Blog Posts by Blisstree Editors

  • Weight Training Will Tone Your Body, But Forget About “Spot Reduction”

    As we learned this week, powerlifting is not just for the obnoxious muscle heads who fill the gym with loud grunts, tons of testosterone and minor earthquakes every time they drop heavy barbells to the floor. It's for any woman too who wants to get lean, toned, strong and a healthy kick-ass dose of confidence. But one thing weight lifting won't do, according to new research, is trim our waistlines.

    Foods to Shrink Your Belly

    Scientists from Duke University Medical Center compared the benefits of aerobic exercise, resistance-or weight-training and a combination of the two. After an eight-month study where they followed 196 overweight people, they found aerobic exercise to be the most efficient and most effective way to lose belly fat. And by belly fat, they don't mean the fat that lies closest to your skin and causes the dreaded muffin top. It's the fat deeper in your abdomen-the more dangerous kind because it fills the space in between our vital organs and is a known cause of

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  • Turn Off The AC To Boost Weight Loss

    Hard to believe, I know, but climate control can make us fatter. In a study published in the June 2006 edition of theInternational Journal of Obesity, University of Alabama at Birmingham, biostatistician Dr. David Allison suggested that air conditioning is one of 10 factors that may play an important role in today's weight crisis. Dr. Allison showed a fascinating link between the huge proliferation of air conditioning in the southern U.S. and the higher prevalence of obesity in this region.

    Changes in temperature, either up or down, can be perceived by your body as a stressor to which it must respond. This response requires energy and also influences our hormonal balance. For instance, when our body temperature drops, our sympathetic nervous system releases adrenalin, our blood vessels constrict to prevent heat loss (good for keeping us warm, not great for a glowing complexion in the long run) and we may also start to shiver. When we are hot, more blood flow is directed towards

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  • Study Says Women Drink To Unwind- But Is It Really A Bad Thing?

    In case you haven't heard, wine is slowing replacing our husbands-and our kids.

    In a new study, 61% of adults said alcohol was their number one way to unwind after a hard day-a number largely outweighing the 26% who preferred to de-stress with their spouse and 28% who opted for quality time with the kids.

    On top of that, more women than men (73% versus 26%) hit the bottle at the end of the day and nearly three-quarters of us say wine is our drug of choice.

    As if we don't already have plenty of things to feel guilty about (like not putting a home-cooked green veggie-stocked meal on the table every night or thinking that watching an episode of Design Starwith our partner counts as a date), now we are supposed to feel bad about choosing a glass of wine over our loved ones when we want to relax.

    Maybe it's just me, but often the source of that very stress that causes us to drink is our spouse and our kids. You know, a house full of pre-teens and their friends sliding down Read More »from Study Says Women Drink To Unwind- But Is It Really A Bad Thing?
  • Narcissism: Good In the Young, Bad As You Age

    Ever called someone-or been called-a narcissist? Chances are, it wasn't a compliment. In popular culture (as opposed to psychoanalytic theory), 'narcissist' is generally used to describe someone vain, conceited, egotistical, selfish or deluded about their self-worth. But a new study suggests that a little bit of narcissism, at least in the young, is actually a good thing. Where narcissism goes bad is (alas! like so many things) with age.

    "Most people think of narcissism as a trait that doesn't change much across the lifespan," said University of Illinois researcher Patrick Hill, who conducted the study with psychology professor Brent Roberts. "But a lot of recent studies have shown that the developmental trajectory of narcissism goes upward in adolescence and what we call emerging adulthood - the late teens and early 20s, and then typically declines."

    This is a good thing-in most people, narcissistic traits hang around when they're most useful, and then decline when they're

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  • How To Flatten Your Abs With High-Fiber Foods

    Many factors contribute to hormonal balance but one of them has the power to reduce insulin, inflammation and toxic estrogen and even help you live longer-and it's likely lurking in your kitchen right now. According to a recent study by National Institutes of Health, participants who consumed an adequate amount of fiber in their daily diet had significant reductions in the risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases, with the greatest benefit seen among those who consumed the largest amount of fiber. In fact, researchers of this 390,000-wide study found that a high-fiber diet reduced the risk of death from any cause over the nine-year period the data was collected. Despite this, on average North Americans only take in 16 grams of total fiber a day, while Europeans consume 22 grams. With recommendations for daily fiber intake being 25-35 grams per day for women and 35-40 grams for men, it appears we are falling drastically short.

    Fiber: Variety is Key

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  • End PMS Symptoms With These Foods

    The week before our period doesn't always have to turn us into a moody, emotional, unreasonable alter-ego who will do anything for some chocolate. Not to mention the bloating, cramps and fatigue that make us less-than-fun to be around on a Friday night. Thankfully, Joy Bauer recently discussed her top power foods on the Today Show tocure common health ailments, including PMS.

    Most women know how important yogurt is in a healthy diet, because it's packed with calcium that our bones need. What many people don't know though, is that women who struggle with PMS tend to have lower levels of calcium in the week or two leading up to their period. This not only puts our bone health in jeopardy, but our overall well-being too. Yogurt can help balance our emotions and relieve bloating during that time.

    Got PMS? Milk Will Make You Less Of A B!*#@

    Almonds are the next best thing, according to Bauer. They are rich in magnesium, which has been shown to alleviate PMS-related headaches.

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  • Dating and Baking: Don’t Let Him Eat Your Cake Too Soon

    8649821786498217I love baking. I bake because I enjoy it, but I won't lie: I also bake because it really impresses people. Want co-workers to worship you? Bring in cookies. Want your friends to drag themselves across town to hang out at your place? Stock your cupboards with chocolate chips and all-purpose flour. And if you want multiple compliments at a dinner party, volunteer for the dessert course, and use butter.

    But baking for a new guy too soon? That's a rookie mistake. (Take it from a former rookie.) To clarify: I'm not into dating rules. Many people assume that we're all seeking the same ideal relationship and behavior from the people we date, as if our romantic happiness should follow a universal script. But I find that mindset pretty offensive - and useless.

    HOWEVER (note all caps), I do stick by one hard-and-fast courtship rule:

    Don't. Bake. For. Him. Yet.

    Many women fuss over when we're supposed to kiss our dates, get naked, and do everything else with our bodies (and

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  • Diet Dilemma: Low Carb or Low Fat?

    Take a stroll through the health and wellness section of any bookstore, and you'll notice that many of the tomes on display are devoted to one of two ways of eating: low-carb or low-fat. Both have their merits and their downfalls, so which is the right approach to weight loss for you? Here's my take on the benefits of each:

    Cutting carbs:

    The premise behind low-carb diets (think Atkins and South Beach) is that limiting breads, pasta, starchy veggies and fruit can help you shed pounds by keeping your insulin levels in check. Insulin is the hormone that regulates how much sugar is absorbed by our cells to be used as fuel. These sugars are later stored as fat if they aren't used as energy. When your insulin levels remain steady, your body is more likely to burn stored fat for energy. Sounds good, right? But an ultra-low carb diet has its drawbacks. Let's not forget that carbohydrates give us energy and boost our moods, so some people may find they feel unusually tired and

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  • Drink Up! Wine May Prevent Sunburn

    Good news if you enjoy a glass of vino as much as we do: The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistrypublished a new study that claims wine may protect you from the sun's harmful rays.

    Apparently, a compound found in grapes can guard skin cells from ultraviolet radiation, according to researchers from the University of Barcelona and the Spanish National Research Council. Without getting too tech-y, it works something like this: When you're out in the sun and damaging UV rays hit your skin, they kill skin cells, which in turn, cause sun damage. But the flavonoids-or chemical compounds, found in grapes work to halt that chemical reaction, thus potentially protecting your skin from sunburn.

    We knew there was a reason that beachside sangria tasted so good. And because we like to share, here is our favorite (and healthiest) recipe for that:

    Beachy Sangria

    1 (750-ml) bottle red wine

    1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier (this won't prevent

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  • U.S. Department of Health Orders Insurers To Pay For Your Birth Control

    Women's reproductive rights can be a fairly grim news topic, so today we're pretty excited to report that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is ordering insurance companies to provide prescription birth control with no copay or deductible as a preventative care treatment. Woot! But before you cancel your next order of Yaz, there are few things you should know.

    Better Birth Control: A Doctor's View on IUDs

    • The new benefits won't kick in until one year from now, and that's for new health insurance policies.
    • Eventually, nearly all policies will cover costs of birth control, but keep up with your insurance company's changes.
    • The new rules allow religious organizations which offer coverage to refrain from covering birth control options that are "inconsistent with their tenets."
    • Other preventative care services that will be included in the list of free services for women include: STD counseling, domestic violence screening and counseling,
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