Blog Posts by Vitamin G, Glamour Magazine

  • 3 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Sun Protection

    We're experiencing a heat wave here in Seattle (shocking!) where I live, so I've got sun-protection on the brain. You might be surprised by these three things I learned about sunscreen and sun protection recently ...

    I recently wrote an article for about surprising facts about sun protection. Here are three that really stuck out to me:

    1. Drinking fruity, alcoholic beverages means you need to reapply sunscreen more frequently. Do you love to lounge at the beach drinking a pina colada or margarita? That umbrella cocktail in your hand may be weakening your sunscreen's effect, says New York-based skincare and beauty product expert Risi-Leanne Baranja, who cites the research of dermatologist Frederic Brandt, MD. "He explained that if you're drinking a significant amount of sugar or alcohol, you are causing inflammation in your skin and you will release more free radicals," she says. "Then the sunlight suppresses your immune system. Therefore, it's important to add more

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  • The 10 Unhealthiest Beverages--Ever

    Gals, you already know that a lot of sneaky calories come from beverages (which is why I always encourage people to keep an eye on what they're sipping--it can surprise you!). But this list of caloric and fattening beverages are so brazenly unhealthy, you will be shocked ...

    That's Fit recently pointed out Men's Health's recent list of the 10 most dreadfully unhealthy beverages in America. The winner (or shall we say, "the loser"?)? Cold Stone PB&C in the "Gotta Have It" size of 24 oz. It pacls 2,010 calories, 131 grams of fat, of which 68 grams are saturated, and 153 grams of sugar. (That's the sugar equivalent of 30 Chewy Chips Ahoy Cookies and the saturated fat equivalent of 68 strips of bacon--yowza!)

    Here are the other worst offenders:

    The Worst Smoothie
    Smoothie King Peanut Power Plus Grape (large, 40 fluid ounces)
    Stats: 1,498 calories, 44 grams fat (8 grams saturated) and 214 grams of sugar.
    The sugar equivalent: 20 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

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  • Is Going Green Making You Sick? New Warnings About Reusable Shopping Bags

    Oh great, we all have been so diligent about bringing our reusable bags to the grocery store, and now health experts say they could be making us sick. Details ...

    I love bringing my own bags to the grocery store. I makes me feel like I'm doing my part, you know? (Plus, I dread the dirty looks I get from the Whole Foods checkers when I forget them!)

    But, here's the deal, say researchers at the University of Arizona: Those green bags we use over and over again can actually make us sick. According to the research of renowned germ expert Charles Gerba (seriously, the dude is like the Brad Pitt of the germ world), using reusable bags over and over again without washing them poses a serious health risk.

    Related: 3 Germ-Zapping Products You Don't Need, and 1 You Do

    Here's why: Leaky milk cartons, drippy ground beef packages, and the like can leave bacterial residue on your bags which is then passed to other foods and packages which can make you sick.

    What to do? Wash your

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  • Cupping: Jessica Simpson Is Raving About It, But What Is It?

    Jessica Simpson tweeted about her love of an ancient Chinese tradition known as "cupping." But, what is it?

    Jessica Simpson had this to say about her experience with "cupping" over the weekend: "love it!" She's supposedly on a meditation and tea-drinking kick to jump-start her physical and mental health. "Just so everyone is clear.. this has NOTHING to do with weight!" she said. "It is about understanding my body through hydration and alkalinity."

    But what is cupping?

    Related: Are You Lazy About Tooth-Brushing? Jessica Simpson Makes a Big Confession

    CBS did a piece on the ancient alternative healing therapy a while back (check out this weird picture of the procedure!). Basically, cupping is a treatment similar to acupuncture, where a practitioner uses cups to create a suction attachment to a patient's back, drawing the skin up under the cup. Some methods use fire. Using a cotton ball soaked with alcohol, the practitioner lights the cotton ball and places it on the cup.

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  • Are You a Salt-aholic? Experts Say 9 Out of 10 Americans Use Too Much Salt

    I will admit, when it comes to some drinks and dishes, I'm a bit heavy-handed with the salt shaker. Maybe I'm one of the millions of Americans who gets way more sodium than I should. Are you?

    According to new government reports, shockingly, nine out of 10 Americans consume too much salt, and most are getting more than twice the recommended amount (2,300 mg).

    It's estimated that as much as 77 percent of dietary sodium comes from processed foods and restaurant foods, so if you eat out a lot, consider yourself adequately salted.

    "Sodium has become so pervasive in our food supply that it's difficult for the vast majority of Americans to stay within recommended limits," said Janelle Peralez Gunn, public health analyst with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who led the study of salt consumption.

    And, we now know that too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, strokes and kidney failure. Yikes peeps, go easy on the salt shaker when you can. All this news

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  • Natural Sunscreens: Do They Work?

    There's been a lot in the news about sunscreens lately, and as the FDA take a closer look at ingredients and the claims on the bottles, you may be wondering: Are so-called "natural" sunscreens healthier, and do they actually work? I have details ...

    The Los Angeles Times took a look at natural sunscreens recently, and raised the question: Do they work?

    It's easy to feel funny about all the weird chemically sounding ingredients in mainstream sunscreens (hello avobenzone, oxybenzone, octisalate, diethylexyl and triethanolamine!). Natural sunscreens often contain ingredients that are easier to stomach: organic macadamia nut or hemp seed oils, green tea extracts, beeswax and purified water.

    Related: 50 Little Health Tips Every Woman Should Know

    To understand the difference between natural and "chemical" sunscreens, here's a brief primer:

    *Mainstream or "chemical" sunscreens work by using chemicals to absorb UVB and UVA rays. Drawback: People are sometimes sensitive to

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  • What's the Strangest Food Craving You've Had in a While? Salma Hayek Likes Bugs

    Radishes. For some reason I am craving them a lot these days--sprinkled with sea salt. Random, right? Well, maybe not quite as bad as Salma Hayek's bug cravings. Read about that (if you dare), and share the strangest thing you like to eat ...

    When asked about her taste for, um, grasshoppers, here's what Salma Hayek told Dave Letterman this week: "Look, I'm salivating. They're delicious."

    She goes on: "These little ants fried are amazing, with a little guacamole. And the worms … there are many different recipes for those. The little grasshoppers have a smoky flavor to them. It's the way they cook them, and it's really good."

    Ever eaten a bug? (I haven't--yikes!) What "strange" things do you like to eat?


    Photo Credit: WWD
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  • Forget the Sun! Experts Say Eat These Foods for Bronze, Glowing Skin

    Honestly, I was a bit skeptical of this news. You're talking to a girl who has impossibly fair skin, who spends 5 minutes in the sun and comes in with 20 new freckles. So, really, can certain foods change the pigment of your skin? Details ...

    Want to look like you've been lounging at the beach, even if you've been slaving at your desk? Of course, you can use a self tanner, but, according to the New York Daily News, another safe way to fake a tan is to eat your way to one.

    Cartenoids, organic pigments found in many plants, can actually change the skin's color to some degree, says Bristol University experimental psychologist Ian Stephen. Foods rich in these compounds include sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, carrots, peppers and spinach. Stephen says that switching to a produce-rich diet can improve the tone and look of your skin.

    According to his research: "When he asked volunteers to look at 'before and after' photos of Caucasians who consumed a diet rich in orange and

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  • The UltraSimple Diet: Does This Latest Diet Craze Really Work?

    Oh how I loathe diets. But a lot of people are talking about a new one called the "UltraSimple" diet, and honestly, the concept appealed to me--I like the idea of keeping a diet simple. One blogger tried it out, and here's her report ...

    That's Fit's Kristen Seymour tried out the UltraSimple Diet, written by Mark Hyman (who also wrote The New York Times bestseller "UltraMetabolism"). He claims that you will "kick-start your metabolism and safely lose up to 10 pounds in seven days."

    So how does it work?

    "The UltraSimple Diet is based on the premise that most weight issues are caused by two things: Toxicity and inflammation," writes Kristen. "The seven-day diet plan removes the toxic foods and common food allergens we all consume--sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten and more. It also addresses the effect that stress has on our ability (or inability) to lose weight."

    Would she recommend the UltraSimple Diet to others after trying it out for a week? "Yes and no," she says. "For

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  • Fascinating! Guess What's on the American Ethnic Aisle at This Grocery Store in China

    There are "ethnic" food aisles at your local grocery store, but wait until you see the kinds of foods in the USA ethnic food section in one Chinese grocery store ...

    Here's a way to shine a light on America's love for high-fat and processed foods: Just take a look at the favorite food items foreign grocery stores carry and label as American--everything from processed sweet desserts to icky, trans-fat laden shortening and sugary cereals. Blogger Gwen of the blog Sociological Images made a video of one American ethnic food section in a Chinese grocery store, and I was pretty fascinated (see the clip, below). Aside from the barbecue sauce, this little exercise made me a little embarrassed for the USA!

    Do you try to break free from stereotypical American eating habits, or do you tend to love all the stuff featured in this video? No judgment. Just curious if, in your opinion, this looks like a realistic account of a typical American's diet.

    P.S. Our readers weighed in on

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