Healthy nails, healthy you!

 

Although it seems hard to believe, nails can be the reflection of your health and they can be telling you a story that you should hear.

Irregularities, discoloration, or sudden changes in the nails could indicate that something is happening in your body. Some health conditions like anemia, kidney disease, or diabetes can manifest through your fingernails.

According to experts like internists and dermatologists, although fungal infections could be the most common issue with your nails, there are other things to have in mind: some changes in the color, shape, and texture of your nails could be a sign of a health condition and it’s important for you to pay attention.

If you take a good care of your nails it would be easy for you to detect any suspicious change, and that’s why you should follow simple steps and routines:

 

  • Trim your nails frequently
  • Do not bite them
  • Keep your fingernails clean and dry
  • While using moisturizer lotion, rub your fingernails with it
  • Nail hardener could be always a good ally
  • Don’t ignore changes in your nails. Remember that everything has a cause

 

Now, who doesn’t love and enjoy a good manicure and pedicure? For a lot of people, It’s impossible to avoid the temptation of leaving the care of their nails to experts. However, it’s imperative that you make sure that the salon and the person in charge of your nails is not only an expert but a licensed one! The last thing you want to get from your mani and pedi is an infection, right?

Proper nail care is important, so don’t neglect them, and remember that they could be the mirror of your health.

 

 

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Exfoliating your skin should be a pleasant experience

Let’s start by explaining the concept of exfoliation, which is the process of removing the dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. Yes, it could sound harsh and tough, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Actually, we are talking about a process that your skin and body will feel like natural.

Why do we need to remove those dead cells from the skin? Because otherwise, they will form clogged pores, excessive oil, and subsequently acne and other impurities on your face.

Now, it’s important to understand that those dead cells from the skin have to be removed from all your body, but your face could be the most sensitive part for you to exfoliate, and that’s why we want to make sure that you know some tips about natural scrubs that you can use at home.

Here are a couple of natural ingredients that you can use to do your own exfoliating facial scrub at home:

  • Blueberry and Honey Scrub
    1/2 cup fresh blueberries
    2 tbsp honey (raw and local is best)
    1 – 2 tbsp sugar

 

  • Lemon and Sugar Face Scrub
    1/2 fresh lemon
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp organic honey

 

If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, avoid it. In both cases a good mixture of all the components would form a substance that you can use by applying it to your face, doing gentle circular massages on the skin.

Exfoliating doesn’t have to be painful or uncomfortable. Trying natural ingredients could be the key to make your experience an enjoyable one.

 

Are you recycling?

Although regulated or mandatory recycling does not exist in all cities, there are many things we can all do to recycle certain materials, or even to classify waste, a task that although it may sound boring, it can really be made fun, educational, and especially useful.

To get started, if you live in a city where recycling is part of the public services that are paid, you have to use it to the fullest.  Be informed about the schedules of the garbage and recycled material’s collection,  and prepare to classify your waste between organic and recyclable.

If you do not know what you can recycle and what you can not, here is a basic list of elements that could help you:

  • Rigid Plastics/Bottles.
  • Loose Plastic Bags.
  • Paper and Cardboard.
  • Metals (Tin, aluminum, and steel cans)
  • Glass.
  • Soiled Food Items.
  • Polystyrene Foam Cups or Containers.

If your city does not have an official program, it’s possible that there are recycling centers near you. Try to locate some and ask what kind of elements they receive.Once you make the decision to recycle, it’s easier to start making decisions that help reduce the amount of waste that contributes to environmental pollution: reusable cups and bottles, and dishes that you can wash, instead of plastic, paper, or foam products will always be a better option.  If you have items that usually are considered trash (cardboard, boxes, used print paper, etc) try to re-purpose them and use them for crafts, children’s homework, or even to build or decorate new household items.

Even if it seems silly, every little thing we do can mean a big step for our community, and for our country.

 

 

 

Spring Allergies

Yes, we all celebrate the arrival of the spring season, but for some of us, spring is also synonymous with sneezing, watery and swollen eyes, and even hives on the skin … that is, synonymous with allergies!

As they say, April’s showers bring May flowers, but those flowers may bring nightmares to millions of people around the country. Actually, and according to experts, around 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, and they can experience discomfort and symptoms from now until the end of the summer.

Usually, spring allergies are related to trees, dust, grasses, flowers, and pollen particles that travel through the air causing terrible symptoms. Now, the problem is when you have symptoms but you are not sure where are they coming from. In a few words, the key for you is to know the cause of your allergies.

Doctors and experts recommend visiting your physician as soon as you experience the first symptoms. There are different tests that your doctor could order to determine with clarity the allergens that are making your life messy and miserable.

Once you know your specific allergies, it will be easier to have the symptoms under control, and the treatment depends on how serious are your allergies, or what kind of approach you want to take to defeat them.

The bad news is that there is not a cure for spring allergies but thanks to science we have several options to treat and reduce the discomforts caused by them.

Over-the-counter medicines are always an option but you have to be careful because there are different options, with a big variety of components that attack specific areas and symptoms. Once you know what are you allergic to, your doctor will prescribe the medicines that you need, and immunotherapy could be also a good idea. Immunotherapy is known as allergy shots that can be tailored to your specific needs.

The most important thing to have in mind is to attack the problem as soon as it shows up. Don’t let allergies to take over your beautiful spring season.

Loving yourself: something necessary for your well-being

We live in a world that doesn’t allow us to stop to think about what we do, how we live, or where we really want to go.

Free time is practically a luxury, and thinking about changing course may sound crazy, but the truth is that we all need to understand who we are first, in order to know where we are going. And in order to determine who we are, it’s imperative to practice something that psychologists and behavioral experts call a necessity for our well-being: the self-love.

For many, self-love is something that is taken for granted. “I love myself”, we all say, but how do we show that affection? That’s where the axis of everything lies, and according to experts there are three basic elements that we could identify and practice in order to love ourselves:

  1. You are not perfect, but your experience and you are important as part of a community/humanity experience.
  2. Understand and treat yourself with kindness.
  3. Give attention and importance to your emotions

Self-compassion is another important component of the equation. If you are unable to be kind to yourself, to understand your mistakes, and to forgive yourself, it will be impossible to talk about self-loving. You love yourself when you accept that you are not perfect, that you make mistakes, that you may fail at some things, that you have good moments and bad moments, but that those don’t define who you are or what are you capable of.

Once you understand that you have to take care of yourself first, in order to take care of others, you will understand also that it’s important to learn how to listen to yourself. We all talk to ourselves and the tone we use is vital for us to understand how are we addressing some issues, or how we see specific situations.

Talk to yourself with love, be patient, understanding, and compassionate. Don’t be brutally critical, or perfectionist. In other words, treat yourself in the same way you would treat your own kids. Love will be always the key, and the results won’t disappoint you.

That diet soda…

Diet sodas were born in 1952 in Canada, they were sweetened with saccharin and they were an option for people with diabetes. However, their popularity exploded, and since then the world has seen all kind of flavors, colors, recipes, and options of sodas that offer the flavor, sensation, and coolness of a regular soda, but without the calories and the sugar. Nowadays aspartame has replaced the saccharin, and as said before, there is all sort of flavors and options.

We are talking a big wave that only in our country leaves $21 billion per year! Huge, right? But, are we talking about something that is actually good for us and our health?

Controversy, different opinions, and several studies are part of the answer. Let’s start with the scientific part of the answer.

Different studies have shown a relation between diet soda and heart problems, weight gain, diabetes, and more recently stroke and dementia risk. However, and according to experts, there is no need for you to get alarmed…at least not just yet. Researchers say that only 5% of the people in the study were diagnosed with dementia, while 3% had a stroke. They say, they might be a link, but not necessarily a cause-effect situation

Now, one of the main concerns among doctors and specialists is that those who drink diet sodas tend to consume more calories through other foods thinking that the ones saved from their drinks can be compensated with other things, and that’s when the weight gain and the diabetes risk play a big part on the game.

At the end of the day, balance is the keyword. Be aware of the risks, talk to your doctor, and find out if you may make some changes in your diet habits.

 

After the loss, how to help the caregiver?

It’s the natural cycle, and even though caregivers understand that their journey will come to an end only after the inescapable loss, it’s impossible for them to avoid the feeling of purposelessness.

Caregivers devote their time and effort to a relative or a friend whose death leaves an inevitable sense of emptiness that leads them to have to plan again every minute of their days, and that could be a very difficult task.

The routines disappear, the tasks are modified, the sensation of feeling and knowing how to be useful vanishes, and at the same time the limitations to leave home, to socialize, and to undertake new challenges disappear too. Although it may seem incredible, getting used to these new conditions of life can be not only difficult but very painful for a caregiver.

If you are going through a similar situation or know someone who is going through this change of life, it is important to understand that there are ways to get out of that space in which today you can feel trapped, and without understanding where to start again.

Although it is important to understand that each person experiences and lives grief in a unique and different way, we must also know that it is a cycle from which one can and should learn how to get out. The help of family and friends is essential in the process, although at the end of the day you are the one who makes the decisions on what to do next. Allowing the grieving process to follow its normal course is the most important thing to do in order to be able to start over, and for that it is important to understand that pain is inevitable, that even guilt can appear in the panorama, and that it’s necessary to seek help whether professional or friend to be able to relieve that grief.

According to the specialists, it’s important to surround the caregivers after a loss, because they are the ones who now need protection and care to be able to move forward and rebuild that life that they left on pause for their loved one. Seek help and advice. There are special centers that offer this type of support, and at times like this, all available resources must be used.