Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • How to Cope with Fall Allergies

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    You probably haven't taken your warm boots and cozy sweaters out of storage yet, but one autumn accessory you might already be using is ... Kleenex! Yep -- fall allergy season is already under way. Luckily, we have relief.

    "In the Eastern part of the United States, the ragweed season traditionally starts around mid-August and lasts until the first frost," William Berger, M.D., clinical professor of allergy and immunology at the University of California at Irvine, tells HealthySELF. September is peak allergy season for many states, including those in the Midwest; if you're on the West Coast, the season is a little bit later and involves different weeds, like sagebrush, he says.

    You may have heard that the drought is making this an especially bad year for allergies, but Dr. Berger says there are many different climate-related factors when it comes to the severity of an allergy season, and there's not really anything special about this

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  • What NOT to Do After Being Dumped

    Paula Derrow, SELF magazine

    We've all been through it -- the pit-in-the-stomach, I'll-always-be-alone despair that comes when a guy you're into (even if you know you shouldn't be) walks away. The feeling totally sucks; we want it to go away as soon as possible. Which is why longtime pals Maryjane Fahey and Caryn Beth Rosenthal decided to write Dumped (Sellers Publishing), out this month.

    Related: Foods That Fight Belly Bloat

    "We were in relationships that ended after seven years and 10 years, and we couldn't find any breakup books that didn't make us more depressed than we were already," the duo explains. "We wanted a quick pep talk from someone who felt like a girlfriend."

    Indeed, Dumped is anything but depressing; in fact, it will make you laugh even if laughing is the last thing you feel like doing. Here, a smattering of smart, no b.s. advice for getting over an ex and finding someone who deserves you.

    What to do the first week of a breakup:

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs


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  • New Neti Pot Warning

    Courtesy of target.comCourtesy of target.comApril Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Feeling a little stuffy? Fall allergies kicking in? A neti pot can be a great source of relief to your beleaguered sinuses, but according to a new warning from the FDA, using the wrong kind of water is dangerous -- and possibly deadly.

    "The FDA has concerns about the risk of infection tied to the improper use of neti pots and other nasal rinsing devices," the agency says on its website. "These devices are generally safe and useful products... but they must be used and cleaned properly. Most important is the source of water that is used with nasal rinsing devices. Tap water that is not filtered, treated, or processed in specific ways is not safe for use as a nasal rinse."

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Just how not safe? "Improper use of neti pots may have caused two deaths in 2011 in Louisiana from a rare brain infection that the state health department linked to tap water contaminated with an amoeba called Naegleria

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  • Non-Alcoholic Red Wine: Good for Your Health?

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Planning to de-stress with a heart-healthy glass of red wine tonight? According to a new study, you should make it a "virgin."

    The study, published in the journal Circulation Research, found that drinking two non-alcoholic glasses of red wine a day can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease -- but the researchers didn't find the same effects with regular wine.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Non-alcoholic? Say what? As Spanish researchers report in their study, previous studies have shown that red wine polyphenols (antioxidant compounds) have the potential to lower blood pressure -- but the actual effects of ethanol (from the alcohol in wine) and polyphenols on blood pressure in humans are not yet clear.

    Over three sessions lasting four weeks each, the study participants, all men with cardiovascular risk factors or diabetes, drank regular red wine, non-alcoholic wine and gin with their meals.

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  • 6 Creative Ways to Eat Veggies

    Sarah Jane Bedwell, SELF magazine

    We all know we need to eat more fruits and veggies, but steamed veggies and salads can get boring after a while. There are plenty of delicious and creative ways to get in your five servings each day. I have listed six of my favorite ideas below:

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    Add veggies to your baked goods.
    Making chocolate cake or banana bread? Add in some canned veggies for extra vitamins, minerals and fiber. Veggies will also keep your cake moist because of the high water content. A typical box of cake mix calls for a little more than 1 3/4 cups of liquid (some combination of water and oil). Swap these ingredients out for a 14.5-ounce can of vegetables for a healthier cake and a tasty way to eat some veggies.

    Top your sandwich with a mix of veggie. You probably already put lettuce and tomato on your sandwich, but add other veggies to amp up the flavor and nutritional content even more. For an awesome crunch, add cucumbers or shredded carrots.

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  • Seasonal Fruits and Veggies to Eat Right Now

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    While watermelon and cherries have had their day in the sun, autumn brings out a whole new batch of gorgeous, healthy and in-season produce.

    According to Chad Sarno, Healthy Eating Research and Development Chef of Whole Foods Market, flavor is typically better when you are eating a fruit or vegetable that's in season. We asked Sarno to to recommend the freshest, tastiest produce available right now -- and tell us the best ways to serve it up. Here's what he had to say...

    More from SELF:
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    3 CrossFit Total-Body Workouts
    50 Healthiest Snacks
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  • Cut Calories when Dining Out

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Think you'll end up eating more if you sit back and relax in a restaurant? Think again! According to a new study, a pleasant environment will actually lead you to cut calories -- especially if it has two key features.

    "When we did a makeover of a fast-food restaurant, we found that softer music and lighting led diners to eat 175 fewer calories and enjoy it more," Brian Wansink, Ph.D., lead author of the study and director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab, said in a press release.

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    To conduct the study, published in August in the journal Psychological Reports, Wansink and his co-author, Koert van Ittersum of the Georgia Institute of Technology, directed people to one of two areas after they placed their food orders: the regular dining room of the fast-food restaurant, and a formal dining room they had set up, complete with candles and relaxing music.

    "Even though they ordered in the same

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  • 6 Signs of Ovarian Cancer

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    It's fairly uncommon, but ovarian cancer is so difficult to detect, it's been called the "silent killer." In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, make sure you know everything you can about the symptoms of this too-easy-to-miss disease -- and how staying healthy now can help you later.

    According to Patricia Judson, M.D., a gynecological oncologist at the Moffitt Cancer Institute in Tampa, Fla., ovarian cancer affects about 24,000 U.S. women per year, and accounts for about 3 percent of all cancers in American women, rendering it "fairly uncommon." What's more, she says, it's far more common in post-menopausal women.

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    However, the scariest thing about ovarian cancer, Dr. Judson says, is that it's very difficult to detect. "The vast majority of ovarian cancer is discovered at an advanced stage, and because of that, it's more difficult to treat," she explains.

    Also making it tricky: The symptoms are very

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  • 5 Reasons to Be Excited About Fall

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Happy Labor Day! Though the fall equinox doesn't happen for a couple more weeks, today unofficially marks the end of summer -- but don't be sad! There are a lot of fun (and tasty!) reasons to look forward to the season ahead.

    1. Fall clothes!
    Do you ever really need a good excuse to go shopping? And with Labor Day and back-to-school sales in full swing, it's the perfect time to treat yourself to some cozy cashmere or a pair of booties that will walk you right into winter. Bye, bye flip flops! Check out SELF's fall outfit ideas (like the great look above) for some style inspiration and this cheat sheet for how to score all the looks for less. Happy shopping!

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    2. That "back-to-school" feeling.
    Even if you're not in school anymore, the crisp excitement of a new chapter in life -- and new school supplies! -- is in the air. Use that energy to buy yourself a new notebook and some fancy pens, and make a list of

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  • What Men and Women Fantasize About

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Women fantasize about accepting Ryan Gosling's marriage proposal, while men imagine getting it on with the latest Maxim cover girl ... right? Not so much!

    A recent study from the University of Granada, to be published in the Spanish journal Anales de Psicologia, finds that both sexes have intimate and romantic sexual fantasies about the same thing -- not celebrities and Victoria's Secret models, but rather, sex with their partners!

    Related: Foods That Fight Belly Bloat

    The researchers, who studied survey questions answered by 2,500 Spanish men and women who had been in heterosexual relationships for at least six months, found that men and women largely fantasize about the same things. Plus, nearly 100 percent of respondents had sexual fantasies, which means fantasizing about sex is most definitely not just a guy thing.

    "As sexually empowered women, we know that we are visually stimulated," Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite

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