Posts Tagged ‘Health’
April 15, 2014
Hello, hello! Although I am well aware that it is Tuesday, today kicks off an exciting series on the blog I deemed Beauty Week.
For the remainder of the week, my afternoon posts will answer specific questions I have received from you guys about beauty tips and tricks.
First up, I am revamping one of my very first non-wedding related blog posts. I have kept it up for reference since I wrote it back in 2011, but figured it was time to spruce up the information and make it a little easier to follow.
Here, friends, are my go-to products and strategies of getting and maintaining a sparkling white smile!
Easy, Every Day Teeth Whitening Routine
We all brush (and hopefully floss!) our teeth every single day.
We all buy products to keep our mouths and dentists happy, and here is the routine I keep up with on an every day basis to achieve the healthiest, pearliest whites I can get!
1. Listerine Whitening Rinse
(This is – hands down – my favorite whitening product out there!)
I have always turned to Listerine and rotate a few different versions, including a regular strength, Multi-Action Vibrant White (for extra whitening) and a Whitening + Restoring with Fluoride (pictured).
I used to only buy the Pre-Brush version, but have mixed it up with others over the years. I do, however, gravitate towards using it before I brush anyways. I love the way it gets rid of that first layer of who knows what after you wake up in the mornings!
Simply use this rinse for 60 seconds, at least once a day but no more than twice a day. Since I started using this rinse over eight years ago, I can’t go more than a few days without it and even bring a travel version with me on trips longer than a weekend.
2. Vibrating Toothbrush
Having a toothbrush with a built in vibrating motion really helps you get into all of the tiny spaces in-between your teeth, on your gum line and even on your tongue. There are a lot of fancy electric toothbrushes out there with replaceable heads and different speeds equipped with a rechargeable battery.
Personally, I prefer the disposable version of the electric toothbrush because of the medium brush size, versus the usual small circle pattern of brushes on most. They come in single or value-double packs and I like that I have to replace it when the battery runs out, which helps me stay fresh and fight even more germs.
I’ve tried a lot of different brands and sizes over the years, and the Oral-B Pulsar is what I consistently turn to.
3. Whitening Toothpaste
I always try to go for a whitening toothpaste. Recently, I’ve been loving the Crest Complete Whitening + Scope flavor, and it feels a little more gentle.
I know I am not a dentist, but I would recommend getting a Complete or Pro-Health version of your whitening toothpaste if you decide to go that route. Whitening is great, but having an all around health focused toothpaste protects against tooth sensitivity and helps fight tartar, plaque, stains, gingivitis and bad breath.
Believe it or not, flossing every day can do more than just keep your gums happy. Removing excess build up every night also prevents stains and tartar build up!
I prefer to use some kind of Pro-Health thick, coated floss that feels more comfortable weaving in and out of the hard spots.
5. Soft Picks
Thanks to a dinner date with a friend, I discovered these GUM soft picks made to keep your teeth clean after meals and in-between brushes.
I love the travel case they come with and always have them accessible and in my purse.
Stain Preventing Tips + Tricks
• Try to limit the intake of dark liquids and staining foods.
I said try. It’s no secret that I am an avid coffee, tea, and red wine drinker, and I know those beverages are the biggest culprits of my teeth fading. When drinking, try to be conscious of where it touches and if you can, brush or at least rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
• Drink through a straw.
It may look silly, but if you can drink those teeth staining beverages through a straw, go for it.
No one will judge you while you are at home or in the car enjoying your morning cup through a straw.
• Brush your tongue!
Do you brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth? If your answer is no, why not? Not only will it keep your breath fresh, but it will also rid your mouth of extra bacteria that happens to be lingering.
• Drink plenty of water.
I admit that I have a water problem. I drink it all day long, and as a result have to visit the potty quite often. But you know what? That’s a small price to pay for staying hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will keep help keep your skin clear and your saliva production up, which coats your teeth.
Also, if I just finished eating something sticky (candy) or crumby, I’ll do a good few swishes while I’m drinking it.
• Chew sugar-free gum after meals.
I don’t always chew gum, but when I do I make sure to buy a sugar-free, whitening pack. Trident White is my favorite, and I have to admit that my mouth always feels minty and fresh after a few minutes of chewing!
Teeth Whitening + Bleaching
A few months ago, I mentioned that I received an at-home whitening kit from my dentist as part of a new costumer package.
Since I am good at staying on top of my every day whitening habits, I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to purchase a whitening kit, but since the cost was covered I gave it a try.
The kit is from the Pola line, an advanced tooth whitening system.
The package from my dentist included a full Poladay package with four hydrogen peroxide gels, as well as customized whitening trays made from my teeth mold.
You don’t have to be that fancy, and can find easy fit mouth whitening trays in most drugstores as well as on Amazon.
Inside the box was four gel syringes as well as a whitening tooth scale.
Besides the trays, all you really need is the whitening gel, which you can purchase refills for online for much cheaper.
My dentist recommended using the trays for 7-10 consecutive days, thirty minutes each night. The box tells you to only use the gel for a few minutes at a time, which is a total scam. Coming directly from my dentist: “They only tell you three minutes versus thirty so you have to purchase refill gels more frequently.”
After seven nights of using the trays, my teeth started feeling sensitive, so I stopped there. I also came close to running out of gel and went ahead and ordered more for future treatments.
Do I think it did a world of difference? Possibly. Here are two shots of me mid-way and all the way through the treatment.
I failed you by not taking a before photo, but the biggest difference I noticed was around my gum lines. By the time I finished the process, my teeth were closer to all the same color, rather than more discolored closer to the gums.
Now that I have it, I plan to do the gel treatment a couple times a year.
Besides the kit pictured above, the only other whitening treatment I have done was ZOOM whitening at a dentist office back in 2008.
The process took a little over an hour and I went through three different treatments, twenty minutes each. It didn’t really hurt, but with each treatment my teeth became a little more sensitive, and by the third one I was really feeling it. But, I got through it an by the end of the visit I had noticeably whiter teeth.
In-office treatments, like ZOOM are said to last up to six months. In-office whitening treatments have a national average of costing $650, and professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits from the dentist office average anywhere from $100 – $400. Yeesh.
For this reason, I created and turn to my easy, every day whitening routine you see above. I hope this helps!
Question of the Day
• Do you do anything special to keep your teeth healthy and sparkling?
I’m sure we would all love to hear more tips and tricks in the comments section below!
April 7, 2014
Hi everyone! I hope your week has gotten off to a great start. Mine kicked off a little later than normal, and you probably just now read my “morning” post… if at all. Whoops.
Anywho, this afternoon I have something pretty simple I have been wanting to share with you for a while now, and it has everything to do with eating your greens. Any spinach fans out there?
I am sure a lot of you have heard the eat your spinach speech from many people throughout your life, and I must share that I used to be one of those who just brushed the concept off.
I mean, what if I don’t yearn to have those big Popeye arms?
You probably already know this, but the leafy green has an extremely high nutritional value and is very rich in antioxidants. Spinach is also a great source of iron and calcium, and the best way you can eat it is steamed or quickly boiled.
Keeping this in mind, I have put in an effort to get on board with it and throw it into my meals as much as I can. And you know what? Not only have I learned to tolerate it, I actually love and crave it.
Easy Ways to Eat (and love!) Spinach
(Not so new) Newsflash! You can make almost any meal effortlessly “better for you” with the addition of vegetables.
My experimenting started with throwing anything into scrambled eggs and smoothies, and over time I have come to learn that there are several ways to incorporate more greens into every day quick, impromptu meals.
Here are my favorites!
• egg scrambles + omelets
Lets begin with how my taste buds starting appreciating the green: on the stove top. Believe it or not, spinach actually tastes great in eggs.
If you are skeptical, start small by adding a tiny handful of it and mixing it with tomatoes and feta cheese. Or, you could always go Greek and add in some red peppers, onions and olives!
These days, I am prone to throw anything into my egg scramble, but spinach is almost guaranteed ingredient.
Also, don’t forget that you can order it the same way out!
• green smoothies
Three cheers for green smoothies!
I have to admit that I too was skeptical of adding the leafy green into my fruit smoothies. It just doesn’t seem to make sense, right?
Take it from me… it does, and is probably one of the easiest, less noticeable ways to start introducing spinach into your diet.
• power bowls
When I have no idea or motivation to create anything elaborate for lunch or dinner, I turn to power bowls. Basically, I throw a mixture of healthy carbs, veggies, and protein in a bowl with a little bit of cheese and hope it all tastes good together.
I love turning to containers of pre-cubed sweet potatoes or butternut squash to start with and steam those separately. Often times, I will also add quinoa or brown rice, and vegetables (which I also cook all separately).
I prefer to use ground turkey or chicken sausage, but if I am not feeling the addition of meat or tofu, I will substitute a half a can of black beans and/or chick peas instead.
The possibilities really are endless!
• monster-mix salads
Okay, this is an obvious one. But I wanted to include it for all of those lettuce, romaine and spring mix only eaters out there.
If you aren’t keen on using spinach as your base, try making a mix of it instead. While stocking up in the produce department, I always buy a variety in greens for a base. Sometimes I branch out with a container of power greens or kale, but most of the time I buy spring mix, romaine, and baby spinach all washed and ready to go.
Have you ever noticed the combos already put together for you?
Most of the time, I still wash the pre-washed greens, but that’s probably just because I am being dramatic. I promise that putting together monster salads really can be easy!
Similar to the power bowls, simply choose the veggies, protein, healthy carbs (if desired), and cheese that make sense together and you’re good to go.
(i.e., combine anything fresh and ready at your disposal.)
• wraps and sandwiches
Spinach tastes refreshing and great in wraps!
All of these pictures are self explanatory… but hey, there was also a spinach flavored tortilla thrown in there as well. (An added bonus, in case you missed it.)
• pasta, sauce and soups
Disclaimer to anyone we invite over for dinner: I try to add anything to sauces without people noticing… especially spinach. A little extra greens never hurt anyone, right?
Since Scott loves spaghetti and pasta, I have learned different ways to enjoy it without it having to be labeled a “cheat” meal. The easiest move is to use spinach or veggie noodles.
(Recipe: Healthy, Easy Chili Over Noodles.)
On top of that, I like to get creative with my sauce and throw in fresh mushrooms, peppers, and spinach if we have it on hand.
Marinara sauce with fresh spinach, tomatoes, and ground turkey on top of veggie noodles with Parmesan cheese.
If I am just not into cooking whatsoever, I will heat up a can of soup and it isn’t uncommon for me to throw a little fresh spinach in there as well.
Is that weird?
Maybe it is, but it tastes great to me!
On top of these easy ways to get you to eat spinach, they are also useful tips on how to use it once you buy it. I have to admit that I will often buy more than I need and instead of throwing it away when I think it might be turning, I throw it into a plastic bag and freeze it!
I will use this fresh frozen spinach for green smoothies, or even as an addition to sauces and soups just like I mentioned above. In fact, after scoping out the freezer food I have available, I sometimes get the inspiration to eat healthier and proceed to make something using it.
So you see? Spinach isn’t all that bad. I hope this post has helped inspire you to give it a try if you aren’t yet a fan!
Questions of the Day
• Do you eat spinach? If so, do you really enjoy it?
• What is your favorite way to cook, eat, or drink it?
April 2, 2014
Today started off pretty meh. I know we all have those days.
After taking a look at our summer plans last night, it seems like we have a busy one ahead of us, and to be honest, it got me a tad overwhelmed!
At the moment, we are planning two trips back to Florida, a trip back to Arkansas/Missouri to see Scott’s family (hopefully!), weekends in Columbus, Toronto, and Chicago (?) and a couple overseas work trips for Scott. (Lucky duck!) It’s madness, I tell you.
I’m not complaining though… I love being anywhere and everywhere and would travel several times a month if I could!
One thing that got me smiling today was the sunshine sneaking through our windows.
Please, please, please don’t go anywhere sunshine and warm temperatures! I’ll pay you.
After waking up with a headache and an extremely sore body, I felt less than motivated to get moving this morning. I can’t tell if I am coming down with something, or if I am just extremely tired, but I need to go ahead and get over it either way.
I don’t have a What I Ate Wednesday post for you today, but I will share a couple of my meals as the day goes on instead. Deal?
Breakfast was a yummy and predictable one with a cup of Dunkin’ coffee and a batch of strawberry overnight oats I prepared last night.
Strawberry Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup super oats, unsweetened almond milk, frozen raspberries.
I really need to get on that post about overnight oats, huh? Note taken.
I have a feeling that a lot of my stiffness in the morning directly correlates to our mattress. Right before I met Scott, he invested in a quality memory foam mattress so I figured we would be set in that department for quite some time. Welp, seven years later, we notice ourselves concaving towards the center and waking up with stiff necks and backs.
Either we are getting older, or our beloved mattress needs to be replaced. Maybe both?
(Please ignore the old discolored socks and baggy sweats I’m sporting.)
I have plans on completing an at-home yoga workout after lunch in hopes of feeling even better and stretched out before practice tonight. I am also working on uploading and editing photos from the wedding over the weekend and will be back later this afternoon to chat some more.
I guess that’s it for now. Hope you all have a great start to the day!
Questions of the Day
• Do you prefer to sleep on a soft or hard mattress?
• Are there any exercises you do in the mornings to get your day started?
I think it’s time for me to get back into the habit of working out in the mornings. When I am consistently doing so, I actually look forward to breaking a sweat to start off the day and always have productive ones as a result. Hopefully, the close of the season will kick start this routine back into my life!
February 28, 2014
Holy moly, you guys. It’s Friday and in just a few short hours I will be on my way to Orlando with my best friend Alex! I really don’t think you could pay me to stop smiling!
Hopefully your week was filled with plenty of favorite moments or things you are dying to share at the bottom of this post. Because that’s how we do Fridays around here. (Don’t forget there is a link-up too!)
Let’s get right to it and kick off the weekend with a party, shall we?
Friday Favorites #26: Week of 2/28
• Yes To Cucumbers facial towelettes
You may have seen me feature Yes To products on the blog before. After falling in love with the brand, I have accepted a title of being a Yes To Girl and receive a shipment of products every now and then to share with you.
Just so you know, all Yes To products are ninety-five percent all-natural, recyclable, and free of parabens, sulfates (both SLS + SLES), and phthalates. All five sub-brands (Yes To Cucumbers, Yes To Blueberries, Yes To Carrots, etc.) are made from real fruits and vegetables and only use organic ingredients. (You can see why I’m a fan!)
My must-have product for my face lately has been the facial towelettes. While I like all of the Yes To facial towelettes, the Yes To Cucumber hypoallergenic soothing wipes are my favorite.
I love that just visited a spa cucumber scent!
• Girl Scout cookies
I was doing so good avoiding this year’s sales of Girl Scout cookies until the cutest group of girls showed up in the lobby of our arena last week. Yeah… I have no will power here.
Something different, however, is what Scott and I know as Caramel DeLites are called Samoas up here. The same goes for Peanut Butter Patties (Tagalongs), Shortbread (Trefoils), and Peanut Butter Sandwich (Do-si-dos)! It’s funny how the names change regionally.
• sporty tumblers
They finally arrived! Scott and I have a friend over at Tervis and every once and a while he surprises us with goods. He’s actually one of their graphic designers and helps put together the designs that go on the sports cups!
Knowing we are both sports fans, he ever so graciously sent us two Super Bowl XLVIII Championship tumblers (Go Seahawks!) and a Detroit Pistons water bottle. I just love those tumblers. Thanks, Rusty!
• hair, skin, nails tablets
I have been meaning to regularly take biotin supplements ever since my hair dresser suggested doing so years ago. I used to be great at it, then got over the whole having to take a pill every day thing.
To make sure I get my multivitamin, I have been bypassing the pills and enjoying Adult Gummies instead! From the same company, I received these NatureMade VitaMelts biotin chewable tablets and LOVE them. They are actually really good and I find myself wanting to take them every morning.
Three cheers for healthy hair, skin and nails!
• country music
I don’t know if this is the Southern girl in me or what, but I have been channeling into country music stations a lot this week. It has been forever since I have listened to it consistently, so I couldn’t tell you half of the songs I heard, but I still enjoyed it anyways!
• sweet potato tortilla chips
Okay, this one is actually a love/hate relationship. While stocking up on my normal chip needs last week, I stumbled upon these Garden of Eatin’ Sweet Potato corn tortilla chips and had to give them a try.
Garden of Eatin’ has easily become my favorite brand of Non-GMO, organic, gluten-free corn tortilla chips. As much as I love chips and salsa, I could eat these on their own all day, every day.
Needless to say, I finished the entire bag on my own within a day and a half. That’s the hate part… I might be a little too obsessed.
• dancing throwbacks
I found this gem along with pages of others while browsing for photos of my Orlando Magic dancing days this week.
In preparation for the reunion this weekend, I shared my favorite experiences and a ton of photos yesterday!
Reminiscing old times is something that never gets old to me. Now you go!