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How to get the best reading of your blood pressure

20 Sep


A number of factors can boost your reading even when you don’t have hypertension.


Several factors can lead to an artificially high blood pressure reading — elevated numbers even though you don’t have hypertension. One common cause: nervousness about being at the doctor’s office. Try the following suggestions to get the most accurate results.

*       Don’t drink coffee or smoke cigarettes for at least 30 minutes before having your blood pressure measured.

*       Go to the bathroom prior to the reading. A full bladder can change your blood pressure reading.

*       Before the test, sit for five minutes with your back supported and your feet flat on the ground.

*       Rest your arm on a table at the level of your heart.

*       Ask the doctor or nurse to take two readings, at least two minutes apart, and average the results.


Sensible tips for eating out while on weight loss program

23 Jul

Are you finding it tough to stick to a low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol diet when eating out? Try these suggestions:

  • Choose restaurants that have low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol menu choices. And don’t be afraid to make special requests — t’s your right as a paying customer.
  • Control serving sizes by ordering a side-dish or appetizer as your meal, sharing a dish with a companion, or taking half of your entrée home.
  • Ask that gravy, butter, rich sauces, and salad dressings be served on the side. That way, you can control the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol that you eat by adding a small amount to your food.
  • Instead of chips, fries, or coleslaw, ask to substitute a salad or baked potato instead. If the restaurant doesn’t allow for substitutions, just ask your server to leave those unhealthy extras off of your plate

(from Harvard Everyday Health Newsletter)

Tips to save money and have better looking hair

3 Jul

Homemade concoctions for healthier hair.

Your tresses are precious, so give them a treat–or, better yet, a homemade treatment! There are quick, easy, healthy recipes for getting your hair into soft, manageable condition. Just tie on your apron and whip up a batch!

The “mane” ingredients:

What a sweet way to add moisture and shine to your hair! Simply skin a papaya, remove the seeds, and mash the pulp into mushy consistency. Work it into your hair and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Thoroughly shampoo, rinse, and condition your tresses for a brilliant shine!

The taste and texture of avocado tells you that it has moisturizing properties. In fact, an avocado is high in fat (30 grams on average) and vitamin E. Place half an avocado in a small bowl and stir in coconut milk until the mixture has the smooth consistency of hair conditioner. Work it throughout your hair. Sit with a plastic cap on for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse, then shampoo lightly, and rinse again.

If your hair is dulled by product residue and you’re looking to impart shine, vinegar will do the job. Dilute a half cup of apple-cider vinegar with a cup of warm water and apply to clean hair. Let it sit for 1 minute. Shampoo again to rid your hair of the vinegar odor.

Although many natural ingredients are healthy for your hair, one to avoid is raw egg. According to Hilary Shallo Thesmar, Ph.D., R.D., director of the Egg Safety Center, using eggs as part of a hair- or skin-care regimen is not recommended because of food-safety concerns, such as the possibility of cross-contamination with salmonella bacteria.

Looks good!

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