Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • How to Handle a Mean Girl at Work

    Courtesy of ParamountCourtesy of ParamountAmanda MacMillan, SELF magazine

    Not to perpetuate stereotypes or anything, but like who hasn't dealt with that one woman (or multiple women) at work who makes things really difficult? You know the one: She serves up backhanded compliments, intentionally leaves you out of meetings, gossips behind your back and is basically the professional embodiment of Regina George. (She may even tell you to wear pink on Wednesdays.)

    So in an effort to help those working with an, ahem, not-so-nice chick, authors and career experts Kathi Elster and Katherine Crowley penned Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal, which just hit shelves this month.

    See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    "Women really are programmed to compete a little more covertly and aggressively than men," Elster and Crowley told SELF, "and now that we're 50 percent of the workforce we're bound to encounter some of that competition." In the book, they highlight the seven different kids of "mean" and

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  • Secrets to Better Sleep

    Amanda MacMillan, SELF magazine

    Staying up into the wee hours is okay as long as you're sleeping in and getting enough shuteye overall, right? Sorry, night owls and shift workers: A study published today suggests that exposure to bright light at night messes with the brain's mood and memory center--meaning that it could lead to depression and learning problems, even without the lack of sleep issue.

    See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    The study, published in the journal Nature, was done on mice, but the authors from Johns Hopkins University say we actually have a lot in common with the fuzzy lab creatures--including cells in our eyes, called ipRGCs (I know, the jargon is intense), that are activated by bright light and, in turn, send signals to the brain. When these mice were exposed to 3.5-hour round-the-clock cycles of light and dark, they began acting sadder and slower: They lacked interested in sugar or pleasure-seeking behaviors, moved around less, and did not

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  • Turkey Terminology (Plus Which Bird is Right for You)

    Gourmet, Romulo YanesGourmet, Romulo YanesAmanda MacMillan, SELF magazine

    It used to be that picking side dishes was the only big decision you had to make for Thanksgiving dinner; the main course was, without a doubt, turkey, and there wasn't much more to it than that. But check out many supermarkets or online grocery delivery services today and you'll see that things have changed--you've got plenty of options on the bird, too. Here's what you need to know before you buy.

    To sort through all the lingo, I asked Willow Jarosh, R.D., and Stephanie Clarke, R.D., SELF's contributing nutrition experts, for a quick poultry primer on the labels you might see at your local grocer.

    FRESH:
    This means the turkey's never been frozen, although some are chilled to temperatures as low as 26 degrees to keep them fresher longer. The meat may be more moist and flavorful than that of a turkey that's been frozen, but they're slightly more expensive (and harder to find, as a heads up). The USDA doesn't regulate how long turkey can be

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  • Make Your Meals More Filling

    Travis Rathbone Travis Rathbone Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF magazine

    Have you ever walked away from a meal feeling less than satisfied? I sure have - and there's no question I was snacking away soon after! So how do you make healthy choices and avoid overeating when that half cup "serving" of pasta isn't quite reaching your full factor? Follow these healthy tips for satisfying your stomach and your taste buds.

    Fit in healthy fat.
    Healthy fats include nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocados, and certain oils. These plant-based fats are good for heart health and will keep you feeling satisfied longer because they're energy-dense. TRY:

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    - Mix a spoonful of your favorite nut butter into your morning oatmeal.
    - Top low-fat yogurt with walnuts or almonds.
    - Stir tahini (sesame seed paste) into sauteed veggies.

    Bulk up the fruit and veggie factor. Fruits and vegetables have a high water content, which keeps you feeling fuller longer. You can add extra fruits and vegetables to any dish to

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  • Diabetic-Friendly Snacks

    Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF magazine

    Ever wonder exactly what a diabetic needs to eat to stay healthy and feel good? (In case you guys didn't know, today is World Diabetes Day.) So did I, so I chatted with my friend and colleague, Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE, author of Diabetes Weight Loss - Week by Week. And she gave me some delicious foods:

    The same eats that help those with diabetes are just as good for those not afflicted with the disease. Chow down, ya'll.

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    OATS AND BARLEY: These whole-grains contain a special type of fiber called beta-glucan, which helps to lower blood cholesterol and improve insulin sensitivity, which is critical for those with diabetes, but good for everyone, natch.

    NUTS AND NUT BUTTERS:
    These flavorful, protein-packed nomnoms have good-for-you fats, and since they're naturally low in carbs, nuts won't cause blood sugar to spike. And don't stick with just one type of nut--go for a variety. Each type has its own nutritional

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  • Better Tasting Fruits and Veggies

    Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF magazine

    Sometimes, even the healthiest of us struggle to eat enough produce--especially the sharper-flavored ones, like kale or mustard greens. (It's also hard to get your husband to heart produce, but that's a whole separate story.) Make some delicious side dishes tonight by trying out these tips and tricks to made your produce taste better.

    See more: Foods That Fight Belly Bloat


    Avocado: Ok, so avocado is technically a fruit, but I just learned this trick recently, which has helped me make the best guac ever, so I had to share it with you! Simply buy avocados when they are perfectly ripe (bumpy, dark skin and gives slightly to the touch) and then store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. Placing avocados in the fridge stops the ripening process, so you can buy a perfectly ripe avocado at the beginning of the week and it will still be fantastic (and not brown inside) by the end of the week. Plus, I think it makes them taste extra rich

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  • Find the Perfect Yoga Mat

    Illustration by Pepper TharpIllustration by Pepper Tharp Amanda MacMillan, SELF magazine

    I do a lot of yoga, but I tend to practice on whatever mat or blanket is available to me at the gym or studio. And on some surfaces--including the mat I've used at home for a few years--my hands and feet slide annoyingly out of downward dog; on others, I feel like I'm sticking too much or sinking in. Lately I've been feeling a little like Goldilocks, searching somewhat hopelessly for the mat that's juuuuust right for me.

    See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Then I attended a class taught by yoga icon Rodney Yee, where I tried a mat from Gaiam's Sol line--a collection of seven professional-quality mats, each one made for people with different preferences based on the below factors. While there are some general guidelines for yoga mats, Yee told SELF, you can actually find quite a bit of variation if you know what to look for. Here are a few things to consider:

    See more: Foods That Fight Belly Bloat

    1. STICKINESS: The material and

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  • How to Keep a Secret

    Cristina Tudino, SELF magazine

    The average woman tells in a paltry 32 minutes. Follow our example and find out why.

    THE BIG FAT SECRET:
    Your friend Sarah tells you that despite being engaged, she hooked up with your hot guy pal Dave. Here's what races through your brain, with a play-by-play from experts...

    IN THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES
    You: OMG, that's nuts! Dave's hot, but still. I wonder if I would ever cheat?

    Your Brain Decoded: It's all about...you! "Your first response is to suss out what you can take away from the secret," says Frank McAndrew, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Knox College. By putting yourself in your pal's shoes, you learn to deal with similar issues in your life.

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    AFTER 10 MINUTES
    You: Allie would freak out if she knew about this. This is sooo big! I've got tell her.

    Your Brain Decoded: Seeming in the know is vital to your social status, McAndrew says. In other words, you want to be popular, and sharing gossip can get you

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  • Healthy Food Trend to Try: Specialty Oils

    Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF magazine

    Oils, once given a bum rap for their fat content, are now nutritional superstars--and foodie favorites, too. Tons of specialty shops surrounding the "rediscovered" condiment have opened as well, including Olive Branch & Grape Vine in New Jersey, which sells over 25 different varietals of just EVOO. Bonus: Often these shops hold special tasting events, so if you find a shop in your area, make sure you try before you buy. But until the day that your town has its own oil shop, we break down some of the newest--and unique--ones on the foodie scene.

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    Red Palm Fruit Oil:
    Rich in powerful antioxidants called tocotrienol and tocopherols (vitamin E), as well as carotenes (vitamin A), red palm fruit oil provides great anti-aging benefits. Plus, since red palm fruit oil has a high smoke point, it's perfect for high-temperature cooking like pan-searing chicken or fish.

    Grapeseed Oil:
    Because grapeseed oil contains compounds

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  • Quit Smoking THIS WEEK

    Amanda MacMillan, SELF magazine

    You know how bad smoking is for you, and hopefully you kicked whatever habit you may have had long ago. Congrats: Your lungs are well on their way to becoming good as new, [Ed. note: Kicked butts to the curb over three-and-a-half years ago!] But for those of you who could still use a little help -- or for all of us who have loved ones who haven't yet seen the light -- here's a date to pencil into your calendar.

    See more: Foods That Fight Belly Bloat

    This Thursday, November 15, is the Great American Smokeout. Officially, it's the day smokers are encouraged to quit smoking, just for 24 hours, or to make a plan to quit for good.

    So, for any of you who still light up--or know someone close to them who does--remind him or her that cigs don't just harm the person puffing--they're also dangerous to those around them: they're inhaling your smoke, too. Case in point: a study published this month by on the health impact of smoking bans in public

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