Archive | December, 2017

You Can Get Rid of Ugly Toenails

As a medical and beauty journalist, I often get questions about “ugly toenails” and how to remedy them. Having had ugly big toenails (caused by onychomycosis or fungal infection of the growing base) for over 14 years, I have become somewhat of an expert in this persistent condition and how to restore damaged toenails to some semblance of beauty. Here are a few pointers:

1. If you think you have a toenail infection (usually heralded by a yellowish discoloration of the nail and/or thickening), act quickly! Soak your toes in vinegar daily, or apply a 3% hydrogen peroxide with a Q-tip twice a day. Caught early, most cases of onychomycosis are treatable.

2. Always let your toes out to air as often as possible. Fungus cannot develop in the presence of ultraviolet light and oxygen. (Fungi love dark, damp places like socks and closed-toed shoes.) Go barefoot at home, or wear thongs, and don your sandals when you’re out. Never, ever wear plastic or vinyl shoes that do not have breathing holes.

3. Don’t fall for any of those ads on eBay or elsewhere on the Internet, claiming that some ancient cure emanating from uncle so-and-so in an obscure Mediterranean village cured the seller’s ugly toenails. The solutions they sell (often for over $20 a small bottle) are either diluted vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. I fell prey to one of these sellers and paid $25 a bottle for a few drips of hydrogen peroxide in distilled water.

4. Ditto for tea tree oil/melaleuca and oregano oil. These may be an anti-fungal in action but once onychomycosis has taken hold, there’s not much either can do.

5. Beware of prescription meds for onychomycosis, such as Lamisil® (terbinafine) and Sporanox® (itraconazole) in tablet form. These have to be taken for the long-term (up to 12 weeks) and are extremely expensive (over $500 last time I checked). The products come with warnings about liver health and some cases of liver damage have been reported. Is the health of your entire body a sensible trade-off for pretty toenails? More recently, Lamisil® has become available as a cream or spray.

You may want to try this instead. After 13 years with severely thickened and deformed toenails, the cream finally restored my nasty toenails to healthy, thinned down, pink ones. First, I filed down the “tabletop” of the nail, being very careful to stop before it became too planed down and I hit the skin underneath. Then I applied the cream nightly and in the morning for two months. After this, I used it only at night (after washing my feet of course) and rubbed in oil of oregano in the morning. This produced the miracle I had been waiting for. But what if you are going on vacation where your tootsies will be revealed, or you are going out for a night on the town and want to wear your strappy stilettos with the peep toes? This brings me to:

6. Check out the local nail salons and find one where they will apply fake toenails. It will likely cost you in the region of $12 and you’ll be sporting a pair of brand new, pretty feet. Be sure to have the nails removed as soon as possible though, as fungi can spread underneath, spoiling your best efforts to have beautiful toenails again. Getting rid of ugly toenails can be done, even after many years. Trust me. I did it, and you can too.

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How Not To Destroy Your Diet Over The Weekend

Do you find that weekends are the most difficult time to stay on track with your nutrition? You know, all those events, dinners, parties and BBQs that happen, do they seem to throw you off track? Not to worry! I’ve got some great tips for you to help you stay healthy on the weekends and still lose weight.

Let’s first have a look at what it takes to lose weight. We must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, there is no question about it. It takes a weekly deficit of 3500 calories to lose 1 lb per week. This is a 500 calorie deficit per day. Now what seems to happen to a lot of people is they are in a deficit during the week but make the decision to have a “cheat meal”, “cheat day” or “cheat weekend”. Calories can add up faster than you can blink an eye especially when meals are eaten out at restaurants. One single meal could be 2000 calories or more (and that’s not including dessert). This could easily take someone out of their weekly deficit and put them back into maintenance calories. When we are consuming maintenance calories we will not lose weight. Now this doesn’t mean we are never allowed to indulge when dieting, it just means we need to be a little more strategic. For example, if you know you have a big dinner out planned then stick with eating primarily lean protein and vegetables throughout the day. This will help keep your calories low so that when you do eat out it doesn’t completely throw your diet off course. Another example would be to customize your dinner out by getting a salad instead of fries or not eating the bun from a burger and saving it for another day or only eating half of the meal.

Okay so let’s get to it, here are simple tips to keep you on track on the weekends.

Tip 1: Treat the weekend as if it was a week day. Stay laser-focused on those goals as hard as you do throughout the week.

Tip 2: Fill up on lots of green veggies to stay full.

Tip 3: Make healthier and less calorie-dense versions of your favourite treats! (*See recipe below)

Tip 4: Be the host of the dinner party or bring your own dish to a potluck that is in alignment with how you want to eat. You will be in control of what’s served and how much you consume.

Tip 5: Find other activities to do that don’t revolve around food and stay active!

Tip 6: Enjoy the moments of today with your family and friends without such an emphasis on food and going out to eat.

So now that you have some tools in your pocket for staying on track this weekend, here is a healthy, low-calorie snack if you’re feeling chocolate-y!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding – makes 4 servings (vegan)

Blend together:

2 avocados, flesh only

4 tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder

4 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt

Divide into 4 servings about 1/2 cup each and enjoy!

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How to Increase Female Libido – Improve Sex Drive Naturally

There is no doubt man has been able to identify an herb for almost any ailment; some with fast action others a little slow, meaning you have to take for a long period to see results. Libido levels having been identified as being affected by medication, pregnancy, many psychological problems etc, now brings you the most appropriate remedy to redeem it.

An herb known locally in Swahili by the name kukumanga is one of the fastest therapies I have ever come across. The dried fruits are pounded and taken like spices, only a gram or two with a cup of tea is enough to put all systems on. You can also add to food if need be as you prepare for the act. The plant is common in East Africa. It works for both sexes very well. It brings complete erection in males setting the stage for action while in women complete lubrication of the vulva is instant. It is locally referred to as the local Viagra.

One species of aloe vera plant has the capacity to stimulate libido production. The action of treating other skin ailments and ulcers has been known to engage the hormone producing organs to render the service of sex. The smooth clean skin elaborates cuddling and general romance during foreplay. When taken a class every morning, hormone imbalance diminishes.

The Chinese have beneficial herbs in many areas including the ones that balance hormones. Dong quai or choraka as it is known locally does exactly that. It increases the level of estrogen, blood circulation and restores libido to women undergoing stress. Hot flushes associated with menopause are trimmed and tamed very well to manageable levels. Monthly periods too are regularized. Satisfaction in performance is enhanced upon complete recovery. It is a good product in the management of reproductive health care for women in many hospitals.

Ginkgo biloba and ginseng are known to boost libido quite satisfactorily. Both act similarly in regard to the igniting of sex drive in women by improving circulation around the vulva area especially the clitoris. Ginsenosides the active ingredients are known to facilitate nitric oxides release thus increasing flow of blood to clitoris. Ginkgo biloba is a catalyst in the breakdown of food in the cells. It streamlines the nervous system, treats stress and anxiety and brings about stability and relaxation. The product of this is seen in libido increase accompanied by readiness to make love.

Avena sativa and damiana are herbs available in the tropics of the world. Avena sativa is a relaxer; it sensitizes the vulva in return and prepares for any eventuality. Damiana is a short shrub; its pale green leaves are used as an aphrodisiac for both sexes. It has a wide range of activity; it is medicinal and mainly used to treat impotence. In being a relaxer it also stimulates sex organs for both males and females.

Schizandra another herb increases the blood supply to the waist area with the same general effect to the sex organs. Its extracts act similarly, as estrogens in the body.

Satavri extract is a unique herb in that it acts as a muscle steroid bringing a mass stretch of strong muscles in the body. In this development, it generates a lot of moisture for all dry cells among this are the female genitalia.

This summary however is an indicator of direction things are going; but one thing is certain proper extraction and dosage is of paramount concern. Supplements are now available synthesized into tablets from the same sources.

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From Hourglass to the Pear – 6 Female Body Types Explained

It is important that every woman knows her body shape for several reasons. You will have the advantage of knowing how to dress to flatter your specific figure, as well as how weight gain and loss will effect your overall shape. Are you a pear that tends to gain weight in your hips and thighs? Are you an inverted triangle looking for tips on how to slim your waistline? I’ll briefly describe the 8 female body types –

1. Inverted Triangle: Imagine a triangle – now turn it upside down, and that is a pretty accurate image of what this body type looks like. Your upper body is proportionately large, with broad shoulders, a side back and large bust. Your breast may not be “ample” per se, but your upper torso is just full in general. Your hips are slim and narrow, your butt tends to be on the flatter side and your waistline is not very defined. You may even describe yourself as “stocky”.

2 & 3. Pear and Spoon: The Pear and Spoon female body shapes are very similar with the most noticeable difference being in the hips. For women with a pear shape, their hips gradually slopes out from the waist, making for a more smooth curve line. With a spoon body type, the hips almost jut out from the waist, creating a noticeable “shelf”. Both the pear and spoon type includes a much smaller bust and a small waist.Pears and spoons are definitely curvy, but lack proportional balance between the bust and hips which is the primary trait of an hourglass figure.

4. Top Hourglass: The primary difference between a top hourglass and regular hourglass is obviously in the bust measurement. An hourglass body type is known by the matching bust and hip measurement and slim waistline. In a top hourglass, the bust and hip measurements are slightly off, for example a measurement of 40- 28-39 would be considered a top hourglass body type.

5. Hourglass: The hourglass body is the most desirable. Women strive for this body type and men overwhelmingly select an hourglass as the most feminine and attractive in most every study conducted. If you are an hourglass, consider yourself lucky! Your bust and hips are proportionately balanced, your waist is small and well defined and you likely have a really nice round butt!

6. The Ruler (Straight) Body: This body build is similar to the shape of a rectangle. Your bust and hips are proportional, and your waist is not very defined. Ruler body measurements would be something along the lines of 38-37-38. This is not an ideal body shape for most women as it can look very boyish in appearance.

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Tips For Looking Shredded

Many call Bodybuilding a science, but it’s really of combination of science and art. It’s hard enough to pack on pounds of muscle, but then to strip body fat while keeping all that lean muscle is truly an amazing feat. Regardless of genetics, chemicals and diet, looking shredded on stage requires more than your basic fundamentals. Here are some tips for those of you who need to bring the shredded wheat! I’ll bring the milk…

1.) TAN. That’s right: tan, tan and then tan some more! Notice how even Caucasian bodybuilders almost look black on stage? That’s because the oils and lights on their bodies will show definition much better the darker they are. There are a number of fake tanners on the market that deliver a nice orange glow. But to look really legitimate, you should tan in the sun or in a bed. Besides steroids, this is perhaps one of the unhealthiest aspects of bodybuilding. Although your body needs sunlight to synthesize Vitamin D, tanning is dangerous and can lead to skin cancer, premature aging, and the leather-skinned 80’s rocker look. Please be sure to use plenty of moisturizers, take plenty of the antioxidants listed on this site, and remember to not leave any part of your body white. Nothing is worse than a pair of ghostly white legs on stage.

2.) DROP WATER. Jay Cutler was criticized during the 2007 Mr. Olympia because many thought he was carrying a layer of water under his skin. Water retention and creatine-loading is good during the off-season, but on stage it is a bodybuilder’s worst nightmare. Water washes out the definition that you have gained by dieting and doing nonstop cardio those past couple months. Be sure to take a water neutralizer like dandelion root, green tea or apple cider vinegar a couple times a day throughout your contest prep. MHP makes a great product called Xpel, which allows you to flush out undesired water. I have tried this product and it works. Make sure to drink enough water and stay hydrated though– no one like headaches.

3.) DON’T EASE UP ON TRAINING Just because you want to keep as much muscle as possible doesn’t mean you should be afraid to break a little down before competition. The champion bodybuilders know that you need to train hard right up until the competition. Arnold’s famous pre-contest routine is legendary for its difficulty. Remember, recovery is everything. Protein, BCAA’s, Glutamine and a Night Time formula will help.

High Volume vs. Heavy Training

Regarding the type of training, it is important to understand how your body responds to different types of training. Some Pros will lift very heavy pre-contest. Others, including myself, will opt for a routine of about 16 sets per muscle group at 15-20 reps. This is especially important for those looking to refine their body and chisel in the definition. Light weights won’t get you big, but they can help make you look shredded.

4.) CARDIO. This is a tricky subject to talk about for many experts. Most bodybuilders will bump up cardio sessions to an hour a day, or even two hours a day leading up to a contest. However, some refuse to do any based on the fact that their body can become catabolic. We recommend doing cardio in the morning, after waking up and taking at least 5-10 grams of BCAA’s and glutamine. This will help prevent the breakdown of muscle, while the aerobic exercise will strip body fat due to the low levels of glycogen in the morning. If you’re not a morning person, hit cardio after weights. I would recommend a moderate to intense pace throughout the duration. Normally, I recommend HIIT training to strip body fat, but for the purposes of bodybuilding, cycling on a stationary bike or walking uphill on a treadmill should be sufficient.

5.) CARB INTAKE. Without a doubt, every bodybuilder knows that to burn fat, you must deplete your glycogen stores. You can’t do this by eating sugar and flour! Your body will not burn fat if it doesn’t have a reason to. An easy way to glycogen deplete is by cycling the amount of carbohydrates consumed on different days. For example, as I write this article, I’ve consumed only 100 grams of carbs today, and will continue the same for the next 3 days. This will ensure my glycogen stores are depleted and my body will trigger itself to oxidize fat. On the fourth day, I will bump up my carbs to around 400 grams to allow my body the fuel it needs. This should not be done year round, but it is an extremely effective way to diet down, especially before a contest. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be on your way to looking totally shredded on stage!

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Three Main Iris Colors (Constitutions) In Iridology

INTRODUCTION: As you will notice there are only three colors of the iris (according to Iridology). In iridology the true color of the eye is blue. In fact, when you are born you had blue eyes, they change as you get older.

Then “Why are there other colors”? Good question. The simple answer for now is that the other colors (other than Blue, Brown, and what we call Mixed) displays toxins or other pigmentations on top of the eye to make it change to a different color. For now I am going to cover the three main iris colors (constitutions) in iridology.

BLUE EYE TYPE also known in Germany as Lymphatic.

Description: Solid blue or blue/gray color with no discoloratrion or psora (pigments). The iris fibers are visible. The true blue-eyed person is associated with the traditional Western phlegmatic or water constitution. This is the “pure” eye that is typically found in people of European descent.

Tendencies: These people are thought to have an excess of water, which leads to a greater tendency towards water retention, lymphatic congestion and stagnation. There are 3 primary systems of concern for blue-eye people: Lymphatic, Respiratory and Urinary. Diseases people with blue eyes have are: allergies and allergic reactions, skin conditions like eczema and seborrea dermatitis, chronic sinus, respiratory congestion, ear aches and ear infections, swollen lymph nodes, sore throats, stressed kidneys and bladder.

BROWN EYE TYPE also known in Germany as Hematogenic.


Pure Brown eye with pigments covering the iris fiber structure. The iris fibers are covered with a heavy pigment layer that has a velvety or carpet-like appearance. Iris fiber are generally not visible through this heavy layer of pigment. True hematogenic constitutions are nearly always found in people with darker skin and hair.

Tendencies: Pure brown eyes are more difficult for the iridologists to read because of the layer of pigment completely covering the iris fibers, so some of the subtler signs are not detectable. There are 3 primary systems of concern for the brown-eyed people: Hepatic (liver and gallbladder), Cardiovascular, and Glandular (endocrine and exocrine glands, and lymph nodes). Disease brown-eyed people have are: venous congestion, tendency to imbalances in blood composition, anemia, thicker blood, tendency to hardening of the arteries, trace minerals deficiencies and difficulty in storing trace minerals, intolerance to dairy, liver problems, and decreased white blood cells.

MIXED EYE TYPE also known in Germany as Biliary.

Description: This eye is characterized by light to moderate brown pigmentation or discoloration over the top of a whitish-yellowish background. The overall appearance of the iris is usually a light brown, but unlike the true brown eye, the iris fibers are visible through the pigment. Color is often concentrated towards the center of the iris around the collarette and digestive zones.

Tendencies: In autopsy, eyes are composed of materials from the blood stream which have been broken down due to liver imbalance. They are called biliary constitution, because it relates to biliousness (digestive disturbances) due to liver problems. There are 3 primary systems of concern for mixed-eye people: Digestive (stomach and pancreas), Hepatic (liver and gallbladder), and Intestinal (small and large intestines). Diseases mixed-eye people have are: indigestion, intestinal gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation disturbances in fat metabolism causing gall stones, high cholesterol, sleep disturbances, food allergies, and reproductive disturbances.

As you can see from my brief descriptions, there is a lot to consider when an iridologist does an analysis of the iris of the eye. Iridology is the most useful tool in determining the constitution of the individual.

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Colored Multifocal Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are a good alternative to traditional eyeglasses. They are normally placed on the cornea of the eye. A variety of colored contact lenses (both prescription and non-prescription) are available in the market today. They work better than any eye make-up. Like conventional contacts, certain colored contact lenses are also used for astigmatism or bifocals.

Colored multifocal (or bifocal) contact lenses are becoming very popular for several reasons. Besides correcting near vision and distant vision, they can totally change the color of eyes or can serve to improve dark or light eye color. Since the lens is used for two distinct purposes, multifocal contacts are designed in various ways. In some styles, near and far corrective parts are seen on the same area of the lens. But in some other designs, the two parts are placed away from each other.

There are mainly three common styles – the alternating, simultaneous, and concentric vision styles. In an alternating lens, the distant visual correction is fixed on the top half of the lens, while the near visual correction is on the bottom. This arrangement enables you to look up to distant objects, or look down to read a book. In the simultaneous bifocal lenses, the two corrective parts of the lens are placed very close to the center (almost at the pupil). In a concentric lens, the distant vision part is near the perimeter of the lens, while the near corrective is close to the center.

Among the many choices for colored contacts are visibility tints, enhancement tints, opaque color tints, and light-filtering tints. Visibility tint lenses do not affect your eye color. Enhancement tints are used for the purpose of improving the eye’s natural color. Opaque tint lenses are designed to alter eye color, and consist of several tiny colored dots to attain the color change. But, center part is left clear for vision purposes. Light-filtering tints are designed to enhance certain colors and diminish others.

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