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Coconut oil.   So useful and very versatile.  There's books and lists all over the place that list many of its uses.

 Personally, I love to use it for cooking.  There's a slight coconut taste so I try not to put it in things that it would clash with, but most foods I don't even notice.  It's  especially great in desserts.  And I love baking a sweet potato, then topping with some oil and salt.

It's also an amazing moisturizer.   I use it like lotion and just rub it onto my dry skin.  It's healing too, so if I have a patch of irritated skin the coconut oil clears it up super fast.  It's supposed to help fade scars and stretch marks.  I haven't noticed results in this area though.

 

So yea coconut oil is my miracle worker, lol.  I subscribe on Amazon so I get big tubs shipped to me regularly and I use a lot!

Edited by sunshinelover
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I love Dr. Pepper, and I won't drink the diet stuff, but I need to watch my sugar intake. I normally only drink half a can, saving the rest in the fridge for the next day, but still, half a can is about 20 grams of sugar. Today I bought a 2-litre bottle of club soda, and diluted my Dr. Pepper by half. It was yummier than I thought it would be. I've done the same thing with juice for quite some time, but I'd never tried it with soda.

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A note on coconut oil, it needs to be virgin (or extra-virgin) and unrefined in order to have the beneficial properties :-)  Check the label, it will usually clearly state one way or another.  Also, it needs to be "cold-pressed" and it is solid below 76 degrees.  Don't heat it in your microwave for the same 'preserve the enzymes' reasons.  

 

Just look up oil-pulling for more info :-) 

 

I've got a flareup of a tendon issue in my left elbow that thankfully isn't keeping me from working out, but is limiting how much typing I can do.  So I'm sort of forced into something resembling brevity. 

 

My best tip is make sure to warm-up before working out.  Also, make sure to stretch after you're warmed up, as opposed to before, or when you're cooling down.   

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Here's some advice: whatever you start doing, shut up about it. Seriously. Every time I see someone lose weight successfully, they usually keep it to themselves. The people who seem to always be on a diet but never lose the weight are the ones who will talk your ear off for 45 minutes about all the shit they've tried, want to try, and what Dr. Oz said. Nobody talks about food more than someone who is always on a diet. Just make up your mind, get a plan in mind, and stick with it. Don't overthink things and definitely don't over talk things. You didnt have an hour conversation about lunch and your diet when you were fat and happy, right? So when you start eating salads and hitting the treadmill, just act like its something you do. Nothing of note.

Oh, and please stop swearing off meats because of your diet but then turn around and suck down diet Coke, fruit juice, and loading your coffee up with creamer and sugar. Sugar metabolizes into fat and its much easier to fuck up your diet with too much sugar than too much fat from meats.

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That reminds me of the old joke:

 

Q:  How do you know if one of your dinner guests is a vegetarian?

 

A:  Don't worry:  they'll tell you.

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Oh, and please stop swearing off meats because of your diet but then turn around and suck down diet Coke, fruit juice, and loading your coffee up with creamer and sugar. Sugar metabolizes into fat and its much easier to fuck up your diet with too much sugar than too much fat from meats.

 

You lose weight by eating fewer calories than you burn—period. Eat whatever you want, just eat less of it. No need to eliminate entire categories of foods from your diet. In fact, deprivation usually leads to bingeing.

 

You can eat anything in moderation and still lose weight.

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You lose weight by eating fewer calories than you burn—period. Eat whatever you want, just eat less of it. No need to eliminate entire categories of foods from your diet. In fact, deprivation usually leads to bingeing.

 

You can eat anything in moderation and still lose weight.

 

Absolutely. My point there was more that it's easier to consume a lot of liquid sugar than fat from meats. You definitely should limit your intake of red meat, pork, etc. but if you suck down sweet coffee, diet Coke, and fruit juice on a daily basis, you're hindering your diet almost as much as if you just had a steak.

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And the steak would taste better than the diet Coke and coffee (although it has less caffeine). Now if you're talking about regular Coke, I'd rather have that than the steak. But mostly, I try to limit myself to one 12-ounce Coke a day. Some days I do better than others.

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Mom reminded me yesterday was Melanoma Monday, so my tip is to protect your skin! (I'll have my 25th anniversary being melanoma-free next month.)

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Does anyone have any good tips for firming up the backside of my upper arms? I swim so I've got nice biceps and forearms, but I need some help toning the underside of my arms. I've recently started doing planks in my office during long, boring conference calls, but I'd love any other tips for toning that area up.

Edited by emma675

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What you need are some weight-training exercises that specifically target the triceps.  I don't remember whether you've done any resistance training (which includes weights), but try these:

 

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The only area of my body I'd every brag about is my triceps.  I have good tricep development for a woman and it's due to weight training and then chaturanga (yoga pushups) demonstrated here: 

 

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Not quite.  I can do both and chaturanga keeps the elbows in closer to the body.  It's more arms, chest and back and less shoulder.   

 

It's also generally done as part of a sequence that includes downward dog, chaturanga, upward dog or cobra...it's usually part of a flow sequence :-) 

 

Here's the sequence slowed down a great deal.  

 

Edited by stillshimpy
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My hair and nails are very fragile lately so I picked up a collagen supplement-- six big tablets a day!

 

Has anybody tried these?  What was your experience?

 

Thanks.

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Mom reminded me yesterday was Melanoma Monday, so my tip is to protect your skin! (I'll have my 25th anniversary being melanoma-free next month.)

Congratulations!  That's a long time and that's encouraging to hear.  I'll be 4 years next month.  I sure do love rainy days now.

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I only had basal cell carcinoma, but I'm two years cancer free! And woo, let me tell you, I was pissed when they found it. I wear spf 75 religiously and I still got it. But I'm super pale with a history of skin cancer in my family so I guess it was inevitable.

 

Get yourself checked, people! It can save your life.

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I took these MegaFood Skin, Hair and Nail supplements, Qoass, in the winter when we lived in Colorado.  It would just get so dry there that it was necessary during the winter months.  They worked really well.  I opted for them over collagen supplements (just a dietary thing, the MegaFood ones are vegetarian).   But I've heard people rave about the collagen ones, good luck! 

 

The Megafood ones started to make a difference very quickly.  Particularly my nails showed the difference (no more peeling...I wash my hands a lot and I didn't have brittle nails, they just would peel easily from any exposure to cleaning products).  I can't say that I noticed a big difference with my hair, but I hadn't actually been experiencing hair issues...so that may be why :-) 

Edited by stillshimpy

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Thanks, stillshimpy, but $63 a bottle?!?!?  For that kind of cash, I could just buy a fabulous hat!

 

I forgot the brand name of the ones I'm taking now but I guess it's too soon to gauge whether they're making a difference.

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Ha!! Dude, that's for the 180 count :-)    Dosage is supposed to be 3 tablets daily, but you really shouldn't need to take quite that much.  So if you get the 90 count (which is $35) that should be sufficient.  

 

However, if what you're taking is working for you, just stick with that.  Just saying, they actually aren't that badly priced.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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Here's one that I waited too long to do:  Core exercises.  I'm 46 and over the past few years, I started developing painful lower back problems.  Over the past year, it got increasingly worse to the point that I was in pain every day.  I finally saw a specialist and he said that I have something very common for people my age and over--degenerative spine disease. Basically, the cartilage between my vertebrae is shrinking.  He sent me to a physical therapist (and this was about 8 weeks or so ago) and she started me on core and leg exercises, 3-4 times a week.  They weren't too hard and got increasingly easier, she gave me a good variety so I could switch it up a little and when one got too easy, she gave me the advanced version.   The other day, I had to walk the dogs on the usual route where my back would start hurting just 20 in (I'd turned that job over to the kids, but they were both spending the night at friends' houses) and I finished the walk pain free!  So, I tried again without the dogs the following day and, still no pain!  I'm so happy because my cardio workout was suffering. 

 

So, kids (or others my age or older who maybe having back pain, but haven't stuck to a regular exercise routine):  Do your core exercises!

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Thanks, Shannon! Great advice, I've been having pain in my back on and off. Your post inspired me to get back to my exercise!

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I hope it works for you, too, cpcathy!  Just be sure you don't overdo it and that you're doing them correctly. I also had to change my cardio work out, so, if you're doing cardio, make it easier--like walking in flat areas, or doing zumba at a lower level (or even Gold for a while if you must), if you do yoga, talk to your instructor about your back and find alternatives to certain moves, etc.  I didn't really have to quit my cardio, but I had to bring it down a couple of notches.  And while the walk in our hilly neighborhood doesn't hurt anymore, I still have to be careful to avoid large hills and to not go full throttle in my zumba fitness class.  I also started doing Silver Sneakers (a class designed for seniors) at 24 Hour Fitness! 

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I actually do Zumba, low impact only, for my cardio. I rather can't stand regular "fitness" cardio but I love to dance.

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The tip I wish I'd taken, that I didn't ....and now I have I am going to go ahead and share.  If you regularly do any kind of cardio that drenches you in sweat:   

 

Body Glide is like my best friend ever now.  I had people tell me about the whole "it prevents chafing in longer cardio workouts" and I just didn't think it was going to be an issue because my thighs don't actually rub together -- and can I just apologize for how porny all of this sounds?  I know it does, it isn't meant to -- I'm not super thin or anything, I just don't have a bunch of areas where I ever thought it would be an issue.  In part because I lived in Colorado most of my adult life and when you sweat there, pretty much it does what you would expect : cools you down, and has more of a tendency to evaporate.  

 

It took three years of living in an area with a much higher humidity level before I got my first...and only (please, please, please) case of a friction rash...I do a fair amount of HIIT (again) and I just won't even go into the extreme specifics, but OH HOLY JESUS....ow.  

 

So as was sitting there, with a stinging rash that hurt so much I couldn't sleep, I ....well, I didn't run....but I made my way as swiftly as my stinging rash would allow, to my computer and I ordered the living hell out of about FOUR different kinds of body glide/friction-prevention-for-exercise.  After I healed I made good use of it and now am a devotee of it.  

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I agree with Shannon re: core exercises. I prefer the Body Control brand of Pilates -- easy to do at home with very few (or none, even) props.

 

For everyone else who suffers in hot and humid areas -- have you tried the cooling towels? I got a Mission Enduracool towel for $15 at Lowe's and it really does help. I've always been hot natured and am now entering those lovely hot flashes years (sorry for the TMI), plus I live in central Texas.

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don't let doctors bully you into or out of doing the right thing. Do not quickly accept their answer because it is what you want to hear or you are afraid you will be called a hypochondriac. You know your body better than anyone. 

cautionary tale

My cousin was very aware of misdiagnosis and there was a rare heart condition in their family that was frequently misdiagnosed, yet somehow her uterine cancer was not found until it was stage 4, she died 2 week later. 

One year later, I started to bleed. Now I was looking for an answer, not expecting cancer since that hits so very few in our family - what they found was not a usual bacterial infection, it took 3 months to find and it turned out to be the rarer viral infection, but in the course, I had a doctor who I mentioned my cousin to and this doctor noted I had unusually think uterine walls and insisted I get a biopsy which is annoying, and painful and time consuming and I didn't want to do it for just thick walls, duh, turns out I had symptom free cancer in stage 1. that was several years ago and I am still going string, it was so early didn't need chemo, didn't need radiations, really lucky. 

Several months ago another (in-law related) relative went to the gyno and had a quick exam and was cleared, but 2 months later had trouble breathing, turns out the cancer grew so fast, it spread to her lungs. and there is no way that only 2 months earlier she should have had a clean bill of health from the gyno. It started in her uterus and spread. 2 weeks after diagnosis, she was dead.

 

Yes, there is luck involved, but there is also selecting a capable and caring doctor who is willing to fight for your health, it took me a long time to select this particular doctor when my other one retired, I had only been seeing her for 2 years. Well, now I have given her name to all my relatives, and recommended her.  I went to this doctor outside on my annual check ups because of he bleeding, even though it turns out that was caused by something else.

 

Just don't drop things if you know there is something wrong.

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Just don't drop things if you know there is something wrong.

I cannot "Amen!" that enough -- as I tell people, you are the best advocate for your health. I've had friends and relatives who will go to the doctor because they know something's wrong, and then are too intimidated to ask questions. Even the best, most compassionate doctor can't go to bat for you as much as you can -- the doctor has how many patients? You have you, plus maybe a few other people you're responsible for.

 

I'm reminded of an episode of Designing Women when Julia is having a "come to Jesus meeting" with a doctor who says he tells his patients "let me do the worrying for you." Julia tells him there's just one problem with that line of thinking -- he can't do the dying for them.

 

Holly, I'm sorry for all the tragedy in your family, and I wish you continued good health!

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Coconut oil.   So useful and very versatile.

 

 

I'm just discovering this.  Which brand do you go with?  Right now, since I'm in the experimental stage, I picked up Carrington Farms brand.  Best of all - Walmart sells it!  It has all the things to look for - organic, virgin, cold pressed, etc. .  I had been told Nutiva is also a good brand, but I wanted to start small.  I did get to use it for  cooking - fried up eggs this morning.  I even tried it straight!  Many sites state one should consume about 2-4 tablespoons a day.  It's also supposed to help with weight loss and immunity issues.  It can also be used as a hair conditioner, although I don't have the courage to work it into my hair and wear a cap all night!  

 

It's apparently also good for your pets - to help with their health and coats.  It almost seems too good to be true.

 

Speaking of hair, I've been told blackstrap molasses is a good source for vitamins.  Plus - according to a few sites, it's good to turn grey hair back to it's natural color!  I've been taking one tablespoon a day of Plantation brand (it has trace amounts of copper, which is the secret to the hair color issue) but it takes up to 6 months to see a difference.  I'm in month two.  If I can save a few bucks with my hair colorist, I'm all for molasses!   It's not hard to find, most stores carry it.   If it doesn't work I may consider supplements like this one.  One biggie when taking the molasses is to make sure you get unsulfered.  Otherwise, you could find yourself bleeding a bit more heavily. 

 

I have found health improvement through apple cider vinegar.  I buy Bragg's brand.  I drink it as a tonic:  2 teaspoons mixed with 8oz distilled/purified water 2-3 times daily.  To protect against any potential enamel damage, drink it via a straw.  If you drink it from the glass, wait a few minutes then rinse your mouth.  Bragg's can be found in most supermarkets - usually it's in the same area where salad oil and vinegar would be.

 

I use various other supplements - like cinnamon (for blood sugar, and controlling cravings), tumeric (a cancer fighter and blood purifier) and one for joints/cartilege rebuilding.   Several supplements I buy here  although I also buy other supplements elsewhere.  I highly recommend his book as well - which names the best supplements to use - and they're not necessarily his products either, should you choose not to buy them.

 

For eyes I strongly recommend Carotenall.  Although my eyesight recently went from 20/20 to 20/40, I began taking it and it did offer some improvement.  Hopefully it will prevent them from getting any worse.  I'm looking into doing eye exercises to improve them further.

 

ETA:

 

Went for my annual eye exam yesterday afternoon - the doctor noticed improvement and I'm back to 20/20 again!  Whoo hoo!!

Edited by magicdog

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Speaking of hair, I've been told blackstrap molasses is a good source for vitamins.  Plus - according to a few sites, it's good to turn grey hair back to it's natural color!

 

But does it run in January?  :-)

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OK - that animation was creepy.  Who needs monsters when I have that for Halloween?!

 

For the record, blackstrap molasses is good for you.  Wheatgerm bread optional but I wouldn't eat it!

 

 

But does it run in January?  :-)

 

 

Ha ha.  I'll bet there wasn't a grey hair in the area for decades!

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I tried to find one that didn't have that animation, but that's all there is. I don't know why.

 

My grandmother gave us blackstrap molasses once with pancakes. I was not a fan. (It wasn't a normal food for her, so it wasn't her age. She just went on strange health kicks every now and then. She had my grandfather on all kinds of diets when he had cancer. They didn't help, but it didn't stop her from trying.)

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For the past few years I've been getting rashes on the front of my legs.  The dermatologist gave me a Rx ointment which clears it up but I needed some type of moisturizing cream to help ward off the rashes (it's eczema).  Tried several but then found Aveeno Eczema Therapy moisturizer. I put it on my legs every day after I shower and it prevents the rashes. Recently I wasn't able to find it in any of the stores around where I live. So I used another cream (recommended by derms) and the rash returned.  Finally thought to look it up on amazon, found it and ordered it (*then* I started finding it in area supermarkets!) Now that I'm back on the Aveeno, the rashes are gone and staying gone (I'm stocking up on this stuff cause I don't want to go w/out it again).

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You have to enjoy your lifestyle. I'd be miserable doing low carb and going for runs, but I like fruits and veggies, dance class, swimming, and walking. 

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