Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Word on Supplements

I get asked daily at work what supplements are recommended. Honestly this is different for everyone depending on your nutritional status and current health conditions. There aren't any recommendations necessary for a healthy male with a varied, healthful diet. If you are a healthy female without any medical conditions I urge you to take a folic acid supplement, or you can take a complete multivitamin. Folic acid can help prevent neuro deficits and conditions such as spina bifida in fetal development; these conditions happen within 12 days after conception before a woman knows she is pregnant. Folic acid combined with B vitamins are also great for your heart and can help with growing healthy hair and nails. Personally I take a Vitamin D supplement (look for D3 ergocalciferol), I only take 1 per day because I get quite a bit of it in my diet. Daily recommendations for Vitamin D are rumored to be changing in the near future. I also take a fish oil supplement daily (look for burpless or coded / enteric on the label) for Omega 3 nutrients. Many of us do not get enough omegas in our diet and they are awesome for your heart as well as for your skin and hair. Depending on what I've eaten each day I might have a calcium chew, I always keep a box just in case. Do not take supplements all at one time. I try and take a multivitamin with a Vitamin C source (ie. orange juice), Vitamin D goes with my lunch, fish oil with my after work snack, and I might have a calcium chew before bed - if taken together they can compete for absorption. Sometimes you have to evaluate your diet to determine what you might need, my system is not going to work for everyone. Please do your research; don't take advice from sales associates that work in health food stores or supplements shops, many make commission from their sales and do not have any nutritional training. It isn't uncommon for me to have patients who have been given really bad supplement advice. Remember - Supplements are not food and they are in no way a replacement for a balanced, varied diet

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tag: Favorite Candy

In honour of Halloween! Or

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tag: 5 Things That Gross Me Out

#5 The words: Hemorrhage, Diarrhea, and Aneurysm. I don't mind the meaning of the words but I really don't like the spelling and I hate the way they sound when I say them. I work in a hospital so these are pretty common words in my day to day life.

  #4 Wet tissue paper. Ugh, the thought of this makes me gag. You know people who take a piece of facial or bath tissue and wipe the counter and the paper gets all wet. I can't touch it, I just can't.

  #3 Soggy Food. I had a roommate once that left food on the plate when she put it in the sink and it would get all soggy, especially the bread - yak, I have trouble thinking about it. Just put it in the garbage disposal already, don't let it get soggy and stick to everything.

  #2 Roaches. I think of roaches as being dirty. I hate the way they crawl all ever everything with their little antennas feeling all over all my stuff. Just nasty, and they're almost impossibly to get rid of. You spray them and it takes them forever to die! Actually that is a big reason I decided to keep Lilly, when she came to live with me, I never saw another roach...alive.

  #1 Slugs. This has to be the most useless creature in existance. They're wet and leave trails of slime! Have you ever accidently stepped on one while, just no. Honorable mention, jumping spiders - not necessarily gross but they freak me out big time!

The Beauty Diet: Top 10 Foods

Just wanted to share this article with everyone on the top foods to eat for "The Beauty Diet" by Lisa Drayer. This diet was written and is endorsed by a licensed, practicing dietitian (the only source you should trust, especially if you have a health condition). Dietitians spend years in school learning medical nutrition therapy and biometabolism of macro and micro nutrients. There is A LOT of untrue information about diet and health on the internet, some of it can be potentially harmful. Many fad diets lack essential nutrients and many foods are "forbidden" or given a negative reputation. I found the original article on the AOL home page, the goal is to incorporate these foods into your diet most days of the week for beautiful skin, brighter eyes, and healthy bones.

1. Wild Salmon
2. Blueberries
3. Low Fat Yogurt
4. Oysters
5. Kiwifruit
6. Sweet Potatoes
7. Spinach
8. Tomatoes
9. Walnuts
10. Dark Chocolate

 The Beauty Diet: Looking Great Has Never Been So Delicious by Lisa Drayer, MA, RD can be bought here. I will not endorse any "diet plans", I just don't believe in them. What I do endorse is information that has been gathered through medical and nutritional research and found to be truthful. I personally love a clean eating approach and all of the above foods fit into that category. If you must follow a diet plan or want information on how to keep yourself looking and feeling your best get your information from a trusted source (i.e, not a body builder, a personal trainer, or a model - I can go on and on about the inaccurate information on current diets on the market now from sources such as these).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Top 6 Halloween Movies

I like doing "Top 5" lists but sometimes you just can't fit everything in such a small list. These are not necessarily scary movies, I enjoy the occasional horror movie (provided I'm not expected to sleep alone afterwards) but most of them aren't movies I'd watch over and over again.

6. Interview with the Vampire
5. Nightmare on Elm Street (the original, this reminds me of childhood sleepovers)
4. Hocus Pocus
3. Corpse Bride
2. Legend of Sleepy Hollow
1. Edward Scissorhands

 *Honorable mention to the Saw series, they freak me out for sure but again I don't own any of them and I don't think I'd watch them multiple times.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Reading List

These are some books I'm planning on picking up from to read over the next couple of months. I need to finish some continuing education credits for work before the end of the year so I don't have a lot extra time for fun reading.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In the Kitchen: Super Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

The weather is getting cooler and my throat is starting to get scratchy. If my impending doom is a seasonal cold I want to be prepared by making a big pot of soup ahead of time so I don't have to worry about meals for a week (this can also be frozen and reheated as needed). It's quick and easy and is great alone or alongside a grilled cheese sandwich. It's loaded with veggies too so it's a great dinner choice.
1 large can tomato puree
1 small cans stewed tomatoes
1 large can VegAll brand mixed vegetables (you can use frozen vegetables if you prefer)
1 cup of barley 1 pound of lean ground beef (I only use about half a pound but my mom uses the whole pound)
salt and pepper to taste
*optional - 2 potatoes washed and cubed
Quick Stovetop Instructions
Brown the beef and drain remaining fat. Cook barley to package directions in a seperate pot. If using canned vegetable mix pour off the liquid and rinse, frozen veggies can go immediately into the pot. If using potatoes go ahead and start boiling them until slightly less than fork tender. Place cooked meat in a large pot along with the veggies (and potatoes if using them). Pour in tomato puree and stewed tomatoes, use water to thin the soup as much as you'd like. I like mine thin so I use almost the same amount of water as tomato puree. Cook on medium to low at least a half hour until warmed though, potatoes should finish cooking and if using frozen veggies they should be completely cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste.
I like to cook this over night on low in the crock pot as well. No precooking needed, just dump all ingredients in raw and make sure you keep checking the consistency to see if you need to add more water. I cook it on low for about 4 hours but it's ready whenever the meat is cooked ant the vegetables are fork tender. Cooking it on low seems to give a better flavor. This is easy, inexpensive and it yields several days worth of meals.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Daily Quick "Touch Up" Routine

I don't have a lot of time with my work schedule for face and hair touchups. After lunch everyday I take a peek at myself and if I need repairing I have a quick routine that will get me through the rest of the work day. The first thing I do is check my teeth (of course, after lunch) and I have floss on hand in my makeup bag. If my skin is shiny I'll use an oil blotting tissue from Sally Beauty Supply and sometimes I'll use MAC blotting powder afterwards. Next I'll decide what to do with my lips, usually I'll just give them a swipe of gloss. I try to keep whatever lipstick/lipgloss I picked out that morning but my standbys are Rimmel Airy Fairy and Revlon Mineral Lipgloss in Eternal Blossom which are always in my makeup bag. If my eyeliner has faded I'll reapply, I keep a Rimmel black liner in my purse and in my lab coat at work. Last I'll decide what to do with my hair, I keep a teasing comb from Sally Beauty Supply in my bag and usually I'll comb out my ends and push the hair up at the crown. Unfortunately this is the point some days when my hair might go up in a low bun or pony tail, I can't take hairspray (or perfume) to work because I work around asthmatics and patients with end stage COPD type conditions. This process takes less than 5 minutes, I wish I had more time to refresh my look but this will do for work. My "play" days are much more fun because I bring some different products with me and freshen up whenever I want.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Product Review: Covergirl Lashblast Luxe

Enough already, I've heard enough praises for Covergirl LashBlast Mascara. It seems to be a "favorite" drugstore mascara joining the ranks with L'Oreal Voluminous and Max Factor 2000 calorie with a cult like following. I've picked it up so many times and decided not to buy it because...the packaging is freakin' ugly. I just can't imagine having a fat orange mascara in my collection. Look how chic the Maybelline Lash Stiletto packaging looks, it may not have the following of Lash Blast but at least I wouldn't be embarrassed to pull it out of my makeup bag. Anyway I finally picked up the Lash Blast Luxe in the fat PINK tube which at least looks a bit more feminine. I was disappointed at first by the cheap feel of the plastic and the brush but I'm not one to judge a book by it's cover (unless it's cover is fat and orange). It's actually a very good mascara - the coverage was great, I didn't need hundreds of layers to get dark lashes and no matter how much I've layered, it hasn't clumped once. It really seperates and volumizes. My only problem is that the brush really makes it difficult to get to the inner lashes and the lower lashes (and I'm far too lazy to use two different mascaras). The color I bought was Black Platinum which should have silver reflects but I didn't notice anything "extra" in my mascara. Honestly I think maybe it looks more natural because I didn't buy the "blackest black" version, don't get me wrong, I love my black mascara but maybe this "silvery black version" is better for daytime. Love this and yes I'd buy it again, I might even buy the Black Royale version. I purchased this at Walmart for $7.29.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Review: China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Avalanche

I bought this hoping for a more gunmetal color, silly me, I can't get a gunmetal color on my nails if it isn't in the bottle. Oh well, there is one more shade of China Glaze at Sally Beauty Supply that is darker than this one. This is still a really nice shade of nail polish, a beautiful true silver. This is a color that can get you through the holiday parties, Christmas Day, and New just screams festive. Unfortunately I did a terrible polish job, it's too thick around my cuticles and there are several air bubbles but what you see is two coats of color and one coat of Sally Hansen Mega Shine.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Review: Sally Hansen Salon Nail Lacquer in Haute Chocolate

I get so many compliments when I wear this color, this brown has just enough copper and red reflects to keep it interesting and the depth of color makes a statement. It's long wearing too, this picture was taken on day 5 (never mind my messy cuticles please, I touched up a couple of spots after my finger was jammed in a drawer at work). The photo above is two coats of lacquer and a coat of Sally Hansen Mega Shine on top.

To Slurge or To Save (part 2)

The clothes edition, just my opinion on what is worth saving for and what is worth saving on. Of course there are always exceptions but this is my general rule.

 To Save:
Undies - Victoria's Secret Semi Annual Anyone? I love the variety of styles and the quality for $2-$3 each.
Tops - especially casual ones. I like to buy most of mine from Forever 21 or outlet shops. I also like to hit up Express and Ann Taylor Loft sales for work tops.
Casual dresses - my summer staple, I have a lot of luck at department stores, Old Navy, and Gap on sale.
Jewelry - most of my daily jewelry is from Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, or occasionally New York and Company for the Buy 1 Get 1 50% off.
Work Shoes - I wear them into the ground, there are a few pairs that desperately need to be thrown away. I check the sale fliers for department stores, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and places like Shoe Department.
Work out clothes - the need for workout gear will be different for everyone depending on how you exercise. I like to get mine from TJ Maxx and I have gotten some nice yoga pants on sale from Old Navy.
Accessories - hats, scarves, belts, etc usually I buy discount items from TJ Maxx or Marshalls.
Light Jackets - usually fleece or denim worn in the Spring and Fall months I get on end of season sales or Forever 21.

 To Splurge:
Cold Weather Coat - I buy a nice new one every couple of winters usually from a department store or an Outdoor Supply Store.
Sneakers - mine get worn pretty quickly as I exercise, I like to get new ones rather than risk hurting my feet. Usually I just get them at a Lady Footlocker or some place like that.
Bras - I'm 100% dedicated to taking care of my bras (because they're so expensive!) and because I like having many styles and colors to choose from.
An Occasion Dress - It doesn't happen often that I have the need for a nice cocktail style dress, I like to live it up when the situation presents itself. Cache or White House Black Market have nice ones so I try there first.
Dress Shoes - Again if the situation presents itself for me to have a nice pair of shoes I will take advantage of it. Usually I'd check department stores or boutique shops.
Bottoms - I like to buy quality pants and skirts. My slacks are the Editor Style from Express, most of my jeans are from Nordstroms or Macy's premium denim (though I do have a couple pairs from express), and I love Ann Taylor Loft or Limited skirts.
Sweaters - I love cashmere! Most of mine are from department stores.
Handbags - this is my vice. I'm not necessarily a slave to labels but I love a quality handbag.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tag: 5 Favorite Lip Products

Trying to decide my favorite lip products was really difficult. The items on this list can usually be found in my purse that I wear the most often and go with everything.
#5 Laura Geller Lip spackle
#4 Revlon Colorstay Mineral Lipgloss in Eternal Blossom
#3 Rimmel Airy Fairy
#2 MAC lipstick in High strung
#1 MAC lipstick in Angel
Swatches from L to R in descending order

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tag: 10 questions

 1. How did you come up with your user name? I'm from the Carolinas (I say it pleural because I've lived in both) and everyone calls me a Southern Belle so CarolinaBelle.
  2. What would you do with a million dollars? In this economy I'd save most of it and donate a portion to some of my favorite charities. I wish I could say that I'd invest it but now would not be the time.
  3. When are you the happiest? A good book, a glass of wine, Lilly on my lap with absolutely nothing else to do. I love being with family and friends but I know one day my life will be filled with chores, kids, husband so I'm enjoying time alone now.
  4. What is a favorite thing about yourself? I can find the humor in anything. I also think I'm really empathetic which is a quality I wish more people had.
  5. What is your most embarrassing moment? Not sure if I have one. I tend to shake things off a few seconds after it happens. As George Carlin says "it's in the past".
  6. Who did you last take a picture with? My mom on our Charleston trip.
  7. What is your dream job? Unrealistically, Tinker Bell at Disney World. Realistically, a renal Dietitian in an outpatient dialysis clinic.
  8. What is your dream car? Not sure, I'm hoping to get a new one soon. I love the look of 67' Camaros but they're too expensive and not very practical, hence "dream" car.
  9. Name one item you can't live without. I don't think I have one. I do have two items that have great sentimental value to me, a bracelet my dad gave my mom on one of their anniversaries and a quilt that was handsewn for me by my grandma and mom.
  10. Name one lesson in life you have learned. If your heart is full of anger, bitterness, and sadness there isn't any room for love. Life is too short and you may only get a blink of time to let someone know how much they mean to you.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

" A declicious blend of pumpkin and traditional fall spice flavors combined with out signature espresso and freshly steamed milk, and topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices." -Starbucks website
I love this fall treat. I only get Starbucks maybe 3-4 times a year and this is the best way to welcome fall's chilly nights. This is not a treat to indulge in very often, a tall latte with soymilk and no whipped cream is 230 calories and 30 grams of fat (for 12 ounces). It's absolutely delicious as an after dinner dessert if you haven't tried it.

In the Kitchen: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite parts of fall and winter is baking! I was really craving homemade cookies and thought I would treat myself!
The Recipe:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
4 tablespoons margarine
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or however many you want)
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Stir in oats.
2. Cream margarine, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at high speed until well blended. Add egg and vanilla and beat until light yellow and creamy, about 3 minutes. Blend in sour cream with wooden spoon, then flour mixture all at once, just until combined (don’t overmix or the cookies may become tough). Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake cookies until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.