Many of you have jumped right in and offered up words of advice and support on many matters of health and wellness. Now let's turn our attention to a younger reader who has reached out in her blog for our help.
I am virgin, 15 years old and I have a big problem.
Katea wants to know if it is OK to use tampons before she chooses to become sexually active. She needs our advice soon because -- as every woman with a period and an adorable tankini knows well -- she wants to spend a lot of time at the beach this summer.
While using tampons from their first period is no big deal for many young women, others are concerned about preserving the hymen or even their virginity. While virginity is defined as someone who has never had sexual intercourse and tampons are generally regarded as safe for use by virgins, some women are simply unsure if they can go through with it.
Whatever Katea's (or your own) concerns are, please offer her some of your experiences and guidance.
Blog Posts by Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Healthy Living – Thu, Jun 12, 2008 8:08 AM EDT
Many of you have jumped right in and offered up words of advice and support on many matters of health and wellness. Now let's turn our attention to a younger reader who has reached out in her blog for our help.Read More »from Help a reader out: Is it OK to use tampons when you're a virgin?
Last week, the Grocery Guru gave us tips on choosing healthier peanut butter (who would have thought it might just be the full-fat stuff?). This week, we need something to spread all that creamy goodness on.Read More »from Grocery Guru: Hunting down healthier bread
Join Cynthia Sass in the bread aisle for these quick video tips on finding bread that's better for us and why we need to seek out whole grains:
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Healthy Living – Mon, Jun 9, 2008 9:06 PM EDT
A few years ago, after a dinner out with a grieving girlfriend who'd just had her sixth (yes, sixth) miscarriage in two years, I realized how many women I know who have gone through the pain and discomfort and confusion and heartbreak (and even sometimes relief) of a miscarriage. I didn't do the math, but as I went around the circle of my friends, I guessed that 80% or more have had one.Read More »from Help a reader out: What happened when you had a miscarriage?
And then my next thought was that 80% of my girlfriends have had a miscarriage that they recognized. I wonder how many more of us have miscarried and not even known. Or have been to scared to call the doctor to ask or have just kept on in our lives or have blamed away the symptoms on stress or a bad period or a new kind of birth control.
Does this sound crazy or is it a story you know well?
Reader Mary Ellen could well be one of my girlfriends, experiencing unusual pain and left wondering if she had a miscarriage or the whole experience is one big misconception.
It all makes me curious why we don't
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Healthy Living – Fri, Jun 6, 2008 7:27 PM EDT
Do you ever wish you had a coach with you when you were shopping? No, not someone to blow a whistle and make you do sprints from produce to frozen foods, someone to walk you through what's healthy and what's not as you load up your grocery cart. The Grocery Guru, also known as Prevention's Nutrition Director Cynthia Sass (who I'm sure you've read here on Shine), is doing just that. And while she can't be with all of during our own grocery runs, it is fun (and helpful...don't forget helpful!) to see her work with women just like us in the store.Read More »from The Grocery Guru strikes again: Peanut Butter ambush is Aisle 4!
Check out what the Grocery Guru has to say here about how to tell if peanut butter is healthy for you (hint: it's not always the reduced fat kind) and how to make it work better in your diet.
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Healthy Living – Thu, Jun 5, 2008 10:48 PM EDT
Go on, readers! You really came through for November Girls who needed advice about putting an end to painful Plantar Fasciitis.Read More »from Help a reader out: Are FitFlops worth the investment?
Now another reader is asking for input in what I guess we will consider Matters of De-Feet, Part 2.
MissUnderstanding wants to add walks into her schedule and is interested in pounding the pavement in Fit Flops. She wants to know your experiences and if you think they are worth the $50 price tag, which might sound spendy for a pair of sporty sandals but, as MissUnderstanding says, is less than a gym membership costs these days.
I did a little reading on FitFlops and was curious about their claims that wearing the shoes helps tone and trim the legs and bum, working the muscles more and making "it easier to stay in shape." While I'd certainly give them points for being comfortable and whatever this "micro-wobbleboard technology" is that they've come up with and shoved into a shoe, I am not handing out any gold stars for their excitement over Fit Flops "giving
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Healthy Living – Tue, Jun 3, 2008 10:52 PM EDT
I am one of those people who gets stuck on a song or CD and will play it and play it and play it and play it until that one amazing song or CD drives me completely insane. The same goes for playlists. I somehow thrive on the predictability of what song is coming next when I'm out on a walk, maybe because it cues me to exactly where I am in my workout, maybe because I have obsessive tendencies (kidding. sort of), because I am a creature of habit. At least for a while. Then when I am done, I am done.Read More »from All Around Shine: Playlists to over-play while you work out
If you need to move on from your workout playlist like I do every few weeks, here are a few I've picked up right here on Shine. So poke around these a bit and find something you can stick with, if not for a few weeks, then maybe just for today's hour at the gym.
Here are our playlist recos, tailored for your very own over-played MP3:
You like it dark - Tender, mean, angsty and even the sweetest moments twinged with anxiety. If this powers your hour walk through the neighborhood on and on,
The warm weather may be calling you to spend your weekend days outside but your to-do list may require that you spend those hours digging, mowing, weeding and pruning rather than lounging, sunning or sipping summer cocktails. Not to worry. All that yardwork is so worth it.
Of course, you will probably have luscious tomatoes, a great and green spot to sit and meditate or maybe even a bundle of herbs that will inspire healthy dishes right out of your own backyard. You will also be burning loads of calories while you're busy gardening, making it good for your body, mind and spirit -- the perfect summer trifecta for healthy people.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, in just 30 minutes you can burn all kinds of cals:
- Digging: 162 calories
- Weeding: 182 calories
- Turning compost: 250 calories
- Planting trees: 182 calories
- Laying sod: 202 calories
Are you getting a work out from your yardwork?
Also, be sure to uncover these beauties over on the lovely Read More »from Get your workout in while you garden
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Healthy Living – Mon, Jun 2, 2008 7:16 AM EDT
Childhood obesity may have just entered red wine and water status in the news media. You know how one week you hear that red wine does wonders for heart health, the next it is causing disease? Or how one study shows people do need 8 glasses of water a day, followed by another that says not so and finally a third that says people are dehydrated and need to drink (you've got it) 8 glasses of water a day. With the headlines from long-term studies released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released last week, we are now on a roller-coaster of reporting on childhood obesity as well.Read More »from Childhood obesity rates hit a plateau. Is this a good thing?: Shine's experts weigh in
The study was conducted over seven years and shows that childhood obesity rates have, in fact, hit a plateau. Because it is not clear if this is a permanent plateau or even a halt to the unhealthiness of so many kids, whether this is the impact of school programs and public education showing up or if this is a "natural" leveling of the numbers, researchers say this all has to be
Anyone who has already been through their 20s knows that there is a good deal of truth to the adage that older equals wiser (a quick mental image of yourself doing keg stands should confirm this for you). However, seeing our mothers or grandmothers or even ourselves struggle to remember the title of a book we read fourteen times or the name of that love-of-our-life high school boyfriend tells a different story of the short-term or detailed memory loss we often associate with aging.Read More »from Older really does mean wiser after all
So what happens to our smarts as we get older?
Research packed into a recently released edition of the neurology text Progress in Brain Research says that, while we may have some brain deterioration over time and will probably begin to lose grasp of some details younger people easily cling to, we are not, in fact losing brainpower.
The studies conducted showed that aging adult brains have a widened focus rather than honing in on a specific detail, and also take more time to process information. This might
There were cocktails and club openings, long brunches and late-night meals where the women of Sex and the City dished over the intricacies and intimacies of their lives. While there was lots of comedy and fabulous raunch in those conversations, there were also many serious moments that captured our attention. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha were quite candid about their own health and awfully analytical about the health of the men the encountered. It wasn't always pretty and it was often pretty real. Here are five of the big health issues covered across all those tables in NYC:Read More »from Ten Years of 'Sex:' Health and the City
1. Breast cancer sachayed into Sex and the City, not without seriousness but with a good dose of sass, in Season Six. It marked a big moment for the group of friends and for how TV was dealing with the disease.
The first time I saw Samantha sporting a giant platinum blond wig and the pink pop star wig during her breast cancer treatment, my heart swelled. I adore the character Samantha like I adore my