Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • 5 Heart Attack Signs All Women Should Look For

    By April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    When you think "heart attack," you probably think, "that won't happen to me." So it might surprise you to learn that a woman dies every single minute of every day, thanks to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

    Also surprising: Women often don't have the same kinds of symptoms as men during a heart attack.

    Believe it or not, a study from 2005 found that a stunning 30-50 percent of heart attack symptoms in women go unrecognized by emergency and medical professionals, says Pamela Stewart Fahs, professor and Decker Chair in Rural Nursing at Binghamton University's Decker School of Nursing.

    Fahs surmises that those figures have improved somewhat in the last few years, thanks to an increased awareness in the medical community about heart disease in women. However, Fahs says another recent survey showed that about half of all women don't believe heart disease is a problem for females, and that it's common for women to miss

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  • How Your Menstrual Cycle Affects Your Mood All Month (Even After Your Period!)


    selfselfBy April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine



    PMS -- people love to joke about it, and you've probably experienced it in some form or another. But did you know that there's more to the "syndrome" than those few grumpy, chocolate-craving days before your period? Turns out, your menstrual cycle affects your body and spirit all month long.

    "Estrogen and progesterone do a very complicated dance throughout your cycle," Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, an ob-gyn in Beverly Hills, Calif., tells HealthySELF. "It's not merely the estrogen, but the balance between the two hormones, as well as other factors such as lifestyle, diet, stress, habits, othe0r medical conditions and culture that affect us and make us who we are during our fertile and menstruating years."


    Related: Kristen Bell Answers Your Biggest Health Questions


    As you may know, your monthly cycle is divided into four phases. Here's what's going on during each one, how it can affect you and what you can do to ease any symptoms:

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  • Walmart's New 'Great for You' Label: 10 Foods Getting the Healthy Stamp of Approval

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital Studio


    selfselfBy April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Making healthy choices in the grocery aisle is getting a little bit easier at Walmart. The nation's largest food retailer unveiled their new "Great For You" label today as part of their "healthier food" initiative, and the program already has one famous fan: First lady Michelle Obama.

    "Today's announcement by Walmart is yet another step toward ensuring that our kids are given the chance to grow up healthy," said Mrs. Obama, who attended the label unveiling.


    Related: Kristen Bell Answers Your Biggest Health Questions

    So which foods are getting the green label? According to Walmart, "Great For You" will initially appear on select Walmart Great Value and Marketside items, as well as on fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables at Walmart U.S. stores nationwide this spring, including the following Great Value brand products:


    -Unsweetened applesauce
    -No salt added sweat peas
    -Dried fruit (raisins,

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  • What's More Important: Sex or the Superbowl?

    Whether you're rooting for the Giants or Patriots this year, I think you'll find this statistic surprising: Fifty percent of men and 32 percent of women ages 18 -24 say that they'd give up sex for an entire year if it meant their team could win a championship, according to a poll by Yahoo Sports.


    Related: Kristen Bell Answers Your Biggest Health Questions


    What gives? Well, for many people, rooting for a sports team isn't just a fun pastime -- it becomes an identity, giving people a sense of belonging to a community with a strong, shared passion. This communal relationship is so strong in some cases, that it actually trumps one-on-one intimacy! When people are born and bred to root for a team, we can't underestimate the depths of that commitment. You and your friends and family experience the good times together (Superbowl!) and the bad (a losing season...an injured QB). And that sense of belonging, and group bonding, is an essential ingredient in happiness.


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  • 4 Steps to Getting Your Resolution Back on Track

    It's been four weeks since you made your New Year's resolution - how's it going? Whether you pledged to lose weight, cut out fried foods or start searching for a new job, we've approached the time of year where it's common to lose sight of our goals and slide back towards old habits. Try these four simple steps to getting your resolve back on track!

    Reassess Your Goal: One of the most common resolution pitfalls? Devising a plan that is a bit too ambitious. If you're starting to realize your goal was a little extreme, consider this permission to scale it back! Pledged to lose 50 pounds? Try striving to drop 10 instead-and then 10 more after you succeed!


    Related: Kristen Bell Answers Your Biggest Health Questions


    Try The Buddy System: If you were having trouble self-motivating, grab a buddy and make a go of it together. Working towards a goal with a pal makes you more likely to actually stick to your commitment, whether that means actually showing up for early

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  • How to Erase Your 4 Biggest Health Mistakes

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital StudioselfselfWorried about the smoke, booze, sun worshiping or junk-food binging in your past? Good news: New science shows that much of the harm you may have done to your body can be reversed. Here's how to wipe the slate clean.

    Related: Kristen Bell Answers Your Biggest Health Questions


    1. Oops. You snuck cigarettes at parties for years.
    It's never too late to ditch the sticks. Your body starts to bounce back a mere 20 minutes after your last puff: Carbon monoxide starts clearing from your system, and your blood vessels begin to repair themselves. You can ward off further damage with some salad: Eat 12 servings of leafy greens per month, and their phytochemicals could protect you against lung tumors and cancer, a study on smokers in Cancer Research indicates. Because you're more vulnerable to future lung damage than never-smokers are, prevent it by getting flu shots (the fewer infections you get, the better), avoiding secondhand smoke and rolling up windows if you're behind a stinky truck (no

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  • Why Even Healthy Foods Can Make You Fat

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital StudioselfselfBy April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    You may think that as long as you stick with a few smart food choices during the week, you're in the clear when it comes to gaining unwanted weight and staying healthy. Alas, even if you only eat slimming foods, if you're eating the same thing over and over again, you're not doing your future bikini body any favors.

    Related: Kristen Bell Answers Your Biggest Health Questions

    SELF contributing experts Willow Jarosh, R.D., and Stephanie Clarke, R.D., co-founders of C&J Nutrition, say that while choosing the least processed foods you can find, eating fruits and veggies and opting for lean protein (or fatty fish) is ideal, it is possible to gain weight by eating too much of even the most nutritious choices.

    "In terms of variety, think of the nutrition of your diet on a weekly basis," they say. "Over the course of a week, you want to eat foods that provide you with the variety of nutrients that your body needs to maintain, repair and grow."

    See

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  • 4 Tips to Soothe Chapped Lips

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital StudioselfselfWe are in the depths of winter now, which means bitter temps, dry air and often cracked and chapped lips. Chapped lips can be unsightly and for many they can be down right painful! Hopefully these tips can offer some soothing solutions to one of winter's most annoying problems.

    Related: 21 Good-For-You Snacks

    What causes chapped lips?

    Chapped lips are primarily caused by environmental factors like low humidity and cold air, both of which lead to dehydration. And while licking your lips may feel good initially, that can just make the condition worse (more on this later). If you suffer year-round from chronic lip dryness you should discuss it with your doctor. Chronic dryness could be an indication of other health issues.

    What can I do to relieve chapped lips?


    1. Pick the right lip balm
    - Lip balms can definitely help soothe dry, chapped lips, but not all of them use the same ingredients. Some balms use wax (beeswax or microcrystalline wax) as the primary ingredient. While wax is a

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  • 4 Foods to Help You Stay Warm This Winter

    selfselfBy Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF magazine

    The temperature seems to be dropping everyday now that we're approaching the middle of winter. You can bundle up in heavy sweaters and sit by a fire, but if you really want to stay warm this winter, start with the foods you are eating. You probably already crave hot meals during the winter months due to their warming powers, but if you pick warm foods and beverages as well as those that can also raise your body temperature, then you''ll have a double defense to the cold this winter...

    See More: 6 Secrets to Firing Up Your Metabolism

    1. Healthy Fats + Spicy Seasonings: As much as we don't like to talk about the "f" word, fat actually plays an important role in insulating our bodies and keeping us warm. That's why it's important to include heart-healthy fats like those in nuts, avocados, and olive oil in our daily diets. Combine those healthy fats with hot and spicy foods and you'll definitely stay extra warm. Spicy foods like chili peppers and

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  • 5 Ways to Make Your Pores Smaller

    Fairchild ArchiveFairchild ArchiveselfselfWe all have pores, but how much time you spend "poring" over them probably depends on their size. With constant exposure to pictures of airbrushed celebs, its hard not to get a little obsessive over pore size and there are certainly plenty of products out there promising to minimize or reduce large pores. Let's take a closer look at how these products work and what you can do to help get control of your pores.

    See More: 6 Secrets to Firing Up Your Metabolism

    Can you shrink pores?
    No, you can't shrink them, open them or close them. When it comes to pore-control products you'll see that they claim to reduce the appearance of large pores (not actually make pores smaller). That may sound like a subtle distinction but it's really not. There's not much you can do to physically make your pores smaller, but you can avoid making them look larger.

    What makes pores look large?

    1. Dirt - Pores get clogged with skin debris, makeup and dirt from the environment.
    2. Oil - Excessive oil can keep

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