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15 Jun

“I was having a heart attack and didn’t even know it.” We hear this line over and over again and if you’ve never experienced a cardiac event, you might think, really? But it’s true — the signs of a heart attack, or any heart problem, are often sneaky and subtle. They strike when you’re least expecting it — and young women are not immune.

“Heart attacks are most common in women 10 years post-menopause,” says cardiologist Dr Nieca Goldberg, a medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. “However, approximately 30,000 women under the age of 50 suffer from heart disease.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s most recent statistics, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women over 35, accounting for one in every four deaths. And it’s common for symptoms of heart disease to go unnoticed or to be dismissed, especially among younger women, says Goldberg. Here are a few you should look out for:

Swollen legs or ankles

That extra-large burrito may not be the only reason you’re feeling super bloated. While leg bloating can result from all kinds of things, it can also be caused by a heart valve problem. A build-up of fluids (a.k.a. oedema) is a common symptom of congestive heart failure, when your heart is unable to process blood in and out at the proper rate, says Goldberg.

Before you freak out, know that this type of swelling, in contrast to run-of-the-mill bloating, will get worse with time and/or begin creeping further up your body. So if the swelling reaches that point of severity, you know it’s time to call a doctor.

READ MORE: 5 Heart Disease Risk Factors Every Woman Needs To Know About

Headaches

Before you pop a Myprodol and shrug off that head pain, know that severe headaches can be symptomatic of a stroke or blood clot, too, says Goldenberg. While a headache alone isn’t necessarily indicative of a heart issue, if you’re experiencing it along with other symptoms like stiffness in your neck, fatigue, or dizziness, or it comes on suddenly, you could be in danger of an aneurysm and should seek medical attention.

Exhaustion

This might be the hardest sign to decipher because there are a million reasons you might feel tired — lack of sleep, stress, etc. But here we’re talking an abnormal level of fatigue. “If you’re relatively fit and all of a sudden start feeling winded climbing a flight of stairs, there’s a problem,” says Goldberg. Another sign: If you’re feeling a level of weakness that you’d previously only experienced when sick with the flu. In this case, your heart may be struggling to oxygenate your body.

While this symptom is easy to dismiss, particularly for women who refuse to slow down, it should be a red flag if you’re experiencing it along with any other strange symptoms.

Stomach cramping

Many people assume heart pain is felt directly in the chest, or in the left arm, says Goldberg. But what some don’t realise is that the pain can radiate elsewhere in the body, too. “It’s not uncommon that I see people complaining of stomach pain, when really the issue is their heart,” she says.

When you’re feeling those sharp stomach cramps, it’s possible that your heart is radiating pain signals to your stomach. Although this could also indicate the flu or heartburn, Goldberg says if it’s something you’ve never felt before, go to a doctor just to be sure.

READ MORE: 5 Things That Up Your Risk Of High Blood Pressure

Fainting

Fainting is the result of a drop in blood pressure, and that can be brought on by a number of things from changes in posture (think: that rush to the head you get when you get out of bed too fast) to which medications you’re taking. But it could also be indicative of a more serious issue. A valve disorder that doesn’t allow proper blood flow, a too slow or too fast heartbeat, or an aortic tear could all be the cause for fainting, says Goldberg.

If you faint in an isolated incident, it probably isn’t cause for concern. On the other hand, you should consider seeing a doctor if you’re fainting persistently or have fainted and are experiencing additional symptoms.

Dizziness

Like many of these symptoms, occasional dizziness is not a cause for concern. That light-headed feeling could result from standing up too quickly, dehydration, etc. But if the dizziness persists, that’s when it’s time to see a doctor. If the problem is your heart, it’s likely due to artery blockages or valve issues messing with your blood pressure, says Goldberg.

Upper back pressure

Again, a heart attack isn’t always felt in the heart. Often patients say a heart attack feels like there’s an elephant sitting on their chest; but that elephant could also be on your upper back, says Goldberg. If you’re feeling an overwhelming amount of pressure on your upper back, that could be a sign of a heart attack.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com 

READ MORE ON: Health Health Advice Heart Health


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14 Jun

Father’s Day is fast approaching and if you’re anything like my family, you probably haven’t quite nailed down the details of how you’re going to celebrate your dad/father figure/mom who is both mom and dad, or whichever special person you’re choosing to make a big deal of on Sunday. And if, like me, you think you might book at a restaurant, good luck finding a spot at your favourite – way more organised people booked all the best seats weeks ago!

But it’s fine, nothing says I love you like a home-cooked meal. And whether you’re sitting around an elegantly laid table or squished onto couches in the lounge, there’s nothing better than sharing food with the people you love. Here, three menu ideas, filled with recipes to keep your tummies happy this weekend, whether you’re going for a breakfast, lunch or dinner affair.

1. Big breakfasts

I love a buffet-style breakfast, where you can try a bit everything – a flapjack here, a muffin there and oats in between. Here are a few recipes to make and set out on the table for guests to serve up as they want.

Healthy, Happy Flapjacks

Father's Day Menus

Oat Breakfast Bowl

Father's Day Menus

Bagel With Scrambled Eggs, Cream Cheese And Salmon

  • 1 bagel, halved and toasted
  • 1 tbsp low-fat cream cheese
  • Chives, finely snipped
  • 2 smoked trout ribbons
  • Salmon roe (optional)
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • Sea salt flakes and white pepper
  • 1 tsp cold butter

1/ Spread each half of the toasted bagel with cream cheese and sprinkle with chives. Have the trout ribbons and salmon roe ready.

2/ For the scrambled eggs, add the eggs to a bowl, season with a pinch of sea salt flakes and white pepper, and whisk with a fork for 20 to 30 seconds.

3/ Smear a layer of butter over the base of the pan (reserve the remaining butter to add at the end of cooking).

4/ Add the eggs to the pan over medium-low heat. It’s important to get the heat right – you want the scrambling to happen slowly, but not so slowly that it never progresses from a custard and not so quickly that it sets instantly into an omelette. Stir slowly, covering the base of the whole pan – nothing will happen for two to three minutes. (This may take longer on an electric plate.)

5/ When the eggs begin to thicken, start stirring more rapidly. If it starts to thicken too quickly, remove the pan from the heat for a moment (keep stirring), then return once under control.

6/ Once it’s almost at the consistency you want, remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining butter to stop the cooking process – the eggs keep on cooking in the pan even once off the heat.

7/ Immediately spoon over the bagel halves and finish with the trout ribbons and roe.

Father's Day Menus

Egg Muffins

Lazy lunches

Now that it’s getting colder, I’m all about hearty lunches with a beautiful fresh salad on the side. And a little sweet treat to end it all off.

Father's Day Menus

Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Salad

  • 800g mixed heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • Handful fresh basil, torn
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 clove garlic, minced

1/ Slice all the tomatoes and arrange on a large platter. Add the avocado and red onion and scatter the basil over. Whisk the dressing ingredients together then drizzle over the salad.

Father's Day Menus

Lentil Bolognaise

Father's Day Menus

Vanilla Cupcakes With Chocolate Ganache

Solid suppers

For supper, go big or go home, I say. A curry with all the fixings, a flavourful salad and the perfect sweet ending.

Father's Day Menus

Chopped Salad

 

Father's Day Menus

Rich Chickpea Curry

Father's Day Menus

Lemon Meringue Pie

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

READ MORE ON: Breakfast Dinner Ideas Recipes


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14 Jun

Most workouts involve a lot of movement—but sometimes, the best thing for your muscles involves staying still. Meet: isometric exercises.

What is an isometric exercise, exactly? It involves “holding a static position, where the joint and the muscle do not change,” says Bree Branker, a certified fitness trainer. And it’s used for both strength training and stabilization (which can help prevent injuries, Branker points out). Isometric exercises are also great to help get strong if you’re already dealing with an injury, since they don’t add stress on your joints.

A couple of tips before you try isometric exercises for the first time:

  1. Make sure the proper muscles are engaging in the correct way. Go for a couple of reps, to help identify which muscles should be firing during the static move.
  2. Progress your isometric training. Once you’re used to an isometric move, try to increase range of motion or resistance (think: adding a dumbbell) to increase the benefits of your training.
  3. Hold each move for 30 seconds and note how your body feels. Do you compensate or adjust to hold proper form? If not, go for 60 seconds.

Ready to give them a try? Mix these nine isometric exercises into your usual routine, or dedicate a whole sesh to isometric moves:

Time: 10 minutes

Equipment: 2.5 to 5kg dumbbells, mat, and small towel

MrP Sport 5kg Dumbbell

R 179.99

Buy It

Good for: Total body

Instructions: Cycle through each move below, and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Then continue to the next move.

1 Isometric Chest Squeeze

How to: Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands, elbows bent, and weights held in front of you. Stand up straight with one foot slightly in front of the other, hips facing forward. Lift the dumbbells so your elbows are slightly above your shoulders, squeezing the weights together. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

READ MORE: 19 Slider Exercises That Will Make Your Abs And Glutes WORK

2 Isometric Shoulder Raise

How to: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears and keep them still at the top. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

3 Isometric Biceps Curl

How to: With a dumbbell in each hand, stand so your feet are shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows and lift the dumbbells until your arms form 90 degree angles, forearms parallel to the ground. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds

4 Isometric Calf Raise

How to: Hold a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping the rest of your body still, lift up onto the tips of your toes. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

5 Isometric Lunge

How to: Stand up tall, then take a large step forward. From here, bend your knees and lower your body until your knees are bent to 90 degrees. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds then repeat on the other side.

READ MORE: The 12 Best Chest Exercises To Add To Your Workout ASAP

6 Isometric Squat

How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands clasped in front of your chest. Push your hips back and bend your knees until your thighs are nearly parallel to the ground. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

7 Isometric Bridge

How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor 12 to 16 inches from your butt. Brace your core, then press into your heels and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips toward the ceiling. Maintain space between your chin and chest and keep your upper back on the ground. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

8 Side Plank

How to: Lie on your right side with your legs straight and stacked on top of one another. Lift your hips up as high as you can go, making sure your weight is resting on your right forearm and the outside edge of your right foot. Your elbow should be directly beneath your shoulder. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds then repeat on the other side.

9 Isometric Quad Raise

How to: Grab a small towel and roll it up, then place it under your right quad. Lie down on your back with your feet in front of you and hands at your sides. Lift your right foot up and engage your quad against the towel. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds then repeat on the other side.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com

READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Total Body Workouts Workouts


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14 Jun

Sometimes when you’re all stuffed up and surrounded by a pile of tissues, you have a strange desire to hit the sauna or let a warm shower rain down on you. Something about the heat, steam, and sweat ends up making your sniffles chill out and your mind and body feel at ease.

You might even be so inclined to get up and go for a short run, or power through a quick weights session. Much of the time, despite not being able to breathe through your nose, you do walk out of the gym thinking, I feel a little better now that I sweat it out.

But wait a minute, does the whole “sweating out a cold” idea have any real merit to it — and is it even safe to do? Here, experts chime in on why the act of sweating can make you feel as if you’re on the mend — and whether or not it can truly help you feel better faster.

There are a few reasons why sweating can feel so good when you’re under the weather.

It’s not all in your head: Even when you’re ill, working out can be a serious pick-me-up, thanks to the release of feel-good endorphins you get during physical activity, explains Dr Leeja Carter,  an assistant professor of sport and exercise psychology at Long Island University in Brooklyn and an E-Board member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. This flood of endorphins can improve both the way you see your body and yourself and improve your mood — all positive effects that you’re likely in need of on those days you feel less than stellar.

If you spend time in a steam room or hot shower (maybe with some eucalyptus?), you might also clear up congestion in the short term, as humid air helps clear mucus from your nasal passageway, says Dr Frank Esper, an infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s in Ohio. But don’t get too excited, because as soon as you step out, secretions caused by your virus will start to build up again, he notes.

READ MORE: 10 Cold And Flu Remedies That Actually Work

But does sweating when you have a cold actually shorten the length of your sickness? Not quite.

Fun fact: Some early studies suggested that because rhinovirus — the virus that’s likely behind your common cold — thrives at about 32 degrees Celcius, turning up your temperature even more than that could keep the virus from growing by degrading its RNA (the building blocks of viruses). But unfortunately, the science hasn’t held up. For instance, a review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews looked at six studies involving sick people and found that breathing in hot air (like in a steam room) didn’t have any virus-erasing benefits.

You can’t sweat out a cold, says Dr Michele Olson, a senior clinical professor of sport science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. That’s because sweat serves a pretty simple basic function: “When sweat evaporates off your skin, your body cools. It is the primary way we reduce body temperature,” she explains.

So sweat can protect you from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even a super high fever (when you’re sick, heat loss via sweat keeps your fever from growing out of control). But it doesn’t exactly leach out cold bugs.

Oh, and ignore the influencers waxing poetic about toxins and sweat lodges, too: There are few, if any, toxins in your sweat, Olson says.

READ MORE: Here’s How To Tell If You’re Ready To Exercise Again After A Cold Or The Flu

Even if it won’t speed recovery, it’s okay to sweat if your cold is mild.

While caution is key (and there’s nothing wrong with taking a week off if you’re not feeling it!), you can do a workout if you give yourself a mini checkup first. “If most of your symptoms are above the neck (sniffling nose, sneezing, sore throat, and no fever), you can exercise within reason,” says Olson.

Her suggestion: Stick to your regular exercise routine but take it down a notch (work at 50 to 70 percent of your typical effort), she advises. Think: steady-state cardio like a slow run, flow yoga or Pilates, or lifting light weights with high reps.

Straight-up feverish with symptoms down to your chest, like severe coughing and wheezing? Get back on the couch until your fever’s down and your chest is no longer congested, she says. Otherwise, you could end up putting yourself at risk for conditions such as bronchitis or pneumonia, says Olson. Also, if you notice any brown mucus, you might have a sinus infection, in which case you’d want to head to the doc for a solid diagnosis and antibiotics, she notes.

As for the steam room, so long as you’re healthy (read: no history of heart problems), you’re good to step in for 20 minutes or so. Just be sure to drink tons of water to avoid dehydration, advises Olson.

Just make sure you consider the health of everybody else. While using a sauna mid-cold hasn’t been proven to increase the spread of infection, you’re still entering a small, enclosed space for prolonged contact with other people, says Dr. Esper. The same goes for touching all sorts of workout equipment if you exercise at a public gym. Do everyone a public service by staying away when you’re sick. (Your personal shower is a good, steamy substitution.)

The bottom line: Sweating out a cold is pretty much impossible, experts say, but breathing in steam or doing a light workout probably won’t hurt and may even help ease your congestion for the short term.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com

READ MORE ON: Colds and Flu Health Health Advice


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14 Jun

If you’ve ever been cheated on, you know it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. But real talk: Being the one who cheats on your partner can be equally as awful.

Still, it happens: Statistics show that women stray almost as often as men do. And anecdotally, the same is true.

“In my office, I have more women admitting to cheating than men,” says WH advisor “Dr. Chloe” Carmichael, a psychologist.

READ MORE: 6 Things That Make Your Partner Way More Likely To Cheat

While moving forward isn’t easy, cheating isn’t always a relationship death sentence. In fact, your bond can even come out stronger on the other side – if, that is, you know how to navigate the aftermath.

So, here’s exactly how to do so when you’re the one who slipped up. (I, for one, forgive you.)

1. Figure out WHY you cheated on your partner.

It’s important to understand the motivation for your cheating, says Dr. Chloe, because that realisation can inform how you proceed.

“Often, women cheat because they’re seeking something they’re not getting in their relationship, and cheating is the passive aggressive way to deal with that issue,” says Dr. Chloe.

If you’re simply incompatible and unsatisfied with your partner, choosing to act out by cheating is a sign to end the relationship.

But if you feel like you could be faithful to your partner if there were changes in your relationship (like if you had more sex, received more attention, or got back to a place in your relationship when you were once content), then that’s something your partner is likely capable of and may be worth working on.

2. Decide whether to tell your partner that you cheated.

Forget what you’ve heard: There’s no hard and fast rule for confessing your infidelity, says Dr. Chloe.

“If you know that you messed up and are 100-percent sure it was an isolated incident that your partner would never find out about, and it would be too much for them to handle or they wouldn’t want to know, then it might be best not to tell them,” she says.

Even if you don’t say a word to them, you may still want to seek therapy for yourself to work through why you cheated and how to prevent it from happening again.

If you want to tell your partner to relieve some guilt, or if you cheated because of an issue in the relationship and you want to move forward together, then you must have a conversation about it. Otherwise, a slip-up is bound to happen again because your needs aren’t being met by your partner (who may not even know you’re unhappy).

3. If you tell your partner you cheated, do it the right way.

Telling someone you love that you betrayed them is going to be difficult and uncomfortable no matter what, but there is a right way to explain yourself.

Pick a private space where you can talk, and say, “‘I need to tell you something that’s really hard for me to say, and I’m incredibly ashamed and sorry for what I’ve done,’” says Dr. Chloe.

READ MORE: “I Cheated On My Husband – And This Is Why I Did It”

“Take ownership for the mistake and emphasise what you plan to do to build trust and make sure this never happens again.” (More on what those steps might be below, under Move Forward.)

Once you’ve done that, delve into why you think it happened, making sure not to justify your cheating. Say something like: “I had an issue and I dealt with it in the wrong way. And I want to work through that issue with you so that this never happens again, because I love you and am committed to you.”

4. Expect major anger from your partner.

It’s normal for a significant other to react with extreme anger and disappointment, says Dr. Chloe, and as the cheating partner, you have to accept and honour that. Try to think of it as a good sign – it means that they care about you and the relationship.

They’re likely to have a lot of questions, but be mindful about how you share information about the affair. “Logistical questions about who it was and when it happened are fair game,” says Dr. Chloe. “But the more salacious details are probably not going to be helpful for them to hear, even if they want to know.”

If you’re being pressed for more info, say, “I will share that with you if it’s really going to be helpful for us to move forward, but I don’t know if that’s going to cause more damage. Let’s talk to a therapist and if we find that that would be helpful to share, I’m happy to do whatever I need to do to repair this.”

5. Let them go – if they want to.

Your partner may want nothing to do with you after they know about your cheating (fair), but that could be a sign that that relationship wasn’t meant to last anyway, notes Dr. Chloe.

“If someone won’t even consider working through it and it was a one-time incident that you clearly feel awful about, they probably weren’t that committed to the relationship anyway.”

If they want to part ways, respect their decision and try to move forward on your own. That might involve therapy to figure out how you could have better managed the situation. (Seeing a professional also gives you an objective, nonjudgmental third party to vent to and hear you out-never a bad thing.)

6. If your partner stays, move forward together.

So you both decided that you want to work through your disloyalty – great! But don’t just assume you can go back to normal.

Dr. Chloe strongly urges seeing a therapist together, which may seem scary (you feel the bad guy, after all) but can be super helpful for both parties.

READ MORE: “I Had An Affair With A Married Colleague – This Is How It Happened”

More specifically, a therapist can lead the partner who was cheated on “to understand what an appropriate reaction to the cheating is and make sure they aren’t using it against you as a power play for months to come.” (If you’ve ever crossed the line before, you know this all too well.)

Couples counselling can also help you work on the actual issue that led to the cheating – a lack of attention or appreciation? not feeling secure? – so you can both feel happier in the relationship down the road.

7. Rebuild what’s broken after cheating.

Cheating hurts not just because you were intimate with another person, but also because you broke what matters most in a relationship – trust.

So to work on repairing that, you may have to go the “extreme” for a bit: Let your partner have access to your phone, email and social media for a limited amount of time.

Ideally, you should both be working on getting to a place where your partner doesn’t feel like they need this information, but in the beginning, having access to your private world can be very helpful in reassuring them that you’re faithful and also interested in rebuilding trust, says Dr. Chloe.

(P.S. If giving them your password makes your stomach flip, perhaps reconsider if staying in the relationship is what you truly want.)

In a similar vein, be open and consistent in your communication with your partner about what you’re doing when you’re apart. The goal is to assure them that what happened was undoubtedly a one-time mess-up and that you’re prioritising your bond.

8. Address any residual post-cheating concerns.

If you think you cheated because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, take steps to work on those problems, like going to an AA meeting. “Let your partner be part of the process when they can so they can see that you’re committed to fixing your problems,” says Dr. Chloe.

Whether your incident happened when you were intoxicated or sober, be upfront with your partner if you ever have the temptation to cheat again. “Tell them that you think this is a signal that you need to work on something in the relationship, and you’re letting them know to be transparent and so that you won’t feel the need anymore.”

Of course, there’s no predicting how they’ll respond, but hopefully your S.O. will appreciate your openness and want to figure out how to get your relationship back to solid (stray-free) ground.

All in all, if you’re open to making changes that will help your other half trust you – and they have time and space to heal, as well as an interest in making their own changes to improve the relationship – moving past a moment of infidelity is definitely possible.

Not every person will be on board to work through cheating, but if someone is, that may be a sign of a true life partner. Whom, btw, you should never cheat on again.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com 

READ MORE ON: Cheating Relationship Tips Relationships


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13 Jun

You’re all about eating enough veggies (here’s looking at you, lunchtime kale salad), but what if you could just shove a whole pack of greens into a glass of water and be done with it?

It may sound too good to be true, but that’s the premise behind greens powders — dehydrated, ground-up greens that claim to deliver all the benefits of several cups of veggies.

But before you commit to drinking your greens instead of chowing down on spinach every day — are these products really as good as they claim to be?

So, what’s a greens powder?

Nope, it’s not just mushed up spinach. “Most greens powders are a blend of many different greens, herbs, spices, and superfoods, so they’re a great way to include ingredients like wheatgrass, beetroot, or kelp — foods you probably wouldn’t normally eat on a daily basis,” says Carolyn Brown, a registered dietician with NYC-based private nutrition practice Foodtrainers. As such, “the greens powders offer tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.”

Some powders also contain additional nutritious, non-green ingredients, including probiotics, chia and flax seeds, matcha, and fruit extracts. The products really aim to act as a one-stop shop for all your dietary needs, all in a couple spoonfuls of powder.

READ MORE: What Are Superfood Powders And Are They Good For You?

Are there benefits to taking a greens powder?

Greens powders often contain most of the same good-for-you nutrients that you’d find in whole greens, like B vitamins, vitamins A and K, calcium, iron, and antioxidants. That said, since these powders don’t contain as much fibre, they won’t fill you up the way, say, a kale salad would.

“It’s hard to say about all brands, of course, but typically, these powders are loaded with B minerals from the greens. This can be great for your immune system and energy levels,” says Brown. She even recommends trying them in the morning, for a potential natural pick-me-up.

What should you look for in a greens powder?

For starters, go for organic greens powders, if possible. “Any chemicals or pesticides that were present in the original green will be highly concentrated in a powder, since there are so many greens in one,” says Mascha Davis, a registered dietician and founder of Los Angeles-based nutrition practice Nomadista Nutrition.

Another thing to be aware of is the ingredient list — sometimes, these powders contain fillers, synthetic dyes, artificial sweeteners, and emulsifiers that could leave you feeling bloated and fatigued. So check the label, and make sure that the greens powders you consume only contain greens, and maybe a few additions like probiotics or matcha. Here are some really great ones to try:

1/ The Real Thing Green Power Powder

It’s free of gluten, fillers, binders, maltodextrin, colourants, flavourants, preservatives and additives of any shape or form.

The Real Thing Green Power Powder

R 225

Buy It

2/ Good Life Organic Power Plants Green Bang Superfood Blend

This super green powder contains ingredients like organic broccoli and spinach, moringa and alfalfa, spirulina, barley grass and wheatgrass.

Buy It

Good Life Organic Power Plants Green Bang Superfood Blend

R 199

Buy It

3/ Soaring Free Superfoods Super Shake Green Alkaliser

The nutritious blend of African baobab, green grasses, hemp seed protein, African moringa and spirulina will give you a broad range of health benefits.

Buy It

Soaring Free Superfoods Super Shake Green Alkaliser

R 31

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How do I eat greens powders?

Add to water, dissolve, and drink — yes, it really is that easy. Davis also recommends adding them to smoothies, especially if it’s a greens product that contains additional fats and protein to bulk it up into a meal.

Are there any risks involved with greens powders?

If you’re on any medication, of course, please check with your doctor to make sure there won’t be any adverse effects with any of the ingredients in your greens powder.

Plus, “many have ingredients you may not be used to, and can make your digestion move more quickly or more slowly,” says Brown. “So, work up to the recommended serving size slowly.”

In addition, Brown also suggests that if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant, or have a thyroid issue, avoid starting a daily greens regimen. Some contain high levels of sodium, iodine, and selenium that could worsen thyroid symptoms, and potentially harm the health of the new baby.

READ MORE: 5 Super-Healthy Beetroot Drinks And Snacks You’ll Keep Coming Back To

So, can I just stop eating vegetables, then?

Nice try… but these powders are not supposed to replace eating pure, unadulterated greens, whether that’s in a leafy salad or cooked into a stir-fry. “I think green powders can be a healthy addition, and are a great option for people who don’t love dark, leafy greens,” says Davis. “However, they are not a replacement for vegetables.” That’s because, even if the powders are minimally processed, they don’t contain some of the benefits of whole vegetables, such as fibre, high water content, and certain antioxidants.

Brown agrees, and recommends eating a minimum of two cups of greens, twice a day. However, in a pinch, she admits that the powders definitely have their benefits—especially if you’re in a situation where you know it’ll be hard to get ample daily greens. “I always suggest clients bring a greens powder along on their travels,” she says. “It’s perfect for the airport or iffy travel meals, and acts as a backup plan to make sure you’re getting in at least one veggie a day.”

Bottom line: Green powders can be a healthy addition to your daily diet, but they don’t replace whole vegetables.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com 

READ MORE ON: Healthy Eating Tips Nutrition Nutrition Advice


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13 Jun

Father’s Day is around the corner and if you’re hoping to get your dad/husband/baby daddy something, you need this guide. Because what do you get the man who has enough ties and “best dad ever” mugs?

Not to worry — you’ve got you covered with our best selection of Father’s day gifts to suit all budgets. And, who knows, you might even grab something for yourself…

R100 and under

A pure soap made for 100% natural ingredients, this beard soap won’t strip the hair or skin of its natural oils.

The Bearded Man Cleansing Beard Soap – Charcoal, Clay & Lemongrass

R 90

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From fixing lightbulbs to braaing up a storm, dads always save the day. Psst, you can get two for R100 (one for dad, one for you).

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A dry red wine blend made with Org du Rac’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. What’s not to love?

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Org De Rac Le Piquet Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015

R 85

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Does he remind you of our fave yellow dad? Well, he’ll love these Homer Simpson socks…

R200 and under

Whether it’s jetting around the world or commuting to the office, this travel wallet is a must to keep all his cards organised and secure.

Environmentally-conscious dad? Then this reusable coffee cup is a the perfect gift.

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The Natural Reusable Coffee Cup / Travel Mug

R 181

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Soothe his beard with this all-natural beard balm, specially formulated to keep hair moisturised and healthy.

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Hairy Eye Average Joe Beard Balm

R 124.50

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Who doesn’t love a pair of funky socks?

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Happy Socks: Multi-coloured filled optic socks

R 149

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Have him write down all his epic dad jokes in a personalised journal.

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Personalised A5 Buffalo Journal

R 199.99

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The colder weather is here, meaning a warm jacket is everything.

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Fleece Zip-through Jacket

R 199.99

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Matching socks are a thing of the past. This odd sock pack is the ultimate odd-ball dad gift.

R300 and under

The perfect travel companion to keep all his toiletries together while on the move.

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Double Zipper Wash Bag

R 299.99

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Make him a puff daddy with this puffer jacket that’s both stylish and warm.

Keep his neck  toasty with this check scarf – it goes well with any outfit.

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Check scarf with fringes

R 249

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Warm his body from the inside with this classic Irish Whiskey.

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Jameson – Irish Whiskey

R 299

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The perfect gift for the dad who’s watching his carbon footprint.

R300 and beyond

This sunshine yellow anorak will add a pop of colour to his winter wardrobe.

Give him some coffee – and gains – with this manual coffee grinder.

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Hario Skerton Plus Manual Coffee Grinder

R 699.99

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Get ready for all the “Guess what perfume I’m wearing” jokes.

Sick of him wearing tennis shoes? These formal ones amp up any outfit.

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Gino Paoli Formal Lace Up Brown

R 749

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Splurge on this waterproof jacket that will last dad a lifetime. Just don’t blame us if it’s the only thing he ever wears from now on.

Help him stay active with the ultimate fitness tracker.

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Fitbit Inspire Fitness Tracker

R 989

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Dad a bit of a foodie? Then he’ll love this cookbook filled with the best South African recipes.

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The Great South African Cookbook

R 446

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BONUS: Get freebies with SouthAfriCAM

Father's Day Gift Guide

Turn your selfies with pops into currency. Yes, you read that correctly — dad’s winning smile can make you rich in JETpoints. JETS is the currency used to buy various products, including dad’s fave male grooming products, a copy of the latest Men’s Health or Bicycling magazines, food vouchers, airtime and more.

Simply upload your pic with dad to the SouthAfriCAM app using the using the Father’s Day branded sticker, share it to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and watch as your earn JETpoints. Then head out to your Father’s Day shopping spree. Download the app HERE.

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

READ MORE ON: Gift Guide Life Life Advice


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13 Jun

Instead of wasting an hour flipping through Netflix, then Showmax, then Netflix again in hopes of deciding on a dram-edy for your Friday night in, consider a much hotter type of screen time in bed: watching porn together.

Try the We-Vibe Unite Couples’ Vibrator: hands-free clit stimulation for her and a slim fit for him.

R 1 885

BUY NOW

“Watching people have sex is hot in itself, but when you engage in something you don’t usually do with another person, you create an extra element of naughtiness,” says sex therapist Vanessa Marin. That added illicit feeling can be enough to make sure you – not just the actors on your screen – enjoy a, er, climactic finish.

But watching porn together offers a handful of other benefits beyond just getting off (not that that’s not worthy on its own). So read on… then get browsing, girl.

1. Watching porn together can bring you closer.

Real talk: Your partner, especially if he’s male, has very, VERY likely watched porn. And chances are, you have, too. But most people watch it by themselves, either because they don’t want their S.O. to get offended, or worse, because they’re secretly ashamed.

“Watching porn together means you don’t have to hide anything,” says sex and relationship expert Dr Christie Hartman. “And being open and honest strengthens your bond.”

So if you think cozying up to spectate a super-intense 69 sesh is something only hook-up buddies would do, think again: Allowing a partner to enter into your “private life” opens up a whole new level of intimacy.

2. It can lead to very honest conversations.

You know those random things that turn you on? Like, seeing someone handcuffed to a bed, or watching a woman have her nipples nibbled on (even if you’re not totally sure you’d like to be that person IRL).

Viewing porn with your partner creates an immediate opportunity to talk about those hot buttons in a safe space: You can comment as you watch – “Hmm, that looks kinda fun…” – without having to straight-up ask for a specific sexy deed, which can be intimidating.

READ MORE: “I Watched Porn With My Partner For The First Time – Here’s What Happened”

Likewise, your partner may have some turn-ons that they haven’t felt comfortable voicing when it’s just the two of you (and no actors) in the room. If they see something that intrigues them while you watch porn together, they can approach the act/position/fetish/insert-sexy-thing-here and likely get an honest reaction from you (“No way!” or “Omg, let’s try it”).

P.S. More than half of women in one survey said watching porn together gave them the confidence to ask for what they want in bed. So… it works.

3. Watching porn together can turn you on – big time.

Watching people get it on while you’re with your partner is insanely stimulating to the brain, almost like watching a scary movie together or drinking together, explains Hartman.

Assuming you actually like your partner, and you’re choosing a film that both of you are into, “sharing in the excitement is what makes watching porn together so amazing,” she says.

READ MORE: Meet The ‘Holy Grail’ Of Sex Toys For Couples

Plus, just watching your partner get aroused as they view what’s happening on-screen can be ridiculously stirring for you, too, adds sex therapist Dr Barbara Winters. This goes for men more so than women, since guys typically feel powerful when they’re able to turn on their partner, she notes.

Still, if you’re the type of girl who loves getting your partner off, chances are, you’ll love watching them watch others.

4. Watching porn together can spark new ideas in the bedroom.

You can read about every sex position in the world, but nothing comes close to actually seeing a crazy set-up in action. Watching real people (okay, porn stars) enjoy non-vanilla sex can make what may have seemed unrealistic more doable and fun.

“Watching porn together may encourage couples to try role-play, new positions, or acts they haven’t tried before,” says Hartman. “A little adventure is good for a relationship, especially after being together for a long time.”

4. You might discover you like things you never, ever considered.

A lot of porn may seem “out there,” since the traditional, mainstream type often caters to more casual, rough encounters than sweet, intimate sex (the kind many women prefer).

And when you’re watching porn on your own, you may stick to the same kinds of videos over and over, which is totally fine – but may keep you from exploring other types that you may actually find super hot.

When watching with your partner, though, you’ll likely get a sneak peek at what they like to watch, opening your world, says Marin. The result? You might uncover fantasies you didn’t even know you had.

Cool, so how do I go about watching porn with my partner?

Good Q! And it’s actually a really simple answer: Just ask.

“Most men will jump at the idea to watch porn with their partner,” says Marin. Similarly, if your significant other is female, she’ll very likely love the thought of participating in something that will get you both going.

Approach them by saying something like, “I’m curious about what kind of porn you watch. Want to see if we can find a video we’d both like to watch together?” suggests Marin.

READ MORE: “My Guy Used A Vibrating Cock Ring During Sex – Here’s What It Was Like”

If they’re not into it – or they mention the idea to you and you’re not feelin’ it – don’t push it. Watching porn isn’t for everyone, so you should never feel obligated or pressured to partake.

You may also want to consider watching a specific category called “ethical porn,” Marin says. “Ethical porn, which is often produced by female filmmakers, is more realistic and not degrading, so it can be more enjoyable to watch as a couple,” she explains.

Even still, if you give watching porn together a try and it makes either of you uncomfortable, no worries. Agree to close that browser window and, ya know, maybe give that random Showmax movie another chance.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

READ MORE ON: Sex Sex Tips


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12 Jun

Looking to switch to a natural deodorant? First, some background: Natural deodorants are free of aluminium salts, the active ingredient in antiperspirant that stops your body from sweating. Instead, natural deodorants use other ingredients — like baking soda, clays, or zinc salts — to soak up the oils, bacteria, and sweat that can develop in your armpits and lead to odour.

Fair warning: For some people, natural deodorants can cause irritation and itchiness, so finding the best natural deodorant that doesn’t irritate your skin but does neutralise odour can be tricky.

Since deodorant doesn’t actually stop the production of sweat like an antiperspirant does, you’ll still sweat a bit (a feeling that will take avid antiperspirant users a bit to get used to). But once you accept a little sweat, you’ll love that these best natural deodorants keep your pits happy and healthy.

1/ Simply Bee All-Natural Roll-On Deodorant

This deo is ideal for those with sensitive skin, and it uses antibacterial tea tree, neem and lavender to neutralise the bacteria which cause your sweat to smell bad.

Simply Bee All-Natural Roll-On Deodorant

R 81

Buy it

READ MORE: Here’s All The Reasons Your Armpits Itch And Exactly What To Do About It

2/ Dr. Hauschka Rose Deodorant

This earth-friendly deodorising power, is super gentle, and naturally scented with real rose extract for a delicate, clean, feel and smell. It’s also free of baking soda, which can cause irritation in some people.

Buy It

Dr. Haushka Rose Deodorant

R 296

Buy It

3/ Schmidt’s Bergamot + Lime Deodorant Stick

This deodorant stick is totally free of harmful heavy metals, petro-chemicals, and plastics (yay!). It also has a light, citrus-y scent that will keep you feeling and smelling fresh.

Buy It

Schmidt Bergamot + Lime Deodorant Stick

R 120

Buy It

4/ Ben & Anna Natural Soda Deodorant Pure

The ultra lux, vegan formulation of shea butter, arrowroot and other plant ingredients controls odour, wetness and moisturises the skin (without irritating it).

Buy It

Ben & Anna Natural Soda Deodorant Pure

R 189

Buy It

5/ Earthsap Tea-Tree & Lemon Roll-On

This roll-on contains essential oils like lemon oil which won’t harm or irritate the skin.

Buy It

Earthsap Tea-Tree & Lemon Roll-On

R 52

Buy It

READ MORE: 4 Reasons Why You’ve Suddenly Developed Dark Armpits

6/ Jozi Organic Fragrance Free Roll-on

If you’re looking for something that’s fragrance-free then try the Jozi Organic Fragrance Free Roll-on — it’s made from plant derived organic ingredients with absolutely no nasties.

Buy It

Jozi Organic Fragrance Free Roll-on

R 92

Buy It

7/ LUSH T’eo Solid Deodorant

This solid deodorant bar contains juniperberry, tea tree and lemon oil which limits bacterial growth and helps keep you fresh.

Buy It

LUSH T’eo Solid Deodorant

R 95

Buy It

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com 

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

READ MORE ON: Beauty Beauty Advice Skin


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12 Jun

Let’s be real for a sec: Pilates only seems easy — anyone who’s ever taken a class knows all those teeny-tiny movements are actually painful AF. But that begs the question: If Pilates is so damn difficult, it’s gotta be effective for weight loss, right?

Tbh, Pilates can definitely help you burn calories (and ultimately lose weight) — but its benefits go way past dropping kilos (think: better posture, improved breathing, more flexibility), and it should be part of your regular workout schedule.

“Pilates should be considered part of your self-care routine,” says Jacquelyn Brennan, a Pilates instructor and co-founder of Chicago-based Pilates + Coffee. “We all need to move our spines more, move our joints through every range of motion, and everyone needs to be breathing better.” And all of those healthy practices can lead to weight loss.

Okay, but which type of Pilates is best for weight loss?

So, when someone mentions “Pilates,” they’re likely referring to Romana’s Pilates, which features exercises that Joseph Pilates (the founder) developed, explains Gabbi Berkow, a nutritionist and Pilates instructor.

Some studios are dedicated to classical or Romana’s Pilates (which is what Berkow is trained in) but there are studios that feature different Pilates-based workouts, which means they use Pilates-inspired moves, but don’t follow classical Pilates to a T. Some Pilates classes also occur on a mat, while others can occur on a reformer, which is basically a sliding platform.

Regardless, experts say that one form of Pilates isn’t superior to another to drop pounds. “For weight loss, I don’t think one type of Pilates is necessarily best,” says Berkow.

What you do want when it comes to Pilates and weight loss is an instructor who knows what they’re doing, is committed to safe movements, and will challenge you, adds Berkow. “You want to make sure your Pilates class is a workout. It shouldn’t be just a series of slow, easy stretches. Pilates has to contribute to your total daily calorie burn for it to make a difference in weight loss,” she says.

READ MORE: 4 Easy Pilates Moves That’ll Set Your Core On Fire

Can you get in shape by doing Pilates?

You’re not going to leave class dripping in sweat like you would after a HIIT class, but you are doing a total-body workout during every session, says Berkow. “Even though Pilates targets the core, every exercise utilizes all of the muscles in your body. Every movement works strength, flexibility, and mental control over your body,” she says. So, your answer is a resounding yes, you can absolutely get in shape with Pilates.

Another perk: Strengthening your body through Pilates and using it as a low-impact workout to round out your routine, may decrease your risk of injury, adds Brennan. Improving your posture, flexibility, and range of motion can also act as a foundation for success in other activities and workouts.

Ultimately, you’re going to get out of it what you put in. “In my 10-plus years of teaching, I’ve learned that students who have a strong Pilates practice see results quicker, as they’re able to perform their other workouts more effectively,” says Brennan. She recommends doing Pilates two to four times per week for the best results.

READ MORE: “This 5-Move Pilates Leg Series Set My Inner Thighs On Fire”

Can Pilates help you lose belly fat?

If you’ve ever gone to a class, you know how insane the core work is (seriously, “Hundreds” are not for the faint of heart…or abs).

While you can’t spot-reduce fat, Pilates can help you learn how to properly engage your pelvic floor and deep core muscles, says Brennan. “Pilates will teach you how to engage your muscles correctly, which will lend to increased activation during core exercises and lead to a ‘tighter tummy,’” she says.

However, to see abs definition, you do have to lose the fat that sits on top of your muscles, which requires proper nutrition, says Berkow. Think: a diet rich in whole, fresh foods and a limit on overly-processed foods and snacks.

How much weight can you lose by doing Pilates?

Honestly, weight loss involves a ton of other factors, like sleep, lifestyle, and eating habits, so Pilates, regardless of how great it feels, isn’t a cure-all. Pilates will, however, deliver far more benefits than just a lower number on a scale.

First, there’s stress relief. As Brennan explains, Pilates helps you with breath work, encouraging deeper belly breaths that are in direct contrast to the shallow breathing many of us do on the reg. “Shallow breathing leads to increased cortisol levels, which contributes to weight gain. One could say that through Pilates and learning to breathe better, you’d have lower cortisol — and thus, stress — levels, something that can help you lose weight,” she says.

Feeling better, both mentally and physically, will also encourage you to take care of your body, says Berkow — and Pilates can definitely be a key part of an overall weight-loss goal.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com 

READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Pilates Weight Loss Weight Loss Tips


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