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avoid that winter-itchy skin

Dry, itchy skin during the winter months is probably one of the most uncomfortable things to deal with. Luckily there are a few things you can do to avoid some of this irritation. Some of these things may seem simple, some you may not like. All-in-all they are helpful tips, so choose according to your desperation!

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– The quicker you remove wet gloves, socks, or shoes, the better! These wet articles can cause irritation and itchiness to your skin. 

– You are what you eat! Eating certain foods can actually help your skin’s dryness. And as we already know staying hydrated is great for your skin as well. 

– You may not realize it, but there are still harmful UV rays even during the dreary, grey winter days. It’s important to still apply sunblock to exposed areas in order to avoid irritation. 

– Speaking of sunblock, its important to moisturize! Especially after you shower when your pores are open and can lock in that excess water. 

– Unfortunately, lowering the thermostat can actually help. I know I would have the most trouble with this one, but the higher the heat the dryer your skin will be. Somewhere between 68 and 72 degrees is a good temperature to aim for. 

– Steamy, super hot showers can actually strip your skin of it’s natural oils, leading to dry itchy skin. Even when you wash your hands be conscious of the water temperature. If your hands are turning red, the water is too hot. 

snacks under 200 calories

Snacking is actually great way to keep your metabolism up to speed. Having small healthy meals through out the day is better than having three huge meals. Image

There are a bunch of great snack options that are under 200 calories. Pretzels and peanut butter are a delicious combination. Especially if you use almond butter which has less saturated fat and sugar than regular peanut butter. Another great option is almonds and frozen blueberries. Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts and blueberries are a great antioxidant. The sweet and salty combination makes a satisfying snack. If you love movie popcorn, try air popped popcorn with unsweetened cocoa. It’s only 133 calories and gives regular popcorn an exciting new twist.

nutty for nuts

ImageNuts are great. It’s as simple as that. First of all they are one of the most portable, convenient snacks. You can fit them anywhere, they’re easy to eat and they last a long time. There is also a huge variety of nuts you can chose from. Ranging from sweet to salty to smooth and crunchy.

Aside form all of this, nuts are one of the healthiest things for you. Certain nuts can help lower cholesterol, improve your heart health, help with weight control and lower your cancer risk. They’re chock full of antioxidants.

 

Here are some quick facts:

Walnuts: reduce inflammation

Almonds: high in fiber

Walnuts: rich in iron and zinc

Pecans: good for your heart

Pistachios: very low in calories, rich in antioxidants

headache triggers

People sometimes attribute certain foods as the cause to headaches. Headache-trigger foods are dependable on the individual. Certain foods contain high amounts of particular substances that can cause headaches: Such as nitrate preservatives and tyramine. Those who are prone to headaches are more likely to suffer from these foods.

I’ve heard time and time again that chocolate causes migraines. Before a migraine many people have food cravings, particularly for chocolate. So eating chocolate may be a result of an oncoming migraine rather than a cause.

Bananas and aged cheese, particularly blue cheese, Swiss, cheddar, gouda and parmesan contain a substance called tyramine. Having a sensitivity to this substance can result in a headache or migraine.

Processed meats contain a nitrate preservative. This preservative can cause dilation in blood vessels resulting in a headache.

Again, all of these triggers are dependent on the individual. The American Headache Society says that studies can’t tell us which foods are headache triggers. So, your best bet would be to keep a food diary so you’ll be able to pinpoint what kinds of foods you ate the day you got your headache.

detox without starving yourself

Body cleanses and detox kits are all the rage. I can’t keep up with the different types of juice cleanses my friends have been experimenting with. The process sounds painful to me. Only juice for 3 days? I’d rather not. There are tons of ways to help detox and cleanse your body while still sticking to your daily food routine.

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1) Cut your sugar in-take. It ultimately increases fatigue among other harmful effects.

2) Increase your water in-take. Drinking water speeds up your metabolism. Squeeze half a lemon into your glass to help digestion.

3) Exercise will release endorphins, reduce tension and will help your body rid of toxins.

4) Drink tea. It’s very hydrating and full of antioxidants.

5) Try for organic. Processed foods lack the nutrients your body needs.

6)  Using a Neti Pot will help you breath better, enhance your sleep and rid your body of toxins.

7) Jump in the sauna and sweat it out!

8) Exfoliating will help increase circulation.

late-night snacking

Late-night snacking is one of my favorite times to snack. Before I curl up on the couch to watch a show, I like to grab something from the kitchen to nibble on. I always try to chose something tasty but healthy. Having small healthy snacks in between meals is actually a great way to keep your metabolism up to speed. Options are important. Stocking your fridge with healthy snack options will allow you to satisfy a hunger craving without ruining your hard work of eating healthy all day. There are tons of different snack creations you can make with simple ingredients. Here are a few great snacks you should stock your fridge with…

Whole wheat tortillas, bananas, almonds, edamame, cottage cheese and mushrooms.

Why are they healthy? Whole wheat tortillas are complex carbs, bananas are rich in potassium, almonds are a wholesome alternative to unhealthy snacks, edamame is rich with vitamins, minerals, calcium, and iron, cottage cheese contains a protein that keeps you full and mushrooms are a great antioxidant.

Here are some suggestions to make your snack a little less boring. Whole wheat tortillas- sprinkle a little low fat cheese and microwave it, bananas- lather it with a tablespoon of peanut butter, almonds- mix them into a smoothie, cottage cheese- combine with melon the contrasting flavors will surely fill you up, and mushrooms- combine with lettuce or veggies.

eat to lose not to gain

Certain foods actually help you to lose weight. That’s good nutritional news if I’ve ever heard any! Dieting is not only about eating foods low in calories or fat. It’s also about eating the right foods to achieve your ultimate goal. Knowing which foods to eat can actual aid your diet. Weigh your options. One option may be more beneficial than the other, even if they’re both seemingly good choices.  Mushrooms, eggs, apples, soup, hot chili peppers, beans, green tea, pears and cinnamon are all foods that can help you lose weight.

Mushrooms– reduce inflammation

Eggs– protein rich…it keeps you full!

Apples– only 100 calories and high in fiber

Soup– prepares your body for digestion and curbs your appetite

Hot chili peppers– people eat less when their food is spicy

Beans– also high in fiber, they take longer to digest

Green tea– speeds up your metabolism

Pears– also high in fiber

Cinnamon– curb post-meal insulin spikes