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Archives for May2016

ACV for Your Face and Hair

apple cider vinegar 11To give you confidence in applying this apple cider vinegar hair rinse to your head, it’s important you know a few basics about how the hairs on your head come into being. What we typically think of as “hair” is actually a two-part structure consisting of a follicle, which is a tunnel-like segment located in the skin, and a shaft, which is the visible structure that grows above the skin.

Just below the surface of the skin are sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum through the hair follicle. This oil lubricates hair and skin, and is part of the acid mantle – a very fine, slightly acidic film that maintains and protects the overall health of the hair and skin.

The acid mantle is also critical to our hair’s appearance, which – let’s be honest, is what we all really care about. The outer layer of the shaft, also known as the cuticle, is comprised of tightly packed overlapping scales. The acid mantle is instrumental in making cuticle scales lie flat, which gives hair a shiny, smooth appearance, and protects from moisture loss.

Unfortunately, this system can be easily disrupted, which is the primary cause of the ever-popular bad hair day. The acid mantle typically has a pH of around 5, which means it is slightly acidic. Many hair care products, treatments, and some shampoos are more alkaline (have a pH above 7), which can contaminate or remove the acid mantle.

To start my vinegar excursion, I headed out to my local supermarket to pick up my key ingredient. After spending less than $3 on this bad boy, I went home to wash my face like a bombshell actress.

Being that my complexion is more temperamental than my 16-year-old self, I like washing my face once before bedtime with lukewarm water. Eager to kick start the experiment with ease, I splashed some water onto my face as usual. However, once I substituted my foam cleanser for apple cider vinegar, all hell broke loose.

When you wash your face with straight up vinegar, it feels like a bit like one of those chemistry disasters that safety video warned you about in high school. Aside from the vinegar stinging my eyes more than once, the horrendous facial burn temporarily felt like that sunburn I once had after substituting sunscreen for olive oil. Yikes!

Although the burning sensation eventually subsided, I was totally tempted to dump the rest of the vinegar down the drain. Willing to keep trying the experiment though, I vowed to be much careful come tomorrow’s nightly wash.

Cleaning and Relaxing

pet hairMost of the vacuums looked at so far are bigger than average. You may be looking for a smaller and lighter solution and hence we have added this section to highlight some of the top choices when it comes to those that are cordless and handheld. Although the larger, more “traditional” vacuums pack a great deal of suction and power, sometimes it is just easier to grab something light and easier to move around. The next sub-sections are what we feel are the top-3 choices for both cordless, and handheld that still are effective against pesky pet hair.

The Black + Decker Platinum BDH2000FL20-Volt is a lightweight and cordless vacuum which comes with a 4-foot hose which allows homeowners to remove embedded dirt. The vacuum cleaner is an updated version of the FHV1200 which relied on a Nickel Cadmium battery with a long charging time and a short battery life. Black + Decker Platinum BDH2000FL20-Volt has a battery that charges 6 times than older NiCad’s and emits more power.

With shark perfect II, pet hair doesn’t stand a chance. The vacuum comes with plenty of features that ensure that all the dirt and pet hair in your house is removed. These include a powerful, rechargeable 18-volt battery. It’s also cordless and weighs 4.8 pounds.

With its appealing flavor, white tea is fast becoming a favorite with tea drinkers everywhere. Add the many white tea health benefits into the mix, and you’ll want to keep this delightful tea on hand in your tea cupboard!

White tea is an antioxidant powerhouse. Because white tea leaves are processed only minimally after they are harvested, they hold onto most of their naturally occurring antioxidants. Antioxidants are so important for good health – they protect us from free radicals, fight harmful inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, reduce our risk of chronic disease (like cancer and diabetes), encourage a healthy immune system, and much more.

White tea has impressive anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities, which means it can deactivate bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In fact, white tea is even more powerful than green tea in disarming bacterial viruses! White tea also kills the bacteria that cause plaque, tooth decay, and bad breath.

The health benefits of white tea include weight management. White tea has caffeine, which may enhance weight loss, and white tea’s high levels of antioxidants can help to boost your metabolism and curb your appetite. Even better, research about white tea and weight loss has shown that white tea can prevent new fat cells from developing and encourage the breakdown of fat in existing fat cells, as well. (Just remember, if you’re thinking of adding white tea to your overall weight loss plan, be sure to check with your healthcare provider first.)

Staying Healthy all the Time

workout-clothes-7Workout clothes for women are HUGE business these days. I can’t be sure because I was just a baby, but I would liken it to the early 80’s when aerobics classes were at their peak of popularity. From what I’ve seen, there were spandex suits and tights everywhere. It’s kind of funny because we’ve, in many ways, come full circle. The tight, form fitting, fitness clothing is back and it’s very popular. Most of these clothes are compression clothing, meaning they squeeze your body. The most popular are the shorts and leggings. Have you ever wondered…

More Sustained Power

In a 2003 study, a volleyball team of women was asked to wear compression shorts while doing a series of vertical jumps. These were more like squat jumps because they would get into a squat position each time they jumped. They jumped 10 times straight with a 3 second rest between jumps. The compression shorts did not affect their power during the actual jump, but it did register more sustained power over the series of jumps. In other words, the girls kept their strength longer after more jumps.

The researchers believe this happens because the compression holds your muscles in place as you go through impact and power moves. With less body jiggle, your muscles are able to be recruited with more ease. I hope that made sense.

Rice Cookers

Rice cooker capacities can be confusing, as some manufacturers quote cooked capacities while others quote uncooked capacities. To make matters more complex, there are at least 2 “cup” sizes quoted by different manufacturers — 6 ounce and 8-ounce. Then there’s the complexity of serving size. Some people consider 1/2 cup of uncooked rice to be a one-person serving; others say that one cup of uncooked rice equals a serving. We’ll do our best to clarify as we go.

The manufacturer of the Aroma 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker considers one cup to be six ounces. Also according to the manufacturer, a cooked portion of rice is 1.5-2 times the volume of uncooked rice. Perhaps the best way to look at it is by what actual owners told us: this is an ideal machine for couples and small families. General construction wasn’t faulted by our survey respondents, and all the internal parts come out easily for cleaning. However, it should be noted that the rice tray is metal and doesn’t have a handle, so care should be taken when the tray gets hot.

In terms of capacity, the Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker is much larger than the Aroma and will produce from 4 to 20 cups of rice. It doesn’t really matter how Hamilton Beach defines cup size or whether they are talking cooked or not — in a nutshell, this machine will produce plenty! In fact, one owner complained that the only problem with the Hamilton Beach is that it’s not very good at cooking smaller portions of two to three cups.

Apple Cider Vinegar in Your Home

Apple Cider Vinegar 10Vinegar is a common household product that has endless uses. It can be used as a cleaning agent, in salads, and for many other reasons. While many products out on the market tout health benefits such as cancer reducing claims and weight loss magic, there is some promise as to what vinegar can do for health. While vinegar in high amounts can be tart to the taste, apple cider vinegar is a product that tastes great and can help promote health. Listed below are 18 of the best health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

  1. Solve an upset stomach

It happens from time to time when we eat something that simply does not agree with us. When this happens, a stomach ache ensues and causes pain and possibly gas. This is usually the cause of bacteria building up where it shouldn’t, which causes pain in the stomach region. If you are experiencing acute stomach pain and feel that it is not severe enough to visit a healthcare provider, then consider having some apple cider vinegar to ease the pain. The pectin contained in apple cider vinegar is known to soothe intestinal aches, spasms, and pain. The best mixture should include up to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with some water, juice, or apple juice.

  1. Eliminate pesky hiccups

Hiccups occur at some of the worst times and when they hit, it seems like they never go away. They are usually the cause of excess air in the digestive system, which your body is attempting to eliminate through muscular spasms. Fortunately, a full teaspoon of apple cider vinegar is great for alleviating this problem. It is possible that the strong acidic nature of apple cider vinegar helps to prevent the spasms that cause hiccups, which will help reduce the risk of getting these unwanted spasms. Consider this for a household remedy for unwanted hiccups.

What Are the Benefits of Spirulina?

Spirulina provides a wide range of health benefits almost immediately upon ingestion. It provides a near-instantaneous boost to one’s energy, while helping to improve endurance and reduce fatigue. It helps improve the immune system, and provides exceptional support for the heart, liver, and kidneys. Spirulina is also a natural detoxifier, oxygenating the blood, and helping cleanse the body of toxins and other impurities that may be causing illnesses or other health complications.

Spirulina is also a natural appetite suppressant, and it helps to improve the body’s digestive system. It also has very powerful antioxidant properties and it helps to balance the body’s pH, thereby reducing inflammation throughout the body in a safe and chemical-free way.