Blog Posts by Sarah B. Weir, Shine Senior Writer

  • New Women’s Blogs Challenge Standards of Beauty

    There is an antidote to the "thinspiration" sites that lurk in the darkest corners of the Internet hawking a depressing array of tools to spark and stoke eating disorders (pictures of ultra-skinny celebs, methods of fasting, stories of successful anorexics). "Be Brave! Join the Body Peace Revolution!" proclaims Stop Hating Your Body (SHYB). SHYB is one of a growing number of websites and blogs created by women and girls aimed at promoting self-acceptance and challenging our current notions of beauty.

    Related: French ELLE dubs curvy model "The Body"

    Annie Segarra, who launched the site in 2010 says, "I wanted to create a space where people could express themselves about body image, where all sorts of different body types, age groups, ethnicity, beliefs, can unite over one thing: the desire to be happy, the desire to love themselves completely." On SHYB and other similar sites, users share their insecurities, post pictures of them selves, and receive encouraging feedback from

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  • Cool App Predicts Children’s Height

    How tall will your kid be? How tall will your kid be? What parent doesn't speculate about their kid's future height? Now, Multiplier, a free app created by researchers at the International Center for Limb Lengthening (ICLL) of Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland eliminates the guesswork. It can also help identify abnormalities in bone length.

    The app, which is available for Android and I-phone, guides parents through taking number of measurements of their children's limbs and inputting them along with their gender and age. Using a complex formula, the app then predicts how tall they will be.

    John Herzenberg, M.D., the director of the ICLL, explains, "The Multiplier Method has been a trusted resource for predicting mature height and bone length in children for more than a decade, but getting these results often required calculating complicated formulas, frequently by hand." He says the app now provides parents and pediatricians with results in seconds.

    Also on Shine:
    Eleven Things Your Pediatrician Won't Tell You

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  • 10 Habits of Skinny People

    Simple strategies for healthy weight lossHas your pattern of weight loss started to resemble the ups and downs of a yo-yo? Shedding pounds and keeping them off comes down to more than jumping on the latest diet bandwagon. In fact, as many as 80% of dieters who reach their goal weight through dieting end up regaining as many or more pounds within two years. Overall lifestyle choices have a greater impact on maintaining a slim figure for the long haul than cutting calories, and science has identified many habits that skinny people have in common.

    Related: Should Unborn Babies Be Treated for Obesity?

    1. Daily weigh-in

    Many diet plans say only step on the scale once a week, but researchers at the University of Minnesota found that once a day is more effective for preventing long term weight gain.

    2. Don't skip breakfast

    Your mother was right and the statistics are significant. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, people who skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to be obese.

    3. Drink

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  • How to Cook the Perfect Hardboiled Egg

    The secret to perfect eggsEggs are a traditional symbol of spring and have a special place on both the Easter and Passover table. Unfortunately, the delicious simplicity of a hardboiled egg is frequently marred by a cracked shell, greenish yolk, or sulfuric odor. With the holidays around the corner, wouldn't be it be nice to have a perfect dozen (or more) to decorate, display, and eat? It's easy if you follow these steps:

    1. Buy eggs that are about a week old.

    This is one time to purchase less-than-fresh food. Food science writer Harold McGee says that older eggs firm up more smoothly and peel easier. If you can only find super fresh eggs, add a half-teaspoon of baking soda per quart of water.

    Related: How to Read an Egg Carton

    2. Start with room temperature eggs.

    Eggs that have been sitting on the kitchen counter for up to an hour are less prone to cracking when the cooking water rapidly heats up than ones that come straight from a cold fridge. The USDA says don't keep raw eggs out of the

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  • 'Titanic' Trivia: 17 Surprising Facts about the Making of the Movie

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate WinsletIn honor of the re-release of 'Titanic,' Yahoo! Shine dug deep to salvage the craziest facts about the making of James Cameron's blockbuster. Did you know that:

    Leonardo DiCaprio's pet lizard, Blizz, was injured on set, but the star nursed it back to health.

    Director James Cameron initially wanted Gwyneth Paltrow to play the role of Rose DeWitt Bukater. Claire Danes and Nicole Kidman were also considered.

    Paramount Pictures wanted Matthew McConaughey for the role of Jack Dawson, but Cameron insisted on Leonardo DiCaprio. Dicaprio almost bowed out in order to play the lead in the film 'Boogie Nights' about the adult film industry in the 1970s.

    After finding out that she had to would have to be naked in front of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet flashed her co-star when they first met.

    The very first scene that Winslet and DiCaprio shot together was when Jack draws Rose's nude portrait. Cameron wanted to capitalize on his young actors' nervous energy.

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  • How to Eat Less Sugar

    Is sugar toxic?Americans consume about 130 pounds of sugar per person per year. The April 1 st '60 Minutes' segment Is Sugar Toxic? spotlights how our collective sweet tooth is contributing to serious health risks including obesity, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, and certain types of cancer. Avoiding sugar, however, is trickier than you think. Most processed food contains added sugar-and the grams add up quickly.

    The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends women limit their sugar intake to six teaspoons over the course of one whole day. The AHA wants men to stick to less then 9 teaspoons, and for kids 4 to 8 years old, only 3 teaspoons of sugar are allowed.

    Six teaspoons of sugar might seem like a lot since you wouldn't eat that much at one time. Or would you?

    These foods each contain about 24 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of added sugars:

    • 3/4 of a can of Coke
    • Half a bag of Skittles
    • 1/2 cup of Haagen-Daz sorbet
    • One 6-ounce container of Yoplait yogurt
    • 3.5 tablespoons of
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  • Prom Dress Rules: High Schools Ban Sexy Gowns

    Prom is supposed to be a fairy tale evening, and some teenage girls (and boys) spend their entire senior year dreaming about it. It really would be an unforgettable night if you were turned away at the door for wearing an unacceptable dress.

    Related: Best Prom Styles for Under $100

    The Wall Street Journal reports that high schools across the country are tightening their rules about what constitutes overly provocative prom clothing in response to more and more girls pushing the envelope with micro-minis, cut outs, and plunging necklines such as the ones seen in our slideshow.

    Trend watchers attribute the upsurge in revealing gowns to television shows such as "Dancing with the Stars" and Hollywood stars' sexy red carpet looks.

    "It seems kind of petty," Cindi Lee, an Algebra teacher at Southmore High School outside Oklahoma City, told the Journal, "but we really do want them to understand we are holding them to a high standard." Administrators at the school have put together

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  • Worst Celebrity Parenting Advice

    It has been a bizarre week in celebrity parenting. First, January Jones encouraged other moms to chow down on their baby's placenta as a health elixir. Not to be outdone in the earth mama department, Alicia Silverstone posted a video of herself feeding her 11-month-old boy by chewing her own food and depositing it directly into his mouth mother-bird style. If this weren't mind boggling enough, Fox News brought our attention to Pamela Anderson's advice for raising her teenage boys. Here's a look at some of the worst celebrity parenting advice ever, beginning with Pammy.

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  • Broga: Men’s Yoga Gains Popularity

    Broga: Yoga just for menDespite the fact that yoga was first developed in India by men, for men, here in the United States, it has long been viewed as a "chick thing." That's changing-fast. "When I first started teaching 10 years ago, classes were all women," says New York City-based Sadie Nardini, yoga teacher and alternative wellness expert. "The only guys around were the ones waiting for their girlfriends to come out of class. Now, its almost 50% men."

    Related: How Fit Are You? Three Simple Steps to Find Out

    And if the word yoga still seems too wimpy, now there is a style, and studio, geared specifically toward men, called "Broga." Co-founder and head teacher Robert Sidoti tells Shine, "I was seeing a lot of male friends and family in their mid-30s suffering and not knowing what do about it." He describes guys being worn down by stress and back pain and aging more quickly than they should be. He started creating a series of poses that was geared towards men's bodies and strengths.


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  • How to Go Gluten-Free: Avoiding Surprising Sources of Gluten

    Beware gluten in unexpected productsThe grains wheat, barley, rye, and triticale contain a protein called gluten. People with Celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that effects about 1% of the population in the United States, are gluten-intolerant; their immune system attacks the protein when it reaches the small intestine triggering symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, and nausea. It can also make it hard for the body to absorb nutrients and lead to fatigue, anemia, and osteoporosis. Celiac disease may slow growth in children.

    Diagnosing Celiac disease

    If you think you have Celiac disease, your doctor can diagnose it with a blood test. They may also perform an endoscopy to look inside of the small intestine and take a biopsy. Adopting a gluten-free diet usually improves symptoms in about two weeks.

    Gluten sensitivity

    About one in twenty people react badly to eating gluten but test negative for Celiac disease. "Gluten sensitivity" is an umbrella term that covers about 100 different issues from hives, to

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