Protecting Yourself Against Bone Loss

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones and increases the risk of fractures. The unfortunate truth is that you may not know that you have it until your bones fracture in a fall or bump. However, bone loss can be prevented with a healthy diet and the right degree of physical activity.

Exercise Your Bones
Your bones, like your muscles, can be strengthened through working out. Weight bearing exercises are especially good for keeping bones strong. Forcing the body to work against gravity prompts it to make new bone. Examples of such exercises include stair climbing, aerobics, jogging, tennis, racket sports, and running.

Strength training exercise is also a good way to prevent bone loss. The pull of muscle on the bones strengthens them as you work them, improving flexibility and reducing the chances of falling: a.k.a., the main reason for broken hips. Bone and muscle building exercises and activities include: lifting free weights, bags of groceries, young children, using ankle and wrist weights, resistance bands, weight machines, or by doing push ups, squats or other movements which involve countering your own body weight.

resveralife Protecting Yourself Against BoneLoss

Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium deprived bodies lead to weakened bones. When your body lacks calcium, it will start to look for your bones to get what it needs, and that means loss of bone mass. Getting enough of this nutrient means eating plenty of low-fat dairy, calcium-fortified juices, and food, like soy milk, cereal and tofu, salmons and sardines with bones, and leafy green veggies.

Vitamin D is sort of like the calcium roadie. Your body needs it to help absorb the calcium. Although not many foods have vitamin D, it can be found in fatty fish, cheese, beef liver, and eggs yolks and fortified foods such as cereal, milk, and orange juice. Most of our intake of vitamin D comes from the sun. Skin produces the vitamin naturally when the sun hits it, so you should try and spend a little time outdoors to make sure your calcium has its proper amount of assistance.

Other Prevention Tips

  • Keep alcohol to a minimum. Consuming more than two drinks a day can raise the risk of bone loss.
  • Quite smoking. Smoking can actually double your chances of fractures and bone loss by interfering with estrogen function.
  • Don’t over exercise. The “female athlete triad” refers to the three issues that can result from too much exercise: thin bones, cessation of menstruation, and eating disorders. Irregular periods are often associated with low bone mass and decreased estrogen levels.
  • Cut down on Soda According to some studies, the extra phosphorus in soda may keep your body from absorbing calcium. Others speculate that women replace calcium-rich drinks, like milk, with soda.
  • While some drugs can help to maintain and build bones, they often have dangerous side effects. Always question a physician before taking any medicines.

What are you doing to keep your bones healthy? Let us know! We love to hear it.

Understanding The Anatomy Of A Lipoma

You’ve just been diagnosed with a lipoma. Your mind begins to spiral. How long have you got? What do you need to know? Who’s going to get Mom’s silverware? Relax. Lipomas are just one of those medical terms, like simple chronic halitosis; they only sound scary. In reality, lipomas are relatively harmless, and usually painless as well. However, at this stage in your life, the last thing you need is something unidentified growing on your body that can’t be gotten rid of with a flick of the hand or a damp tissue. So, what can you do about this unwanted guest? Let’s take a look at the wonderful anatomy of the lipoma.

Lipomas
Lipomas are lumps which slowly develop between the skin and the muscle layer underneath. Lipomas are easily identified because they move easily when pressure is exerted upon them. They tend to have a doughy feel, but normally are not tender and several may appear at a time. Although a lipoma may occur in individuals at any age, they mostly develop during the middle of a person’s life.

Symptoms
Lipomas are most often, but not limited to the neck, arm, back, and shoulder areas. They are located right under the skin, are soft and doughy to the touch, and are usually small. While lipomas are usually not painful, they may cause discomfort if they press on nerves or contain many blood vessels. Usually, the most troublesome symptom is the location of the lipoma or a significant increase in size which may make it noticeable to others.

Causes
Although the actual cause of a lipoma is not known, many experts believe genetics are responsible, since they tend to appear commonly in members of the same families. Occasionally, injuries to the body, such as a traumatic blow to the area have been shown to trigger growth as well.

resveralife Understanding The Anatomy Of Lipoma

Treatment
Lipomas typically do not require treatment, and there is no known treatment to stunt their growth or prevent them. However, surgical removal may be recommended if the lipoma becomes painful, inflamed or infected, if it drains smelly discharge, if it increases in size, if it interferes with movement, or becomes bothersome and difficult to look at. Lipoma removal is a relatively simple process done at a physician’s office with a local anesthetic. The surgeon will begin by making a small incision, followed by extraction of the tissue. Stitches are used to close the incision. Other choices for removal include:

Steroid Injections
Steroid injections usually will not completely eliminate the tumor but have been known to cause lipomas to shrink.

Liposuction
Liposuction employs a large syringe and needle to remove the lipoma, but it is difficult to remove the entire lump.

Herbal Remedies

Chickweed
Chickweed tincture can be obtained at herbal specialty stores. One teaspoon can be taken orally three times daily, or the chickweed can be obtained in ointment form, rubbed directly into the affected area once a day.

Bitters
Bitter herbs and foods increase the body’s ability to digest fat, which is what a lipoma essentially is. Bitter herbs include gentian, wormwood, goldenseal, and yarrow, while olives, unsweetened chocolate, citrus peel and dandelion greens are all examples of bitter foods.

Lemon Juice
Adding lemon juice to the water that you usually drink may be helpful in eliminating lipomas. Lemon Juice removes toxins from the body by stimulating the digestive system and cleansing the liver.

Cedar
Lipomas can be treated by applying a cedar ointment to the affected area three times per day. Mix five drops of cedar extract with two teaspoons of water and drink three times daily, then rub the ointment into your skin.

Did you treat your lipoma? Let us know how it went. And be sure to get all and any suspicious-looking lumps and growths examined by a professional.

Woman showering

Shower Habits That Damage Your Skin

Spoiler alert! If you enjoy taking steamy hot showers, do not read this article. To many of us, a hot steamy shower is the high point of our day. The little cubicle, your own private haven, the steam, unknotting the stress in your muscles and opening the pores of your skin. The acoustics of the tile, providing just the right amount of echo to make the renditions of your favorite pop songs almost listenable. How can this be wrong?

Unfortunately, pleasurable as they may be, long hot showers can be damaging to your skin. While there are ways to mitigate the damage, it may involve making small sacrifices. Read on to find out which shower habits may be harming your skin, if you dare.

Water Temp is Too High
While the water temperature may offer short-term pleasure, the long term effects may be less enjoyable. Hot water can strip skin of its natural oils, drying it out, and causing possible discomfort. Those with eczema should be especially wary of very hot showers, as the skin barrier of eczema sufferers is already weak. If you really can’t live without the steam, try blasting the hot water, allowing steam to build and them decreasing the temperature of the water before it comes into contact with your skin.

Dirty towels

Dirty Towels
Even though it may seem that we emerge from the shower clean and bacteria free, this is not the case. Dead skin cells transfer to towels and can result in growth of bacteria, and even mold. Wash towels regularly and try and leave them in a dry, well-lit environment to cut down on bacterial growth.

Harsh Soap
Although antibacterial soaps are great for stripping pores of dirt and bacteria, it may also strip skin of natural oils and good bacteria that helps skin to maintain a balanced pH level. While antibacterial soaps may work well on your hands, they are not recommended for all over cleansing. Also, you may want to swap the bar soap for a moisturizing, natural body wash. Bar soaps can accumulate bacteria from sitting in a wet, dimly lit shower.

Showering Without Moisturizer
Showers provide the best opportunity for moisturizing, and one that you should definitely take advantage of. Warm water opens the pores, allowing water to hydrate skin and allowing the moisturizer to lock the hydration in. For optimal results, use a soap that contains moisturizing ingredients in addition to your regular lotion.

Woman scrubbing

Overscrubbing
Scrubbing should not be confused with exfoliation. Roughly textured bathing accessories, such as shower brushes and loofahs, can break healthy skin cells, leaving behind raw patches on your skin. These tools also collect bacteria, which, when combined with vulnerable skin, is a recipe for damage. Use mild loofahs and try to keep exfoliation down to once or twice a week.

Hard Water
Unfortunately, the water most of us shower with is “hard.” This means it has chemicals and mineral to purify it. While this makes it safe for showering, it may not be the best thing for our skin, and may clog pores and strip skin of natural oil. However, you can avoid this by purchasing a shower head with a water filter to keep the hard stuff out.

What do you think? Is good skin worth the sacrifice? What price is too much for a great shower? Let us know!

Woman eating cereals.

Resveralife Eat Well: Eat Your Way to Great Skin

The link between diet and health is inextricable. The foods that you choose when you’re at the market affect every aspect of your body from your general health to your toenails. A nutritious, well-balanced diet provides your body with everything it needs to run at peak efficiency. The old adage “you are what you eat” is certainly true when it comes to diet and your skin. Once you decide to eat your way to better skin (and overall health) it can be a bit daunting and overwhelming to start writing up grocery lists and planning your meals. Which foods are most beneficial to your skin? Resveralife researched this question and we’ve rounded up the five best, and most delicious, foods to eat your way to better skin.

Dark chocolate

Chocolate
We figured we’d start with something that you will be delighted to add to your next shopping list. Chocolate can help give you glowing skin, but only if you are consuming dark chocolate. Milk chocolate does not have nearly the same amount of cacao that dark chocolate does. The famous skin expert, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, notes some of the benefits of dark chocolate saying, “…dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant.” Cocoa also helps hydrate your skin, making it more supple. Look for chocolate that is 70% dark chocolate or higher to reap the benefits while satisfying your sweet tooth.

Walnuts

Walnuts
Walnuts, another tasty treat, have several components that make them a great choice when you want to eat your way to better skin. Walnuts are the only type of nut that contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. While omega-3 fatty acids benefit everyone, they are especially beneficial to those who follow a vegetarian diet that do not enjoy fish. In addition the the omega-3s that walnuts provide, they are also high in copper. Copper is a mineral that boosts collagen production, leaving your skin firmer and smoother.

Oatmeal dish

Oatmeal
A great way to start your day, oatmeal (particularly steel cut oats or whole grain oatmeal) is a complex carbohydrate that fills you up. Choosing a sugary cereal spikes your insulin levels and that can be bad news for your face. When insulin spikes it increases production of hormones known as androgens, which in turn increase oil production and the end result is more zits and pimples on your face. Oatmeal has skin healing properties and takes longer to break down in your body, which means that it keeps your blood sugar at a steady level.

Kale on a table.

Kale
Okay, this one can be more of an acquired taste, but figuring out ways to fix it that you enjoy will significantly help your skin. A one cup serving of kale provides you with 134% of vitamin C and 133% of vitamin A. Additionally, kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients neutralize and absorb free-radicals that are caused by ultraviolet radiation, including those UV rays that may get past your sunscreen. There are tons of ways to eat kale, so there’s bound to be something you love whether it’s a green smoothie, a chopped salad or a snack like kale chips.

Green tea.

Green Tea
We wanted to include a healthy drinking option on the list, because sometimes you want something other than water. Green tea is incredibly high in antioxidants and one in particular, EGCG, that helps reduce redness. In addition, the antioxidants in green tea increase oxygen flow to your skin and boost your circulation. Studies have also shown that green tea fights inflammation in the body. Enjoy at least one cup of green tea daily to get the skin rewards this powerful drink offers.

It really is possible to eat your way to better skin, and not all of the foods that benefit your body are bland and boring. Strive for five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and limit the amount of refined sugar you eat. Always pick whole grains, complex carbohydrates, over simple carbohydrates that are overly processed. Combined with exercise and great skin care, your healthy skin diet will leave you looking and feeling your best.

Woman cleansing makeup

Washing Skin the Correct Way, Avoid These Mistakes

Washing your face is easy, right? A total no-brainer; splash some water on your face, rub cleanser in, rinse off and dry. Not exactly. While cleansing your skin doesn’t require thorough research or years of practice to master, there are some pretty common face washing mistakes that you might not even know you’re making. Cleansing is the most essential part of your skincare regime, because if you don’t properly wash your face, the products that you apply after cleansing can’t work properly. The following four simple tips help you avoid common mistakes, master washing your face and give you beautiful skin as a result.

Woman using a cleanser

Know Your Cleanser
The first step in washing your face begins far before you make it to the bathroom sink. Picking the right cleanser for your skin type goes a long way in helping you wash your face most effectively. The most popular formulas for facial cleansers are foaming cleansers, gel cleansers or cream cleansers. While it is impossible to say with 100% certainty which cleanser type is best for your skin, there are general guidelines. Oily and acne prone skin probably won’t do too well with cream cleansers, as they can be a bit heavy. Stick with gels or foaming cleansers if you struggle with breakouts. Dry skin works excellently with cream cleansers that clean the face without stripping essential moisture. Normal skin can pick from any of the options.

Once you have the correct cleanser, it is important to read the directions. Yes, it seems silly but different products have different methods of cleansing. For instance, if you use a gel or foaming cleanser, you want to apply it on a face that is already wet. The right face wash and following the directions do wonders for your skin.

Woman taking a shower.

Skip the Hot Water
Hot water may feel relaxing on your face as you wash, but it is a terrible way to care for your face. Washing with hot water causes your skin to lose necessary moisture. Hot water removes natural oils, can increase inflammation and rosacea and is overall too harsh on your skin. Stick with lukewarm water when you wash your face.

Woman cleansing her face with a wipe.

Lose the Wipes
Facial cleansing cloths are so convenient and require so little effort that it is incredibly tempting to use these as your primary means of cleansing. However, doing so is doing a disservice to your skin. While wipes are great for use after a gym session or to remove makeup, they do not clean deep down into your pores, leaving dead skin cells, sebum and other debris inside. Some facial cleansing wipes are ineffective at removing makeup, dirt and other pollutants from your day that they end up just moving them around your face. If you are a face wipe junkie, go ahead and use them but always follow with proper cleansing.

Woman wiping face with a towel.

Using a Dirty Towel
This one is kind of a pain, because nobody wants to do laundry constantly. Using the same towel that you do for your hands in your bathroom is a serious no-no because it contains bacteria, and when the towel presses against our face, bacteria is transferred negating your great cleansing. Likewise, using last night’s towel is a bad idea. If possible, purchase an inexpensive pack of towels or washcloths in a color that is entirely different than any other towels you have in your home. This way, even on nights when you’re so tired you are pretty much on autopilot, you will recognize immediately if you grab the wrong towel. It is somewhat inconvenient to use a new wash cloth every single time you wash your face, but your skin will definitely thank you.

Other things to consider when it comes to cleansing are avoiding over-washing (twice per day is plenty) and over or under-exfoliating your skin. Use gentle chemical exfoliants as opposed to harsh scrubs to exfoliate. Additionally, facial cleansing brushes are amazing, but using them every single time you wash your face can severely damage your skin. Aim to use your cleansing brush several times a week or only at night. Washing your face the right way is a cinch once you know what to do and the reward of healthy, radiant skin is well worth the extra effort.

Human neuron

The Cell Transformation that Could Transform Medicine

The treatment and management of diseases and conditions is one of the most heavily studied areas of science. New discoveries are made every day, some of which have the power to transform medical practices. A recent study by molecular and cellular biologists indicates that the way in which personalized medicine is practiced may truly transform. Scientists have been able to use gene insertion to transform one type of cell into another type of cell. Adding genes into the original cells is a highly intricate process that involves a significant time investment. Additionally, when using gene insertion to transform cells, there is the possibility one of the genes meant for insertion could end up on a chromosome and activate a cancer-causing gene. New studies published online by Cell Stem Cell states that scientists have successfully transformed skin cells into neurons without the use of gene insertion.

The Study
The studies published online by Cell Stem Cell assert that scientists have been able to transform one type of cell into another type of cell with a less invasive and time consuming process. The new transforming technique involves the addition of a specific set of chemicals to the cells. Gang Pei, a co-author of one of the studies and a biochemist at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences in China explains that the crucial element in this new way of transforming cells is the use of small molecule chemicals. These small molecule chemicals go into the cell and enter the nucleus of the cell, the part that contains DNA. From here, the small molecule chemicals are able to alter the activity of a gene. Pei, and the team he led, spent enormous amounts of time researching the exact chemical concoction that can transform cells; in the study they transformed skin cells into neurons. The specific group of chemicals used by Pei and his team are labeled VCRFSGY and these chemicals work in stages. VCRF, the first four chemicals, begin the process by altering physical traits on a gene known as Tuj1 (a gene that is specifically active in neurons). Without the last three chemicals, the altered cell exists in an ambiguous state being neither a skin cell nor a neuron. The SGY chemicals amplify the neurological development that VCRF initiated which results in cells that looked, and acted like, neurons.In a second study, researchers in China were able to achieve the same results in mice using different chemicals.

Why it Matters
With two separate studies, and two sets of chemicals, producing the same results, molecular and cell biologists believe that this process could compete with gene insertion in order to reprogram and transform cells. They believe that the process of using small molecule chemicals will especially benefit the field of personalized medicine. These study is exciting because with these processes, a patient’s own cells can be used to treat illnesses and other conditions. Pei’s team was able to transform skin cells from an Alzheimer’s patient into neurons that exhibited markers of Alzheimer’s disease. With this process, researchers would be able to safely and accurately research the disease and perform drug tests on the transformed cells without endangering the patient.

These studies indicate that medical research and development continues to reach new and exciting heights constantly, which provides the scientific community with hope that disease study will advance to the point where cures are possible. These studies are just the beginning of the powers of cell-transforming technology and only time will tell what will be possible in the future.

Woman working out in a gym.

Change How You Think – Make Working Out a Habit

You think about heading to the gym and working out. You may even plan out your exercise routine or when you are going to hit the gym. But somehow, those plans seem to fall by the wayside when it comes time for you to actually get moving. It doesn’t help that you have friends or know gym-goers that show up without fail every single day. Even more frustrating is that these fitness junkies actually like the process of exercise and look forward to this part of their day. While you mentally curse them for their dedication, you probably also wish that you could be more disciplined and more excited about your own exercise and now you can. A recent study published in the Health Psychology journal suggests that there really is a difference between those who consistently exercise and those that struggle with merely making time to head outside or to your gym, but don’t lose hope yet. Just because there is a difference between you and faithful gym-goers doesn’t mean that you can’t become one of the latter. The study suggests that you can learn to make exercise an essential part of your day.

What Sets Regular Exercisers Apart
The answer to what makes regular exercises different is frustratingly simple and you have probably heard it before. Those that workout without fail do not dread exercise and they don’t think of exercise as a chore that has to be done. It’s that difficult and that simple. Rather than thinking about exercise as one more thing that you have to cram into the day, consistent exercisers get active almost automatically; it is just a part of their daily routine. Those that exercise regularly receive cues, either internal or external, that signal it is time to get up and move. Some may respond to external sources, like the alarm going off in the morning, while others respond to an internal cue “I’m stressed from work and home obligations, it’s time to relieve some stress at the gym.”

In the study, the researchers referred to this tendency as the “instigation habit.” The researchers set out to find out whether the instigation habit would be indicative of people being able to stick to an exercise regime, and they definitely proved their hypothesis. In fact, the instigation habit was the only predictor that people would stick with exercise and that the more time spent exercising (for example going from the first month to the third), the stronger the instigation habit became. Why? Because it seems that exercisers with a high instigation habit do not think only of the work that awaits them when it’s time to exercise. They associate exercise and gym time with specific parts of their day; they hear their alarm in the morning and know it’s time to lace up the gym shoes. It isn’t only the exercise that the consistent gym-goers think of, they think of the entire experience of exercise, including that awesome post-workout high, as a habit they have cultivated, not as a chore that they have to cross off their to-do list.

Why it Matters
It seems like a great excuse (“I don’t intrinsically have a strong instigation habit so I shouldn’t even bother”), but it’s actually the reverse. If you weren’t blessed with a high instigation habit, it takes a bit more work on your part, but you absolutely can strengthen it. Beginning an exercise routine after a long break in physical activity (or a lifetime or inactivity) is by no means an easy task, but stick with it. The longer that you make regular exercise a part of your routine, the more you condition your mind to think of exercise as an essential part of your day.

The temptation to hit the snooze button or drive past the gym after a super long day at work is definitely great, but sticking to your exercise routine in the beginning makes it easier to make working out a lifelong habit. Physical activity is incredibly important for a healthy life and right now, it may not be your favorite thing to do. But if you can shift your thinking from “I hate this chore” to “oh, my alarm is going off, time to hit the gym,” you will be able to make exercise an essential part of your day, and your body will thank you.

Woman eating a snack at night.

The Science Behind Midnight Snacking

You, and probably everyone you know, have enjoyed a treat at night. It’s a totally normal, though not super healthy, habit among many. However, midnight snacking can become a big problem and lead to excessive weight gain. The tendency to graze is a contributing factor to evening snacks, and often the amount of food you consume at night is far greater than the snacks you chow down on during the day. Why do you eat more at night?  Resveralife came across a recent study offers scientific research that help explain why you seem to inhale your nighttime snack.

The Study
A study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University delves into why you are more prone to consuming more food at night than when you snack during the day. Researchers at BYU monitored participants’ brain activity in the morning and again at night. Each participant was shown the same 360 images of food and they used MRI scans to visualize the results. The pictures of food were split into two categories:  healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains and junk foods like ice cream, potato chips and brownies. During the course of the day researchers noted that the brain activity of participants did spike when pictures of food were shown. It isn’t surprising that seeing food stimulates a response in your brain, but what is interesting is that when viewed at night, the brain was less stimulated. At both times of day, there was a higher neural response when participants viewed pictures of foods with a higher  calorie count.

When you eat a great meal or one of your favorite foods you get a high from that food. At night, the drop in brain activity can leave you scarfing down way more chocolate or potato chips than you meant to. During the evening, our brain does not get the level of reward or “high” that it does when snacking during the day. Because you don’t get the high, you continue to eat well past what you intended to. According to Travis Masteson, the researcher and lead study author, people may over-consume food at night because it is not as rewarding, at least visually, at that time of day. As a result, one needs to eat more to try to get satisfied.”

Girl sneaking into the kitchen to eat a midnight snack.

How to Control Midnight Snacking
The researchers at Brigham Young University are not sure why food is less rewarding at night but believe that the body’s circadian rhythyms may be involved. Your circadian rhythyms dictate your natural patterns during rest and activity.

Even if the reason is not completely known at this point, you can rest assured that you are not the only having difficulty curbing your snacks at night. What do the experts suggest? Masterson says that “[b]eing aware that you are being more influenced visually in the morning and perhaps are being less satisfied by food at night may help you make small but meaningful changes in your eating habits.”

When snacking at night, take a moment to truly taste the food that you’re eating. Ask yourself if you are actually receiving satisfaction or pleasure from the snack you are consuming. If not, put the food down and drink a tall glass of water instead.

Beautiful living room with natural lighting.

Resveralife Live Well: Make Your Home a Zen Oasis – Vine Vera Reviews

You already have enough stress in your life. From pressure at work to keeping up with kids, you probably spend a fair amount of time feeling drained and exhausted. You do not want your home to be another source of stress. Your home should ideally be a place where you can completely relax, shut out the outside world and feel 100% comfortable. With all of your obligations your house may not be high on your priority list but it should be. Stress is linked with obesity, heart disease, headaches and depression among other illnesses and conditions. This Resveralife Live Well Guide shows you how to transform your home into a zen oasis and finally get the peace you deserve.

A peaceful Japanese styled bedroom

Get Rid of Clutter
There is a tendency today to own too much stuff. You have knick knacks from all your vacations, gifts from friends that you have no use for, papers you’ve kept for documentation but that haven’t been touched in 5 years, baby clothing when your child is 15…the list truly is endless. Often, you keep things for sentimental reasons. The problem is that having so many possessions not only clutters your house up, it also creates stress. And it is completely aggravating to never be able to find anything. 

With the amount of things in your home, the idea of going through all of them may seem completely impossible and overwhelming. Experts suggest that taking just a few minutes each day to work on getting rid of clutter makes a huge impact. Additionally, often once you start to see some cleanliness and order, you will be more encouraged to do more. Try to spend 15 minutes at night cleaning things and putting them in in their proper place or removing items that you no longer need.

A bonsai tree used as decoration in a bathroom.

Get Some Green
You know how taking a walk in nature helps your unwind, calm down and refocus? Keeping plants in your home has the same effect. Once you have your clutter under control and you have free space available, add some plants. There are tons of options to match any decor or personal style. Also, there are plants that are totally low-maintenance, such as succulents, geraniums or Boston ferns are all indoor plants that require a small amount of work. Be sure to place your plants in areas of your house where they will receive adequate light. Not only will plants brighten your space and bring you a sense of calm, they actually do help clear your air and rid your space of toxins.

A bedroom with soothing lighting.

Use Soothing Lighting
Most spaces use overhead lighting as the primary source of light. However, these lights are not only unflattering, they also tend to increase the frequency of headaches. Rather than relying on harsh overhead lighting, light your home with plenty of desk lamps, table lamps and floor lamps. To increase the effectiveness of these lamps, use shades that help reduce the brightness of the light.

Beautiful interiors with wooden flooring and soothing lighting.

Be Color Conscious
Think about your favorite relaxing spa. Chances are the colors that fill the space are neutral and light. This is because color has a significant effect on your mood. In order to create a completely zen environment stick to colors that are earthy neutrals: cream, beige and soft shades of blue. If you are a person that craves color, use pastels to brighten your space. Mints, dusty pinks and robin’s egg blue are all shades that work perfectly with a neutral palette and that create a calming atmosphere.

Aromatherapy

Use Your Nose
Scent is a powerful tool in creating a zen ambiance. Depending on the scent, you can help yourself wake up in the morning or fall asleep at night. A linen spray with lavender promotes a peaceful sleep while grapefruit essential oil stimulates your brain and metabolism.

Sure, it’s great to have reminders of the important or fun events from your life, keeping an object from every single moment of your life leads you to forget the good times and focus on how everything is constantly in your way. Reducing the amount of clutter and keeping your home organized are the first steps in making sure that your home is truly your oasis from the world.

Business woman campaigning for equality

Women Campaigning for Equality

Picture for a moment a world without a gender gap. Though it may seem an impossibility, women have continuously proved throughout history that campaigning for equality is not only necessary, but effective. Women have made impressive strides towards equality in our world, though there is still a long way to go. Just two weeks ago Satya Nadella, CEO of the Microsoft Corporation, spoke to women at a technology conference. His message to these brilliant and hardworking women was that they ought not ask for raises, and rather let a raise come to them if they deserve it. According to the website Global InvestHER, women currently comprise 24 to 29% of the tech sector workforce. Clearly, there is much more campaigning and awareness raising that we must do.

The comment made by Nadella received immediate backlash, causing him to publicly retract his statement. The problem is that his words have not been forgotten and they echo the sentiments of many men who are leading corporations and businesses. One of the most discussed gender equality issues is that of the salaries women are offered. The National Women’s Law Center states that “American women who work full-time, year-round are paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts – which means it’s important to keep pushing for new legislation that would make the workplace fair for women.”

It’s not all about money, women’s accomplishments are often slighted by focusing on more feminine details. Every award season, host after host of red carpet fashion shows ask women what designer they are wearing and from whom did they borrow their fabulous jewelry. The male attendees are asked about the projects they have been working on, how they felt about roles they have taken on and then are subsequently praised for their contribution to the industry, rather than being told that they look pretty. This year, Reese Witherspoon along with a host of female and male supporters, launched a campaign at the Oscars titled “Ask Her More.” The campaign was intended to point out the treatment of men versus women, and to encourage reporters to ask questions that matter.

The promising news is that there are a many organizations, both in the United States and internationally, that focus on the rights of women and the closing of the gender gap. The National Organization for Women (NOW)  was founded in 1966 after measures such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 failed to protect women against discrimination and unequal wages. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, commonly referred to as UN Women, became operational in 2011 in order to help empower women on a global scale and to hold the United Nations system accountable for its commitments to gender equality.

Women campaigning for equality is a huge part of our history, and remains a part of our present. A recent campaign, HeForShe, urges men to stand in solidarity with women on the issue of gender equality. The HeForShe mission is beautifully stated saying that the campaign  “brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all.” The campaign to end the gender gap has been taken up by not only women, but all people. With constant diligence and tenacity, perhaps we can stop the gender gap from being a part of our future.

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