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Archive for January, 2011

I’m hosting Fashion Flash Today!

This week I’ m the host of Fashion Flash Bloggers.   I don’t  know how you  feel, but I am so tired of wearing boots in the cold and snow.  This week ,three  of our Fashion Flash bloggers are looking forward to shoes we can wear when this endless winter is over.  The Glam Gals of Fabulous after 40  are taking a close look at woven cage shoes.   They are all the fashion this year but are they too trendy for 40 plus style?  Shoedish is exploring  the favorite shoes of Vogue ‘s chief editor Anna Wintour– and asking “is nude the new black” .  Jodell at Black Cat  Plus  is featuring the plus size model  who is a new  face of  Jimmy Choo.

Our other Fashion Flash bloggers  are exploring ways  to master winter.   Shawna at Female Fat Loss After  40  will help you deal with winter weight gain by explaining why diets don’t work– and  what does!   And at No-Nonsense Beauty Blog, I’m looking in the hardware store to find new tools to fight winter dry skin.

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These  weeks  of cold and snowy weather are especially hard on my Retin A -treated  skin.   And its just not the weather outside that’s causing problems.  Apparently  the low humidity in my home   is making things  worse.  The radiators are going full blast 24/7 and as they provide heat, they are  evaporating  the moisture in every room. 

When I learned    that indoor heat was drying out the air, my first instinct was to  buy the biggest, baddest humidifier that I could carry home.  But these devices are not without problems of their own.  Overly humid air  can increase levels of bacteria  and allergens into the air.  The reservoirs of water needs to be emptied and cleaned daily to avoid build-up of mold and minerals– that are then sprayed around  the home. 

To determine if I really needed a  humidifier, I bought a small, inexpensive device that monitors indoor humidity.  Called a hygrometer, it measures moisture in the air expressed as “relative humidity percentage” or RH.  The ideal RH  is between 30-60%.  Over 60% the air is too humid while 0-29% is too dry.  In my  bedroom, the RH was 25%, certainly a clue  to  why my skin  seems to resistant to moisturizers. 

Now that I know  low humidity is a problems in my  home, which humidifier should I  get?  When I went to Home Depot, I was overwhelmed .  Warm mist?  Cool mist?  Ultrasonic?  Germ-Free?   Anyone  have recommendations?

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Its called the French Paradox.  Although french meals feature butter, bacon and the eponymous french fries, the French enjoy an  enviably low rate of heart disease.  Experts believe that an anti-aging component in red wine  called resveratrol offers cardioprotection.  Research has shown that reservatrol activates a protein that  helps maintain tissue health.  Inside the body this translates to healthy heart and arteries.  On the outside this could mean better skin tone , fresher color and fewer wrinkles.

Doctors around the world have been almost frantically studying the effect of resveratrol supplements to provide the same benefits.  Imagine, a pill that could keep you healthy AND beautiful.  Now after  five  years of  study comes the news from a once promising study that resveratrol  supplements don’t deliver.  Like so many other supplement studies, the health benefits are there only  with the original food– and in this case  a daily glass of red wine.  Not  such bad news after all.

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There are  undeniable benefits  being 50 plus. I don’t have to study for SAT’s,  I don’t have to endure “keggers” and I don’t have to pack school lunches–  so  why should  my aging face  have random breakouts?  I mean, if  I don’t  have the hormones to keep my skin  soft and firm why should the mirror  show inconvenient blemishes.

According to  my acne guru, Dr Albert Lefkovits, diet can play a big role in adult acne. And the big shocker   was the role  of milk and dairy products.  In a landmark study of 47,000 nurses, those that had more than three servings of milk a day had as much as 44% more acne than those that had less than one serving. 

Researchers believe that its  not the milk per se that  is the problem but the hormones   that are given to the cattle to make them produce larger quantities of milk.  Those extra hormones can be enough  to trigger can eruptions, especially when you are over age 30.   But milk is the best source of calcium  which is essential for strong teeth and bones– and eliminating dairy products  is a bad  idea.  A better one?  According to Dr Lefkovits (dralbertlefkovits.com), switch to organic milk and butter for hormone free dairy.

When looking at diet and acne, dairy is not the only bad actor.  Next week   we’ll look at the eye  opening connection between  sugar, acne and wrinkles.     There are alot of expensive  anti-aging options out there, but  changing you diet  can save  money as it improves  skin quality.  Have you found that certain foods  help or  hurt your complexion?

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When I started my anti-aging journey, I focused on lines and wrinkles.  As I explored the causes and solutions of beauty issues, I realized that fashion and fitness are just as important to the total appearance.  I began  looking at other blogs for info that delivered great results.  To share these tools and tips, I am starting a new Monday feature I call “The Fashion Flash”

Each week I will be sharing a link to some of my favorite lifestyle bloggers who are experts on such topics as:

* How to pick just the right bra  for every shape

* The best boots for style and warmth– how timely is that!

* The  right way to lose weight after 40

This weeks host of the Fashion Flash are the Glam Gals, Jojami Tyler and Deborah Boland of  Fabulous After 40.( http//www.fabulousafter40.com )  This site has a unique  eye for fashion, finding  beautiful, flattering, affordable clothing that work in real time.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Reading about all the pesticides and herbacides in fruits and vegetables, I finally scared myself.  I decided to start buying  organic versions of the produce  that has the highest chemicals levels  when grown in  commercial farms.  This week I started with a beautiful head of organic  lettuce that came with impressive credentials.   Grown hydroponically, it stated in no less than three languages that had been grown without  pesticides.

It was a real beauty, like a giant green rose. First I made a simple salad with a light vinegrette.  As soon as I tossed the salad,  the leaves collapsed into a pale green sludge.  The next day I  put a leaf on a tuna salad sandwich, and  the lettuce tasted thin and bitter.  After two  bites, I pried open the sandwich, took  out the lettuce and threw it away.

I thought that organic foods were supposed to taste fresher and better.  Am I making some  kind of organic newbie mistake?  Are there different brands of organic fruits and vegetables?  Does anyone know good organic sources in NYC?

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During the fall my once boringly normal nails became soft and peeled off.  At first it was  just an annoying cosmetic problem — but then the peeling problem took my nails below the fingertip.  It didn’t look good and felt worse

Surfing the web  for solutions, I read that biotin, a form of B vitamin, had been linked  to soft peeling nails  and biotin supplements  could help.  if,  But and its a big  but,  biotin deficiencies are considered very, very rare.  Best sources of biotin are commonly found foods includinng eggs, fish, beans, yeast  and potatoes.  Here was  my first clue. 

After the  BP oil spill in May, I decided to stay away from fish.  In June the wide spread  Salmonella outbreak in eggs, had me crossing off eggs from my shopping list. Add to that that I don’t like beans, avoid carb rich potatoes  and  who actually eats yeast as a food item, its  likely that I was deficient in biotin.

I’ve been taking 60mg of biotin a day for about six weeks and I am delighted to see a genuine improvement.  The peeling has stopped  and  the nails now  have  normal hardness.  However, they are still growing quite slowly than in the past, so I’m still taking biotin to  help them stay healthy. Best of all? My little bottle of biotin cost $6.99.  I love  happy endings.

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