Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • OK to Hug When Sweaty? Gym Etiquette Questions Answered!

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    With lots of sweaty, time-crunched strangers crammed into a relatively small place, the gym is ripe for bad etiquette. How can we make sure we're not violating any unspoken social rules?

    Related: Step up to your best body with the help of SELF

    "The basics of all etiquette are using common sense and making others feel comfortable," says Sue Fox, author of Etiquette for Dummies and founder of Etiquette Survival. "If people understood these two rules, it would create a lot more civility in the world."

    From hugging while sweaty to stripping down to your birthday suit in the locker room, here's her take on common gym etiquette situations:

    THE QUESTION: Is it OK to strip down in front of everyone in the locker room?
    Cover up with a towel. Many believe there is nothing wrong with romping naked in front of strangers, but there are also those who are more modest or shy. Cover up from the shower to your locker. Of course, you can't keep covered

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  • The Biggest Loser's Get-Slim Lesson of the Week: You can lose the weight--but no one else can do it for you

    "The Biggest Loser" sure loves its twists. Just as the contestants are getting comfortable on their new teams, they're thrown yet another curveball: This week, only one person's weight loss would count for their entire team--and each team gets to choose the opposing team's representative.

    20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Of course, no one was anxious to be tapped: one bad week could spell disaster for their teammates. At the same time, Jillian worried that some members on her black team were coasting--including Frado, who always puts up big numbers and knew the blue team wouldn't choose him to take the scale.

    So when Frado threw a hissy fit after falling off the treadmill and blamed Jillian for working him too hard, Jillian turned the tables, calling him the team's "master manipulator" and telling him he could "b---- and moan" all he wanted about her, but in the end, he had to take responsibility for his own actions.

    Elizabeth, another member of the black team, also got some

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  • 5 Things We Learned From Giuliana Rancic's Miscarriage

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    There's a good reason to wait until the end of the first trimester to officially begin celebrating your growing belly. While learning that you're pregnant is a joyful moment, pregnancy can be delicate and unpredictable, especially in those early months.

    Monday's episode of Giuliana & Bill made this all the more clear when the couple received some devastating news: Giuliana had miscarried the baby that they had worked so hard to conceive (ultimately via IVF). Heartbreaking. And seemingly a common occurrence in our circle of friends.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    To find out what we -- and you! -- can learn from Giuliana's story, we spoke to Barbara Collura, Executive Director of RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association.

    1. You're not alone. You may not hear much about miscarriages (often, people don't share because it's so early on that they haven't made the pregnancy public knowledge), but they're more common than you might think: Of

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  • Why those last five pounds are so hard to lose

    By Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, Nutritional Data
    SELF magazine

    Q. I would like to lose about 5 pounds. I've entered my data into the Caloric Needs tool on the Nutrition Data site, and it says I need 2050 calories to maintain my current weight. For the last month, I have been either eating 400-600 calories less than this, or working out to create a deficit, or a combination of the two. I have seen no fluctuation in either the scale or my body or the fit of my clothes. I don't know what else to do! I would greatly appreciate your advice.

    A. As anyone who has ever lost a lot of weight (like twenty pounds or more) will tell you, the first five come off so easily and the last five are the toughest! Here are some ideas on ways to break through that last plateau.

    Related: 15 New Healthy Fall Recipes

    Be patient
    The closer you are to your goal weight, the slower the weight tends to come off. Although this is frustrating, think of it as coming in for a soft landing. If you're losing weight

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  • Is Decaf Really Decaf? 6 Coffee Questions Answered!

    By Jennifer D'Angelo Friedman, SELF magazine

    Every now and then, we down a cup of decaf and detect more than just a little buzz. Is this all in our imagination, or does decaf coffee have more "caf" than we thought?

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    To find out, we spoke to registered dieticians Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, contributing editors at SELF and co-founders of C&J Nutrition. And while we were at it, we found out how much java you should drink, when you should drink it and when you should just say no to joe.
    First question...

    1. Is decaf coffee really decaf?
    No, it's not 100 percent caffeine-free. Decaf contains a VERY small amount of caffeine, but it is not likely to have an effect on most people. Generic decaffeinated coffee contains about 5 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces as opposed to about 135 mg for regular generic coffee.

    2. Is it healthier to have a small cup of regular instead?

    Both options are OK in terms of health. Most coffee processors now use safe

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  • 6 Love Lessons From Taylor Swift

    By Ashley Mateo, SELF magazine

    Taylor Swift may be just 20 years old, but her simple, heartfelt lyrics strike a chord with anyone who's fallen in love. Her new album Speak Now comes out today, so we're looking at her songs to find love lessons we can all learn from.

    "Back to December"
    Sample Lyric: "So this is me swallowing my pride/ Standing in front of you saying 'I'm sorry' for that night/ And I go back to December all the time ... Missing you, wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine"

    Taylor's Take: "I've never felt the need to apologize in a song before," Swift confessed to MTV. "But in the last two years I've experienced a lot, [including] a lot of different kinds of learning lessons. And sometimes you learn a lesson too late and at that point you need to apologize because you were careless."

    Lesson Learned:
    We think Taylor said it best! Sometimes, when things go wrong, it's easier to simply blame someone else. But if you can take a long, hard look at yourself and

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  • 5 Things to Eat if You're Taking Birth Control Pills and Why

    By Monica Reinagel, MS, SELF magazine

    If you're taking birth control pills, a daily multi-vitamin is a good idea. In addition, be sure to support your body nutritionally with these nutrient-packed foods:

  • The Best (and Worst!) Friday Night Take-Out Orders

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    Like Chinese food on Friday nights? You're not alone.
    Turning Leaf wines recently surveyed Americans to learn more about what we eat and drink on take-out nights (and when we eat it).

    20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Not surprisingly, Friday is the most popular night to have take-out for dinner. Sixty-one percent of us sneak a bite of food before we get home (I have no idea why a slice of pizza is missing, honey!) Merlot is the most popular wine to uncork, and 41 percent of us don't even bother to look at the menu when ordering Chinese, the most popular take-out meal. Guess we know what we like!

    The question is whether what we like is going to add inches to our waistlines and sabotage our flat-abs dreams. To learn more about the best and worst take-out options, we spoke to registered dietitian Heather R. Mangieri, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

    Oh, and we included some suggested wine pairings from the experts at Turning

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  • 5 Things You Must Know Before Getting the Flu Shot

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    Flu season is peaking over the next several months, and this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is urging everyone over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot. That means you!

    Related: Check out the food lover's guide to great skin

    The flu causes approximately 5 million illnesses each year, and you don't want to be one of the victims. It's miserable!
    We called on pharmacists and sorted through the latest CDC data and studies to come up with this list of things you should know before getting vaccinated.

    1. If you're preggers, it's a must.

    Fewer than half of all pregnant women get the flu vaccine. Don't be one of them! When you have a baby brewing, you're at an increased risk for flu-related complications, so it's particularly important to get vaccinated.

    And it not only protects you: A recent study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine suggests that babies born to moms who get the flu shot may have some additional protection

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  • A Guilt-Free Nut You Haven't Tried

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    It's no secret that nuts are a healthful choice: They're rich in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower bad LDL cholesterol when subbed in for saturated fat sources (think: cream, whole milk, red meat, etc.).

    15 New Healthy Fall Recipes

    But is one nut better than another as a low-fat source of protein? To find out, we spoke to registered dietician Stephanie Clarke, a contributing editor at SELF and co-founder of C&J Nutrition.

    Turns out, one of the best nuts for snacking is one that you likely overlook: the soy nut. Why?

    1. They might just be the perfect diet nut
    "Because soy nuts are actually beans with a nut-like texture (they have been soaked in water and baked), they deliver more protein and less fat than nuts, but can be used in the same way as nuts," says Clarke.

    20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    An ounce of baked soy beans has 126 calories, 6 grams of fat and 11 grams of protein. Compare this to an ounce

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