemotherapy is able to target and eliminate most cancers very effectively. The goal of chemotherapy is to destroy cancer cells. So it targets fast dividing cancer cells; but healthy cells also get damaged in the process.

It is when the healthy cells get damaged that you start to experience side effects. It can lead to side effects like fatigue and infection. When the cells lining the mucous membranes throughout the body are damaged, it causes mouth sores, diarrhea or other issues with the digestive system. And damage to cells at the hair roots, or follicles, can lead to hair loss.

The side effects depend on several factors like, your course of therapy, the amount of medicine you’re getting, the duration of treatment, and your overall health. Individuals react differently to the therapy but some side effects commonly associated or found in people under going chemotherapies are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Hair Loss
  • Weight changes
  • Diarrhea

These are just few of the commonly reported side effects. As stated earlier, individuals react differently to chemotherapy. There are dozens of other side effects that you might experience as a result of chemo.

But today, thanks to progress made in medical science, chemotherapy has become much more bearable as doctors have found ways to treat or manage the side effects arising due to the treatment.

how to manage side effects of chemotherapy

Fatigue

Of the people who underwent chemotherapy, 75% of them reported experiencing fatigue as a side effect. For many people, this constant state of tiredness prevented them from being able to carry out day to day activities.

If you experience fatigue, talk to your doctor about it and what medicines can be taken to counter it. Since there are many and varied reasons for fatigue, there isn’t any one medicine that can be administered to everyone. The doctor needs to know the specifications of your condition to prescribe the right medicine.

There are complementary therapies you can try out. Alternative medicine practices like yoga, acupuncture, massage, acupressure and meditation have been beneficial for some people in dealing with fatigue.

Bringing about a change in your lifestyle can also help you. American Cancer Society recommends 1 hour of exercise for 4 days a week. Start off with 15 minutes a day and then gradually increase your time to 1 hour.

It might be difficult to exercise when you are feeling so tired all the time, but you do not have to start with bench presses. You can go for a walk with a friend or just play with your dog.

Exercising will improve your blood circulation and make your body more active. Eating the right kind of food will help provide you with the nutrition your body needs.

To fight fatigue, it is imperative that you get sufficient amounts of proteins and calories. Also ensure to get enough vitamins and minerals, preferably from food rather than supplements.

Other things you can try include taking a 20 -30 minute nap during the day, sticking to your routine and joining a support group.

Hair loss

Losing hair is another common side effect of chemotherapy. It can be mentally upsetting to lose so much hair suddenly, especially for women. While it is not possible to stop the hair loss completely, you can try and manage it.

Here are some things you can try out:

  • Use a gentle shampoo while washing your hair and set your dryer on low heat when drying it.
  • Cut your hair short. It might be less unsettling to lose short hair and it will also give you an idea of how your hair will look like once it starts growing back.
  • Find a wig specialist to get your wig made. You can try different styles, experiment with colors or just have it made like your natural hair. Ask advice from wig salons about taking care of the wig – shampoos, conditioner, brushes etc.
  • You can also go for multiple wigs so you have a different hairstyle according to your mood or occasion.
  • Use hair accessories like hats, caps, turbans and scarves to try out different fashion styles on your head. They are affordable and can be used on a variety of occasions.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are extremely common side effects of chemotherapy with 60 – 90% of the people who underwent treatment reporting it.

Nausea is a sick feeling in your stomach that makes you feel like you have to vomit. Mild nausea can cause loss of appetite. Moderate to severe nausea usually causes some degree of vomiting. It may or may not accompany vomiting.

Vomiting is when your stomach throws up its contents out via the esophagus. It is usually the result of nausea.
To manage these effects, there are anti-nausea drugs available that can be taken either before or after the treatment.

Most people experience relief for the first 24 hours after chemotherapy and about 45% for the first five to seven days of treatment.

There are some other methods you can make use of, like:

  • Try eating ginger. The spicy bite of ginger may also help manage nausea and vomiting, reports the National Cancer Institute. Ginger ale, ginger tea, or crystallized ginger are some of the ways you can take in ginger.
  • Do not eat greasy foods as they can upset your stomach. Instead, go for dry and bland foods like toast, plain rice and cereal, eating them in small quantities through the day.
  • Rinse your mouth after a meal to get rid of any taste that might make you feel nauseous. Also, don’t lie down after eating as it may make you vomit. Keep sitting up for about 30 minutes after eating.
  • Drink lots of liquids like broth, juice, flat soda pop, sports drinks, and water. This will make up for the loss from vomiting and keep you hydrated.
  • If a bad taste persists in your mouth and makes you nauseous, try sucking on a peppermint candy.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea occurs when the water in your intestine does not get absorbed back in your body. It leads to loose, watery stools about thrice a day. It can also be accompanied by nausea, bloating and cramps.

Here are some things you can try to manage diarrhea:

  • Give your body small, frequent meals as smaller amounts of food maybe easier to digest.
  • During the starting stage of diarrhea, go for a clear, liquid diet consisting of water, weak herbal tea, apple juice, clear broth, frozen pops, or plain gelatin. These liquids will prevent over exertion by your bowels and help prevent irritation.

Your diet should include foods that are high in pectin, potassium, sodium and protein. Pectin is a water soluble fiber that helps control loose motions. Potassium is often lost during diarrhea. Salt helps retains water and protein helps you fight fatigue.

Some examples of food items that you can add to your list include:

  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit Juices
  • Soups made with cooked asparagus tips, beets, carrots, peeled zucchini, mushrooms, or celery
  • Sports drinks
  • Crackers and pretzels
  • Lean baked turkey, chicken or pork
  • Boiled eggs

While you need to add the above mentioned food items to your diet, there are some food categories that you need to avoid as they can make your diarrhea worse.

These include food items like:

  • Caffeine, tobacco, extremely hot or cold foods, alcohol, chewing gum or carbonated beverages as they irritate your digestive tract.
  • Food with high fat content or food that is fried and greasy as they cause loose motions.
  • Limit milk and milk products as they are hard to digest.
  • Stay away from nuts, raw fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads, and bran products as they can harm your digestive tract.

Weight Changes

It is obvious that the stress and shock involved in the treatment can affect your weight. Some people lose while others gain weight. It does not matter if you lose or gain a few pounds.

But if your weight change is drastic, like 5 -10 % of your body weight, then it’s something that can affect your health.

Weight changes can be due to many reasons. Sometimes, it could be the result of the medications you are taking, like pain medications or steroids.

To manage weight changes:

  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet that comprises of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
  • Eat small quantities of food throughout the day to keep your metabolism working and avoid sudden hunger pangs.
  • Try to eat snacks that are high in protein content and low on fat. Protein will provide you energy, fight off fatigue and prevent you from eating sugary foods.
  • Limit your intake of sugar, alcohol and saturated fats.
  • Use low fat milk instead of water in cooking when possible.
  • Exercise regularly, at least 3 hours of moderate exercise a week. It helps keep you body active and is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.

Dealing with cancer and the side effects reeling from chemotherapy can be a tough ordeal. It is hard and punishing but it is important that you don’t give into despair and negativity. You need to strengthen your resolve and fight it by making your body and mind stronger.

Open up to your loved ones, join a support group and consult with you doctors about how you can manage these effects and go through the treatment with a better mindset and positive outlook.