Blog Posts by Oprah.com

  • 4 Ways Alcohol Messes with Your Sleep

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Valerie Ross

    Thanks to an April 2013 review of 20 studies--and to the more than 500 people who drank in the name of science and then turned in for the night in a sleep lab so that researchers could record their brainwaves--it's been confirmed: If you only have a bit to drink, alcohol can help you sleep better during the first part of the night, spurring an increase in slow-wave sleep, which the body needs in order to repair tissues and strengthen the immune system, and leaving dream-studded REM sleep untouched. Too much booze, however, can interrupt REM sleep, which is vital for memory and concentration. As the alcohol wears off during the second part of the night, sleep is often disrupted, the review found, as people frequently wake up. (In some cases, they'll also start sweating, feel anxious or--if they do manage to get some REM sleep--have nightmares.) But that's only the beginning of how alcohol gets between you and a decent night's rest.

    RELATED: Your 5 Biggest Health

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  • Good-for-You Desserts that Aren't Fruit

    Photo: Ben FinkBy Lynn Andriani

    A Smarter Pumpkin Treat
    Bread, muffins, whoopie pies: goodies made with this now ubiquitous autumn squash have become so popular that bakeries now carry them all year long. But while pumpkin is a great source of vitamins A, K and E, as well as potassium and magnesium, many desserts that feature it also contain loads of oil and sugar. This recipe for moist, spiced bars from the new cookbook Recipe Rehab uses applesauce in place of oil, Splenda instead of sugar and oat flour for white flour. Each one comes in at less than 200 calories.

    Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting






    Photo: Tara StrianoThe No-Gimmick Cookie
    There are no tricks to Italian biscotti; no hidden ingredients or low-fat butter substitutes--just pantry staples that aren't necessarily decadent on their own, but when combined, deliver the perfect combination of sweetness and crunch. This recipe from cookbook author Stacy Adimando is totally customizable. Even if you don't tweak it, though, it's aRead More »from Good-for-You Desserts that Aren't Fruit
  • 10 Things Pregnant Women Just Don't Want to Hear

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Amy Shearn

    "Just don't name it Ethel."

    Announcing a pregnancy is not, contrary to popular belief, the same thing as asking for a crowd-sourced baby name. Do you have strong feelings about certain trends in natal nomenclature? Do you have a boy and a girl name all picked out for your imaginary children? That's nice. But you're not allowed to hoard names, or ask people to avoid the ones you don't like. You are encouraged, however, to wait until a name is shared, even if it's been weeks since the kid was born, and then, on hearing the news, smile and say, "How perfect!"

    RELATED: Deepak Chopra on the Beauty of Life

    "Did you hear about
    the woman who ran a marathon right before she gave birth?"

    We'll concede that this story is an inspiring reminder of how powerful women's bodies can be, and how un-delicate pregnancy often is. But mamas-to-be also need to hear inspiring stories about really fun movies to watch, and really yummy snacks to consume, while curled up on their sides

    Read More »from 10 Things Pregnant Women Just Don't Want to Hear
  • What Personal Trainers Wish They Could Tell You

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    1. We take some offense when you show up hungover.
    "You knew you had a 6 a.m. appointment with us, yet you still chose to go out drinking the night before."
    -- Traci D. Mitchell, a Chicago-based health and fitness coach, and the creator of the 40 Day Shape Up plan.



    2. ...however, you should still come in even if you aren't feeling psyched to work out.
    "I had a client last week who told me he felt very tight and sore. I scrapped the high-intensity Tabata program I had planned, and we did dynamic stretching for the session. Sometimes a client will want to talk about nutrition or how to make time for exercise--instead of doing [that day's] workout. They're still paying for that session, and they can get something out of it other than exercise."
    --Jenn Zerling, Los Angeles-based owner of JZ Fitness and the author of Breaking the Chains of Obesity: 107 Tools

    3. Please don't expect us to hold your dog or watch your twin babies while you work out (seriously, you can't

    Read More »from What Personal Trainers Wish They Could Tell You
  • The Top Summer Handbags You'll Want to Carry All Season

    Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio DBy Oprah.com

    Mojito Small Tote
    This stylish tote is completely functional--and fashionable.
    $57 | DeuxLux.com

    RELATED: The Confidence Game: How to Bring Out Your Inner Hotshot









    Photo: Marko MetzingerBox Clutch
    A box clutch lightens up with white sequins and a peach and gold geometric clasp.
    $44 | Macys.com










    Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DQuilted-Top Handbag
    This structured satchel is the busy woman's secret weapon. Its sturdy shape and five-pocket design neatly stows your daily essentials, whether
    they're a color-coded planner or notes scribbled on crumpled cocktail
    napkins.
    $44 | JCPenney.com



    Photo: Marko MetzingerSummer Tote
    The quintessential summer tote, updated with a geometric print and polka-dot lining.
    $70 | AnnTaylor.com












    Photo: Oprah.comNylon Tote
    If you love the classic canvas tote but hate the near-constant cleanup, we've found your new gym/park/beach-day companion: the L.L. Bean Adventure Tote II. Its nylon material means scuffs and stains are easily wiped away, and multiple pockets can help you attain a Peter Walsh level of organization.
    $35 |

    Read More »from The Top Summer Handbags You'll Want to Carry All Season
  • 8 Things You Shouldn't Say to a Newlywed

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Candace Braun Davison

    "It's so refreshing to see a bride who's not a size zero."
    Sure, you mean to make the newlywed feel like a role model--but instead, alas, her mind is ping-ponging through several not-so-flattering thoughts: (a) the bridal boot camp she endured had no effect whatsoever; (b) she shouldn't have bothered skipping every venti java-chip Frappuccino for the past 15 months; and (c) doesn't this person know she's already had a seamstress talk about having to work around her "birthing" hips? It's the kind of comment that's meant to flatter our feminine shapes and, somehow, just makes us obsess over the exact opposite.

    RELATED: The Nicest Thing a Mother (or Anybody) Can Say

    Photo: Thinkstock"Oh, God, your wedding: Can we talk about that exploding chocolate fountain?"
    Every walk down the aisle has a few Murphy's Law moments where we throw our hands up and tell ourselves that one day we'll laugh at it all. And, most likely, we will. But within the first year, those mishaps are the sorts

    Read More »from 8 Things You Shouldn't Say to a Newlywed
  • How to Get a Flat Stomach Standing Up

    Photo: Physique 57By Corrie Pikul

    The Move: Swivel Chair
    "This was one of our go-tos for getting our own abs back into pre-pregnancy shape," says Tanya Becker, a founder of Physique 57, a boutique fitness class that combines ballet, Pilates and isometrics. She and co-founder Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi both used this move to trim down after giving birth, and they now recommend it to women with weak abdominal muscles due a recent baby, a not-so-recent baby or 9 months of nights at your desk.
    1. Stand a forearm's distance away from a waist-high sturdy piece of furniture, with your feet, knees and thighs together. Lightly place your hands a bit wider than your shoulders on the furniture.
    2. With your upper body facing forward, rotate both feet and hips to point toward your right hand. Lift your heels and bend your knees over your toes, lowering your body five or six inches.
    3. Bend deeper and pulse down and up. Remember to keep your abs engaged, your posture lifted with your shoulders stacked over your

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  • Hair Removal Products that Really Work

    By O, The Oprah Magazine

  • 4 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Shine

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Robin Romm

    Eliminate Eyesores
    Amy Azzarito, author of Past & Present, replaced drab closet handles with a pair shaped like Nepalese goddesses and improved an ugly light-fixture cord by stringing it with beads.

    RELATED: 5 Ways Katori Hall Gave In to Life, Love and Her Own Creativity











    Photo: ThinkstockUse Your Unused Spaces
    When Abbey Hendrickson (author of You Are Awesome: 21 Crafts to Make You Happy) bought her home, she was stumped by a tiny room with a woodstove. But installing a bench and books turned it into "the library."








    Photo: ThinkstockDelight All Your Senses
    Design isn't solely visual. Consider the feel of your rug, the texture of your throw pillows, the logistics of making a room quieter. And don't forget -- burn a candle that smells like a campfire.








    Photo: ThinkstockMind the Details
    Small touches can transform a space--like a vase of flowers, beautiful pens on your desk or an artful display of your jewelry (Azzarito hangs hers on the wall). A rule of thumb? "Buy only things you want around forever," says Hendrickson.

    Read More »from 4 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Shine
  • Fashion Mistakes that Make You Look Older

    By Pamela Masin


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