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Health in a Minute: Vegan Cosmetics, Traveling with Kids, & More

For Her

Pretty & Plant-Based: Getting Down to the Facts on Vegan Cosmetics 

What is vegan beauty?

In the world of cosmetics, “vegan” simply means the absence of animal ingredients. Instead of beeswax, honey, and collagen, you’ll find ingredients like aloe and shea butter on the labels of vegan products.

Are cruelty-free products vegan?

Not necessarily. “Cruelty free” means that the product has not been tested on animals. A product labeled “cruelty free” can still contain animal byproducts.

What are the health benefits of using vegan cosmetics?

Due to the presence of more plant-based ingredients, vegan products can be rich in vitamins and minerals, which can be beneficial for your skin. However, some plant-based ingredients can cause allergic reactions. Be wary of irritation when introducing new ingredients to your skin.

health in a minute winter 2021 | Plant-Based Vegan cosmetics

How to Give Yourself a Breast Exam (and How Often)

According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump. In addition to mammography, routine breast self-exams are important for early detection. Here are three examination methods to do at home on a monthly basis: 

1. In the shower, use your three middle fingers to check the breast and armpit area on each side using a range of pressures.

2. Visually inspect your breasts in a mirror – first, with your arms at your sides, then, with your arms raised high overhead. Look for any abnormalities such as changes in the nipples, dimpling in the skin, or any swelling.

3. Lying down on your back is an efficient way to examine your breasts. In this position, the breast tissue spreads evenly across the chest. Using your three middle fingers, alternate sides applying light to firm pressure.

If you do find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Remain calm, and remember that 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. When breast cancer is found early, there are more treatment options and a significantly higher chance for survival.

For the Whole Family

Waste Less. Cook Your Scraps. 

Stop before you toss! You may be throwing out good parts of fruits, herbs, and vegetables. Not only are they edible, but with these preparation tips, they can actually be delicious – and pack a nutritional punch.

1. Broccoli leaves are high in antioxidants, vitamins E and K, and calcium. Chop them up to toss with a salad or slaw. You can also include them in a braise or a sauté.

2. Broccoli stalks contain the most fiber. Peel the outermost layer from the stalk, slice, and steam the pieces. Toss with butter, salt, and pepper, and enjoy!

3. Celery leaves pack a strong flavor and contain high amounts of calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. You can use them as you would any chopped herb. Add them to pastas and salads, or grind them into a pesto.

health in a minute winter 2021 | heart made out of green veggie scraps

4. Parsley root is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals – especially vitamin C, folate, and zinc. One serving packs almost 20% of the daily value for fiber. Parsley root can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, or sautéed.

5. Watermelon rind is a rich source of fiber. Research has shown that it has energizing, libido-boosting effects from the amino acid citrulline. You can enjoy watermelon rind as a pickled or candied treat.

6. Watermelon seeds are packed with protein, vitamins, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and more. You can roast the seeds for a crunchy snack or salad topping, or blend them into a tahini-like seed butter.

Reading Every Day Might Keep the Doctor Away   

The research is in, and bookworms may outlive the rest of us. In addition to the obvious benefits of improving vocabulary and broadening the mind, daily reading provides a host of research-backed health benefits. Using MRI scans, researchers have confirmed that reading strengthens the network of circuits and signals in the brain. It also provides a great way of keeping your mind stimulated as you age. Other noteworthy benefits of daily reading include reducing stress, aiding sleep, alleviating depression, and a lengthened lifespan. With today’s technology, we have 24/7 access to a vast range of reading materials on our devices. However, it’s important to flip through print books from time to time as well. 

illustration of hand reaching for a book someone is holding

Studies have shown that taking the time to turn pages helps readers better comprehend what they are consuming. Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of a new book?

For the Him

Athlete’s Adhesive: What is Kinesiology Tape and Should You Be Using it? 

Kinesiology tape is a therapeutic tool used to support muscles and joints and reduce pain. When applied properly, kinesiology tape offers pain relief, increased blood flow, and reduced swelling. Some studies have even shown that kinesiology tape can improve balance, preventing risk to those with a history of falling. The tape can be applied in the shape of a Y, I, X, fan, web, or donut depending on the result you are trying to achieve. Varying tensions of the tape are better for different conditions. For acute conditions, you’ll only want to use 25% tension. To support muscles and joints or reduce pain, you’ll want a higher tension of 50%.

health in a minute winter 2021 | illustrations of athletes/kinesiology tape

Forgetfulness: What’s Normal and What’s Not

Memory loss and brain aging are par for the course when it comes to getting older. You may miss a monthly payment or forget which word to use or where you set down your cup of coffee. These are not necessarily indicative of a larger memory problem. However, if you or a loved one exhibit any of the following signs, it may be time to visit a doctor:

  • Having trouble following recipes or directions
  • Asking the same questions over and over
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • General confusion around time, people, and places
  • Poor self-care
health in a minute winter 2021 | forgetful man facepalming

Fortunately, there are exercises you can do to maintain and improve mental sharpness. Research has proven that activities such as learning a new skill and socializing regularly with friends and family can boost your memory health. Exercising routinely, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep are also great ways to promote healthy brain aging.

For Parents

Happily, Ever After Becoming Parents: How to Prioritize Your Marriage While Raising a Family

Once a child enters the scene, it’s hard to focus on anything but that child. As a result, your relationship’s needs often get put on the backburner. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can raise children and grow your relationship at the same time. And your family will be stronger for it. Here are three tips to help you and your significant other stay connected throughout your parenting journey. 

Find time to connect daily.

Choose a time that suits both of your schedules, and stick to it. Be intentional about unplugging from distractions, and ask questions like, “How are you doing? How are we doing? What is something that made you smile today?”

health in a minute winter 2021 | illustration of loving parents holding their baby

The little things matter.

Take notice of the little things that bring your partner joy, and do them often. Grand gestures are great, but small acts of service can go a long way in showing your spouse how much you care.

Plan an annual getaway.

It doesn’t have to be a long trip, and it definitely doesn’t have to break the bank. Enjoy a two-night stay at a local boutique hotel, and use that time to reflect on the past year. What about your parenting style has been working? What hasn’t? Talk about how you can love and support each other better moving forward.

Traveling with Tots: What You Need to Know Before Taking Your First Trip With Kids in Tow 

Everything will take longer than you expect.

Adding young kids to your travel group likely means adding strollers, car seats, and diaper bags to the luggage haul. More gear equates to more time spent loading the car and trudging through airport security. Give yourself extra time to do everything, because you will need it.

Pack light, and buy light.

We’ve already established that you’re going to have a lot of luggage. So, it’s in your best interest to reduce weight anywhere you can. Only pack the essentials, and (if possible) invest in lightweight gear that will minimize your physical exertion.

happy kids in the car

Snacks, snacks, snacks.

This is a helpful travel tip for kids and adults alike. While traveling, you never know when a delay could affect your mealtime. Always keep a few snacks on hand to prevent a regrettable episode of hunger-induced anger.

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