Sunday, 19 January 2014

And A Very Flat Tummy This Year!

This year we will all be more beautiful inside and out! A lot of us tend to eat a lot over the holidays and come January, the stomach, hips and thighs pop out! This is me giving my account and of course the remedy!
I got a bit of a shock recently. On Sunday, strolled into the bathroom, casually glancing at the mirror, I stopped short, my heart skipped several beats when I saw my mid riff area, it looked humongous. The only difference between me and Barney was that I didn't have a purple and green fur coat and I wasn't a dinosaur . I was shocked and immediately panicked!
Was I ill or something or had I, as they say “Swallowed?”. I didn't know what to do. So in a small voice I called out to my friend and swallowed a litre of saliva as I didn't know if she would point and laugh at me or aggravate my fear by opening her mouth wide and shake her head.
“What is it?”
“Look at my belly, isn’t it getting so big, I quite worried”
She looked down at it and was silent for a moment. Ah ah, see me see trouble, there I was standing and feeling like Papa Ajasco, not knowing what was going through her mind, another keg of saliva hurriedly passed through my throat for the second time that evening
And then she said
“Look, I think its just food, do you know how much you've eaten today alone. Your throat is getting long, your diet has been up and down of late and besides you might just be having the female bloat”
And so I pondered and did a quick calculation and saw myself in my mind’s eye not discriminating against all the “sweet food” the Lord created, I saw myself like Homer Simpson loving all the “hmmm doughnut…” shoving and cramming doughnuts, cakes, pounded yam etc into my mouth. I saw myself yet again eating (and smiling this time) yam and “Owo” pausing, taking just a moment to savor its unique taste and flavour…I also recalculated and reckoned that “that time of the month must be right round the corner!
Each of us at one time or another have experienced the feeling of being bloated; that uncomfortable feeling where the stomach or intestines pushed against the skin and made the stomach distended and hard. This normally takes place in the abdomen and is caused by an excessive build up of intestinal gas – or wind.
Possible causes of bloating include:
Some common causes of chronic stomach bloating are irregular digestive processes which produce gases at a much higher rate than normal.
• Pre-menstrual Tension (PMT) - The symptoms tend to disappear or greatly improve once the bleeding actually starts. • Contraceptive pill • Salt, or processed foods in your diet - even a small amount of excess sodium causes bloating. • Too little protein in diet. • Carbonated Drinks- Fizzy drinks, including soda pop and spritzers, increase bloating because the carbon dioxide trapped in the bubbles creates gas, which slows down stomach emptying. • Lactose Intolerance- sometimes your stomach is unable to digest the lactose--or milk sugar--in dairy foods leading to bloating.

Finally, eating a lot of fatty food can delay stomach emptying and cause bloating and discomfort.
Foods that may cause gas include: • Beans • Vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions, artichokes, and asparagus • Fruits, such as pears, apples, and peaches • Whole grains, such as whole wheat and bran • Soft drinks and fruit drinks • Milk and milk products, such as cheese and ice cream, and packaged foods prepared with lactose, such as bread, cereal, and salad dressing
Get Rid of That Belly!
• Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. • Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Beverages with little or no calories, caffeine or sodium, including herbal tea, are best. • Avoid regular soft drinks with lots of sodium. Avoid carbonated drinks, Fizzy drinks, they increase bloating because the carbon dioxide trapped in the bubbles creates gas, which slows down stomach emptying. • Exercise may help release hormones that encourage bowel activity
• Approach milk with respect. Just because milk and dairy products cause bloating doesn't mean you have to give them up. You can drink lactose-free milk, which tastes sweeter! • Prior to menstruation, the female abdomen often becomes the rep
ository of all fluids, much like camels' humps. 
 • Skip the stimulants. Coffee, tea and chocolate (this i cannot leave i am totally a Chocoholic!) can all overexcite the digestive tract. Fat is another food that's often hard to digest and may stimulate spasms--and consequently bloating--in the bowel

Lastly, Women who take supplements containing the B-complex vitamins and also magnesium and calcium seem to have fewer complaints about bloating.

Have a fabulous week ahead xxx

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Cellulite...Why Do You Plage Us?!

Hmm, We are here today to talk about the 5th deadly sin of skincare called Cellulite, it will not leave us beautiful damsels alone and it always rears its ugly head especially when you are in the shop trying on that spanking new outfit, and with a lump on your throat, realizing that the cellulite is showing too much, you drop the outfit...
Well we have come today in love and in war To Fight Cellulite away today!
Cellulite occurs when the connective tissue pulls down on fat causing the fat to bulge under the skin. The less fat you have the less noticeable cellulite is. Diet and exercise play an important role in reducing the appearance of cellulite.

This skin condition has greatly embarrassed a lot of us o! The appearance of cellulite becomes quite noticeable when we are in the late stages of puberty and carries on throughout our adult lives. It makes a few people quite self conscious as one tends to feel the skin has lost it’s density when it constantly jiggles, and over the years, has adopted names like “Orange Peel”, “Cottage Cheese”, and the Nigerian Remix “Kpo Kpo” (We have suffered!)
Hmmm, it even dictates our wardrobe to us! Ah, especially that period when Lycra & Jersey Material was in vogue. One trip to New Benin Market or Faculty of Social Sciences Uniben or any major bus stop for that matter had your head reeling with all the jiggling and reverberating effects of cellulite when all the Omoges wore their Lycra Pants & Skirts! Fashion was not only a faux pas but thinking about it just brings a smile of amazement to my face
Back then you just had to wear it as it was the “in thing”! Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we? Some of the “Must Haves” back then are as follows: Platforms, Joka Jelli Shoes, Baby Rucksack, Green, Red & Pink Jeans, Lumber Jack Shirts, Cycling Shorts, Knee High Boots, Soul to Soul Braids and Wearing Tee-Shirts with shoulder pads!!!I Ah, I was like a zombie back then, where fashion ruled my being, all you had to do was see a couple of people wearing it and Bam! You just had to get it. My poor Dad, all those Handouts and textbooks I literally threatened him that I needed at all cost? Some of the books money definitely went into the building of the new shopping complex Hallmark Boutique has built in Benin!
Back to the matter at hand, I tend to drift off from time to time pardon me!. I will be divulging some ways on how you can significantly reduce cellulite and attempt to banish them FOREVER!!!
Oops Sorry! but If you want to reduce cellulite you will need to start from the basics by detoxifying your body, especially your liver and colon. Lay off nicotine and caffeine, do not consume excess salt or fat and of course drink plenty of water. Eat foods rich in nutrients and I recently found out that Onions are also a wonderful food to combat cellulite, they act as a natural diuretic, as they tend to release water buildup from skin cells.
Also Exercise to lose weight and tone your legs and buttocks,do specific exercises to increase muscle mass in your thighs like walking, biking (Please not Okada o, I mean a real bicycle!), stair climbing, and aerobics. The less fat and more muscle you have will make cellulite disappear. Muscle will stretch the skin and smooth out the dimpled bumpy appearance.
To increase circulation and break up the fat do daily massages by yourself in circular motions to troubled areas. You can also use a body brush in the shower or bath with a body wash or exfoliating products to help increase circulation. One you can try based on my recommendation is the new Couvrez Mocha Latte Coffee Scrub which was designed and created to alleviate this skin condition in mind. This scrub greatly helps in redistributing the fatty cells underneath our skin, and reduces the appearance of cellulite. When applying this scrub, areas with a lot of cellulite should be concentrated on e.g. Thighs and under-arms, leave on for 15 Mins and massage as you rinse off. With regular use, the results are phenomenal!
Cellulite may never completely disappear but at least you can minimize it and make your thighs look as good as possible when you want to work that body by putting on a bikini or a mini skirt! Hot Mama Jama!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Stressed Out In Lagos?...6 Ways It Affects Your Skin!

We have all kinds of stress in our lives, and it can play havoc with our skin
• family & relationships
• school & work
• money
• life events ~ a death in the family; marriage; the birth of a child; breakup or divorce
• environmental/physical ~ diet, sun exposure, over-exercise, heat & cold
• external events like weather ~ factors that we feel we have no control over
Living in Lagos can be Stressful! A lot of people are still struggle to come here, I don’t know why?! The City is cramped and over populated & unhygienic (But I love Lagos sha). The demands of the City, from traffic to NEPA (oh sorry PHCN) can leave you literally exhausted and gagging before the day is even over. You haven’t talked about the Saturday Market trip, the mob sends you marching at their pace, and in between dodging Okadas, pricing your purchases, and getting to your car…you want to scream!
Or is the Mall’s endless queues…The heat of getting from the church to the Wedding Reception of your Friend’s Wedding & is Sunday really Sabbath after all???... Putting it mildly the stress in Lagos is a lot to handle and it is bad for our overall health (and the skin’s health as well!) The human body is designed to handle normal levels of stress as part of our survival mechanism. In fact, studies have shown short bursts of stress are actually beneficial. It heightens our senses and makes us more alert; it makes us think about our circumstances and helps us make better decisions to resolve it. If not for that alertness, you will see Sisi Ekos cat-walking on Ikorodu expressway, hmm may that never happen because...gulp
But stress can be harmful to the mind and body if it goes unchecked, if it isn't dealt with or in uncontrolled measures!. If it's chronic, as many modern-life stresses are, it can be particularly harmful, affecting every part of the body, and the rate at which we age.

If you are under chronic stress, you can expect to see the following negative effects.
1. Itchy, ugly rashes
 Your epidermal skin cells lie on top of each other and are packed tightly together, forming a strong barrier that blocks the penetration of bacteria and other pathogens. When you are under stress, however, this protective outermost layer of skin becomes impaired or weakened.
Stress caused the outermost layer of skin to break up as skin cells shrink and the lipids between these cells evaporated. These tiny cracks make the skin more permeable, allowing harmful bacteria to infiltrate the deeper layers of skin. These bacteria produce a protein that activates the immune system, leading to eczema and psoriasis.
2. More severe acne.
Stress is one of the main contributors to sudden acne breakouts, due to an increase in hormones that attempt to stabilize you when you are stressed. There are many causes behind the formation of breakouts: Stress, excess oil, excess skin cells, bacteria, hormonal fluctuations, and genetics are all factors that can contribute to acne.
3. Cold sores
Stress affects many different immune cells negatively, which causes flare-ups of immunity-related skin conditions such as cold sores (along with psoriasis, eczema, shingles etc ).
4. Frown lines
Repeated frowning causes frown lines, and most people frown without knowing it. You can try to will yourself to smile, but if you are under chronic stress or have many negative thoughts and emotions, these forced smiles won’t last. Indeed, a natural, long-lasting smile comes only from positive emotions that make you want to smile.
5. Dryness
Stress reduces the lipid barrier on the skin, allowing fluids to evaporate and leading to dryness.
6. Dullness - When the stress response kicks in chronically, skin cells take longer to reach the skin surface and flake off, allowing dead skin cells to build up and causing your skin to look dull. This is where Exfoliation is priceless and essentially needed! 
Ladies, please ensure you watch those stress levels lest they rise high above our heads! It is indeed the silent killer, and we consciously have to watch it as it improves not only our skin’s health but also our over-all health and wellbeing!