Megan Fox recently said in an interview that she has a phobia of germs--so much so that she won't use public bathrooms and recoils at restaurant cutlery. And, she's not the only woman who's freaked out by nasty bugs: In a Self.com poll last year, 75 percent of readers said they flush public toilets with their foot, and 63 percent avoid handrails on subways, buses, and escalators. And 1 in 10 said they avoid shaking hands.
According to SELF contributor Maryn McKenna, author of Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA, we should at the very least be cautious and aware. And she should know. She's a self-described "scary disease" reporter who's been following around Centers for Disease Control detectives for years, tracking drug-resistant staph (a.k.a. MRSA)--a bug that was once contained to hospitals and jails, but in recent years has made it's way into the general public. When she wrote about MRSA for SELF in 2007 (The Bug Drugs Can't Cure) her inbox exploded with women who had somehow been
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Megan Fox recently said in an interview that she has a phobia of germs--so much so that she won't use public bathrooms and recoils at restaurant cutlery. And, she's not the only woman who's freaked out by nasty bugs: In a Self.com poll last year, 75 percent of readers said they flush public toilets with their foot, and 63 percent avoid handrails on subways, buses, and escalators. And 1 in 10 said they avoid shaking hands.Read More »from Women + Germs: Which Spots Are The Nastiest?
Heidi and Seal. Tori and Dean. Mariah and Nick. In recent weeks, it feels like every celeb couple is renewing their vows. And, of course, they've been all over TV blabbing about their beautiful ceremonies and endless love.Read More »from Celebs Renew Their Vows--Should You?
Call me a cynical, coldhearted you-know-what, but I just don't see an annual re-do as necessary. The more important thing, I think, is to recharge your romance on a daily basis. Some strategies:
The original vow: "To have and to hold"
Renew it now: Don't assume he knows you think he looks hot in his ringer tee. Tell him so. And, likewise, he should tell you if he's totally attracted to you when you're making Mac and Cheese while wearing ratty sweats. These casually sincere moments can be turned in more intimate "have and hold" moments in an instant. Check out SELF's Sex Pyramid for the how-to on making each time as good as (or even better than) your wedding night, and take this quiz to find out what might be derailing your sex life.
Related: 6 ways to have more fun
It's National Bike To Work Week, and Friday is Bike To Work Day. If you haven't been doing so already, plan to hop on the two-wheeler for this Friday's commute (the SELF editors are doing it too!). If you need a little extra incentive, here are some health and other bennies you can get from cycling:Read More »from Bike To Work This Friday
1. Biking blasts 500 calories an hour. Think: lean legs and a perky, firm bum!
2. You'll have more money to spend on shoes! It costs $8,115 a year to own a car. A bike: $263
3. You'll reduce your carbon footprint. If you work three days a week you'll save about 38 gallons of fuel.
4. You'll actually get there on time! Many major cities have annual races where one person starts on a bike, another in a cab, and another on mass transit such as a bus or subway. Almost always, the cyclist wins.
For more inspiration, check out SELF's Biking Guide for advice on everything from choosing gear (bike included!) to avoiding injury.
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I have an on-again, off-again relationship with bluetooth headsets. I refuse to be one of those people walking down the street muttering to themselves, and I have no interest in wearing one at the gym (there's something just not right about doing squats while wearing an ear piece). That said, I KNOW driving and dialing is a crappy idea.Read More »from We Tried It: How to Look Cute on Your Cell Phone
I guess the happy medium would be to get a non-dorky headset to use when I'm driving or talking to a BFF for a long period of times (in case the whole cancer risk thing is actually true.
In my hunt for non-embarrassing wireless headset, I actually came across a number of really cute cell phone accessories. Here are a few faves:
The Jawbone Icon This is about as stylish as a bluetooth headset gets, and there are a bunch of different jewel-like designs to choose from. Function-wise it gets great reviews for sound quality and ease-of-use. Bonus: Comes with several different ear-buds so you can choose the best fit for your ear. Cost: $100
Speck iPhone and
I'm fascinated by this recent New York Observer piece examining how feminism is evolving into "faminism." From the article:Read More »from What's a Faminista?
"The feminist battleground, with it's slogans, marches and campaigns for reproductive rights, has given way to the playground and and the fight for lactation rights, stroller rights, school-system rights, unpasteurized milk rights, charter school, birthing techniques, nutritional value of bagged lunches and water quality. It's no so much about the Fem as it is about the Fam."
This idea that today's women are somehow defining themselves by their families rather than by themselves is bogus, if you ask me. A trend that's not even a trend--a blip with no stats to back it up. I think the bigger, more empowering message here is that women are realizing they can have it all: A family (and the right to choose if/when to have that family), a supportive partner, a career, ambition and passion, etc. Whether you choose to have kids earlier or later in life is irrelevant.
A few weeks ago, my yoga teacher mentioned doing poses in the shower. I sort of thought it was weird, but the more I considered it the less kooky it seemed. The hot water and steam prime your muscles and, generally, you shower in the morning--the perfect time to get in a centered mindset for the day. Then I read an article about people doing yoga in airports. And of course, we've all seen beach yogis.Read More »from 5 Weird Places You Should Do Yoga
My point is this: Yoga isn't just about paying $15 for a studio class, you can use it throughout your day to manage stress, control cravings, and relieve muscle tension. Here are five surprising places that are prime for posing:
1. At the airport: This New York Times article makes the great point that of the 7 million Americans who practice yoga once a week, a good chunk are college-educated types in their 30s and 40s--pretty much exactly the same demo as the majority of biz travelers. Jetting from one place to the next, can be super stressful: You're not only dealing with cancelled
I just read that Chelsea Clinton has strongly encouraged her presidential papa to lose about 15 pounds before her wedding this summer. According to the Prez, she told him that he's "gotta look good" and he's about "halfway home" to his goal.Read More »from How to Lecture Your Parents About Their Health
There's definitely a role reversal that happens post-college. I started getting on my parents about health in my early 20s. They were both smokers and not exactly healthy eaters and I had landed a job as a health reporter so I constantly had new material and factoids to throw at them. I'm sure it was super annoying, but it worked...sort of. My mom has since quit smoking, started running, cooks healthy meals, and pays attention to overall health (ID-ing suspicious moles, getting regular mammograms, etc). My dad, on the other hand, hasn't changed his habits a bit. (But don't think I'm giving up yet, Dad!)
Here some go-to parental excuses and ideas for busting them:
Between my job and taking care of the house and the kids, I don't have time to
So excited! Today I bought a share in a community-supported agriculture program (CSA). It works like this: I pay a portion of the farm's costs (in this case it's $300, which I'm splitting with a friend because it's enough for 3-4 people) and every week through mid-July I'll receive a box of fresh fruits and veggies--no choosing, I get whatever is in season. When I calculate what I spend on relatively crappy produce at the local supermarket, $150 is a total superfood steal.Read More »from How to Buy Organic Without Going Broke
Apparently I'm not alone in my endeavor to eat more locally-grown and organic produce: According to a survey by the Organic Trade Organization, organic produce now represents 11 percent of all fruit and veggie sales in the U.S., and sales of organic food and beverages soared 5 percent overall in 2009 (during a time when total U.S. food sales only grew 1.6 percent).
An unscientific survey of my friends found that those who rarely or never buy organic are holding back because it is pricier than non-org eats. So here
- Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine | Healthy Living – Wed, Apr 28, 2010 11:21 PM EDT
When I heard that Scarlett Johansson wears a skin-tight cat suit for her role in Iron Man 2 (in theaters May 7), I thought Ok, that's the most unforgiving costume on the planet: Must. know. her. workout. So, I called up her on-set trainer, Bobby Strom, for the details.Read More »from Scarlett Johansson's Iron Man 2 Workout Straight From Her Trainer
The key to getting Scarlett into lycra shape was to change-up her routine on a daily basis. "No workout was ever exactly the same because I didn't want her to get bored. I wanted to keep her in a place where she wanted to do more," he says. "I was having her do a lot of balance, coordination, and core work, but what she really loved was the strength training--things like pullups and kettlebells--and the idea of feeling and looking strong."
Related: 7 Moves to Stop Cellulite!
And she's sticking to it. "The first day she freaked out because it was really hard," Strom says. "But by the end of the five months she had totally changed her lifestyle. She has eliminated salt, and works out three days a week, and now can
In the last week, there's been a ton of news about texting and health. You'd think it was the next H1N1 or something. While it's not exactly a pandemic, we're using texting to excess (see shocking stats below) and in ways never intended. And that's leading to no-good-very-bad things like...Read More »from The Latest Health Enemy? It's Not What You Think
...sending way 2 many txts! As I was heading to happy hour last week (and, ironically, texting a friend to tell her I was running a bit late), I saw a press release from Pew Research that said that, among teens, texting is now the most popular form of communication--overtaking phone convos for the first time. Half of teens send more than 50 texts a day--a whopping 1500 a month. About a third send more than 3,000 a month!
Ok, I'm no psychologist, but that seems a little nutso from interpersonal/emotional standpoint. So much can be misinterpreted over a text. And I can't imagine replacing all the loooooong calls I had with friends in high school. I feel like I'm more emotionally attached to them