Take Care of Your Liver!

about-liver-and-bile

In a single word, the liver is VITAL!  The liver weighs about 3 pounds, is shaped like a football that’s got a flat, and is located on your right side under your rib cage.  The liver is the first line of defense against chemicals and toxins we ingest every day and it’s #TheSecondLargestOrganInYourBody.  A person can’t survive without a functioning liver.

The liver:

  • Filters blood coming from the digestive tract
  • Filters toxins out of the bloodstream
  • Digests and processes carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, & minerals
  • Recycles red blood cells
  • Helps the blood to clot
  • Stores energy for future use

The liver is highly susceptible to:

  • Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:  Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and pain in the right upper abdomen.  Liver enzymes may be elevated but liver function tests are often normal.  Many heavy drinkers have fatty liver disease.  Alcoholic fatty liver disease may be reversed if drinking of alcohol is stopped.
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis:  Liver swelling due to chronic alcoholism.
  • Cirrhosis:  Scarring of the liver caused mostly by chronic alcoholism, Hepatitis B & C , bile duct disease or iron overload resulting in liver failure.
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:  Occurs as a result of fat metabolism problems in the liver – symptoms are high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. #NAFLD is a risk for people who are overweight or obese or who have diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides. Rapid weight loss and poor eating habits also may lead to NAFLD.
  • Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (#NASH):  The more severe form of NAFLD where people (more commonly women than men) between the ages of 40 and 60 who are overweight or obese, or who have diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides, end up developing cirrhosis as a result of the swelling and scarring of the liver that occurs in response.
  • Viral Hepatitis: Strains A and E are caused by eating food contaminated with the virus, while B,C, and D are caused by contact with blood, body fluids or unprotected sexual contact with an infected person.
  • Cancer

NAFLD affects up to 25% of people in the United States.  Let that statistic sink in.

The great news about the liver is that it is one of the few organs in the body that has the ability to heal with something as simple as changing a behavior or two.

  • Hepatitis B has a vaccination available – GET IT!
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Control sodium intake (no more than 2,000-2,400 milligrams of salt daily). Excess sodium can cause abdominal water retention/inflammation and can overwork the liver
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid #UnhealthyFats like potato chips, large amounts of animal proteins, fast food, sugary drinks
  • Add Vitamins D, E and healthy fats like those found in fish, olive oil, nuts, and avocados
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Only take medicines that you need and follow dosing recommendations
  • Drink coffee!  Coffee has been shown to keep liver enzymes low.  Coffee drinkers with hepatitis C had a better response to treatment, a lower risk of liver cancer, and slower progression to cirrhosis. #HMMM

Take care of your liver, you can’t live without it.  #ThingsThatMakeMeGoHmmm

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Hair. There. Everywhere.

IMG_1764It’s a fact of life when you own pets:  your pets will shed and their hair is EVERYWHERE!  #ThingsThatMakeMeGoHmmm

Try as you might to avoid it, in a house with English Labs & a Selkirk Rex kitty, the #FurIsFlying.  It’s on you, your furniture, your clothes, your floors, in your car, and it’s even on your friends…you get the picture.  The good news is there are many ways to combat the hair that leaves your pet(s) and deposits all around you.

removedoghair

For my money, the two #iRobot Roombas that I have roaming my hardwood floors on #FurPatrol have more than earned their keep! #ExtremeBlondeMoments

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me orIMG_1503 something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the more than 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

What You Eat Can Make You Look Old!

aging

When we were in our teens, twenties and maybe even our thirties, few of us really paid attention to warnings from our moms and others about things that could make us look, “old before our time.”  We were young, invincible and new beauty products were coming out daily that promised to, “turn back the hands of time,” so we threw caution to the wind and did exactly as we pleased, went out without sunscreen (gasp), ate and drank with abandon and if we missed a workout or ten, we’d “make them up later.”  Well, we’re in our 40’s now, and, NEWSFLASH, later has arrived.

Some of the things I was warned against were:

  • Smoking cigarettes:  Not just for the obvious reason that it’s bad for your lungs, but the tar/nicotine stains your fingertips, fingernails, yellows your teeth, gives you horrible breath, the odor sticks to your hair, the heat dries your lips & skin round your mouth and pursing your lips around the end of the cigarette to hold it in your mouth causes wrinkles to form.
  • Always drinking through a straw:  Similar to the cigarette argument, pursing your lips around a straw to hold it in your mouth causes wrinkles to form.
  • Going outside without sunglasses:  Squinting to read street signs or focus on anything in the bright glare of daylight causes the thin skin around your eyes to wrinkle.  It also causes the skin between your eyebrows to wrinkle which causes your nose to lose it’s perkiness and appear bulbous!
  • Not getting enough sleep:  Turns out Mom wasn’t just riding our asses on this one. When you don’t average at least 7 hours of sleep it can cause big-time negative effects on your health, such as weight gain, lowered immune system, decreased focus, pale skin, and memory issues.  NOTE REGARDING SLEEP:  Sleeping on your side can cause wrinkles too – to help avoid this, sleep on your back or buy the softest pillow cases you can afford (high thread count or silk) so that the fabric doesn’t wrinkle under your skin.

As if those warnings, added to the one we all got scolded with about needing to wear Sunscreen #SPF1000 (as if any of us listened to that one…), weren’t enough, apparently what we eat matters too.

These foods will age you faster than you will like:

  • Margarine:  When I was growing up my Mom & Grandma called it Oleo.  All I know is the brand they used was Parkay, my husband’s Mom only cooked with real butter and once I started cooking for him, so did I.  Both contain fats, but Butter comes from nature while Margarine is full of artificial ingredients, wrinkle producing and artery clogging trans-fats.  I just use it sparingly and exercise to move butter’s naturally occurring saturated fats.  Trans-fats are also hidden in things like baked goods (DONUTS).
  • Microwave Meals:  Microwave meals contain high levels of sodium and other preservatives that increase water retention, add water weight and a puffy appearance.
  • Energy Drinks (Red Bull, etc.):  Instead of giving you a shot of energy, these temporary energy boosters are full of sugar, sodium, caffeine, and are highly acidic. This combines to cause long term damage to the enamel of your teeth, can dehydrate you and add to wrinkles and make all of your skin look older.
  • Pre-packaged Baked Goods:  The added sugars, preservatives and fat contribute to weight gain, poor dental health and accelerated aging process.
  • Bacon, Ham & Sausage:  NO! NO! NO! I don’t care what the justification for this one is, I refuse to live without a vice or three! 😉  For anyone who cares, blah, blah, nitrites, preservatives, free radicals, cell oxidation, can lead to cancer in lab rats, blah, blah.  NO! NO! NO!
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup:  You can have this one.  I’m keeping my Easter Ham and Occasional Bacon!  Sugar (especially this one) is the worst thing for your skin because it damages your collagen and elastin which are the components needed to keep skin looking youthful and firm.  This includes candy and high sugar cocktails like Piña Cóladas too…  You don’t have to avoid all sugars though – Dark Chocolate (SUPERSTAR!) is a great and safe indulgence.
  • Alcohol:  Drinking sugary cocktails hurts collagen & elastin production, and alcohol also robs the body of vitamin A, an antioxidant that’s essential for cell renewal and turnover.  Drinks without added sugars, like wine, champagne, or a vodka/soda with lime are your best alternatives if you like to imbibe. WHEW!  I’m saved!  Also, stay hydrated and have some water between cocktails. 😉
  • Deep Fried Foods:  Exposing oil and fat to high temperatures lets the bad guy free radicals loose to wreck havoc on our internal organs and skin. #JustSayNo
  • Charred Meats:  Another bad guy that lets loose the free radicals out to storm our pristine cells and makes our skin look old and wrinkly.  #Boo! 
  • Flambé:  NOOOOO!  Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubilee are two of my favorite table side treats.  Now they are bad for me too.  The USDA warns that ‘foods flamed with alcohol appear to have all the added alcohol burned off, but the food actually still retains 75 percent of the added alcohol.’ And alcohol dries out the skin making us look OLD, AARGH!

The good news is it’s never too late to remember to hydrate (inside and out), there ARE some great cosmetic products and procedures that have been developed to lessen the effects of time, and there are even some pharmaceutical products like SeroVital that help the body restore it’s youth naturally by boosting production of HGH (Human Growth Hormone).  HGH has been shown to help:

  • Stimulate the production of lean muscle
  • Reduce body fat
  • Stimulate production of collagen
  • Increases Energy
  • Improves Mood
  • Heightens Sex Drive

Whatever the answer, I know that it’s well beyond time to treat my body like less of a playground and more of a “temple.”  At least while it’s recovering a bit of it’s youthful glow…Hmmm!

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the more than 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

They Won’t Forget The Gift You Bought

That season is quickly approaching.  The dreaded Summer Wedding Season.  But before it arrives, there will be the obligatory bridal showers, couples showers and bachelor & bachelorette parties to attend.

Of course, you’ll be obligated to bring gifts to some of those gatherings, but have no fear, once you’ve purchased the mandatory registry item for the couple’s wedding, I’ve come across some gift ideas that will come as a very welcome change of pace when showering the bride and groom separately or together.

campfireironsFor the couple that’s always at the River, would rather be camping, loves bonfires at the beach, or spends nearly every weekend by their fireplace/fire pit in the backyard:  Courtesy of Etsy, give them this stainless steel couple with wood handles that are perfect for roasting a pair of fluffy marshmallows or a nice firm frank over the fire.  If you’re really splurging, throw in a package of jet-puffed marshmallows.

seensayrestaurantsFor the couple that rarely eats at home, has lots of choices, but can never decide where to eat, give them this genius idea that I saw on Pinterest:  Buy a See-And-Say type children’s talking toy.  Using stickers, write the name of area restaurant choices and apply the stickers over the (in this case) farm animals the arrow can land on.  Now your friends can stop arguing over where to eat. 😉

buttbeardpillowcasesAnother fun find from Etsy for that couple that never seems to leave the bedroom:  A pair of coordinating pillowcases – choices include:  I Love Her Butt / I Love His Beard;  Little Spoon/Big Spoon;  I’m Crazy/I Like Crazy;  I’m Weird/ I Like Weird

corkandbeercapsIf your friends are part of the drinking class, like to throw a few back and otherwise have a good time will having a beer or few and some wine:  This set of His and Her shadowbox frames for collecting corks and bottle caps should suit them just fine!

beachchairIf you’re showering your favorite river, lake or beach loving bride to be, bachelorette, or even birthday girl:  This ultimate beach chair is more than calling her name!  If the two of you share that passion then you better get one for yourself too!

doorhangerorganizerWould your favorite bride forget her head if it weren’t attached?  Poke a little good-natured fun at your forgetful Bridezilla if you dare with this door hanger organizer that reminds her not to forget things like her glasses, keys, phone, important papers, etc.

Some other things to consider giving a highly stressed bride-to-be would be a day of pampering of any kind: A massage at somewhere local like a Massage Envy; if you know where she gets her mani-pedis done, treat her;  has she been complaining about something she hasn’t been able to get done, like a pet grooming?  Get referrals for a local mobile groomer and buy her a gift card for her pampered pooch to get a treatment that she doesn’t have to leave the house for.  The key is to be creative.

These kind of gifts really work for any occasion and beat the routine gift card for dinner any day!

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

 

 

20 Free Things On Your Birthday

brow-wax-heroUntil I came across this article in Women’s Health Magazine, I had no idea that so many places wanted to treat me on my birthday!  Damn, I have to wait 9 months to take these 20 places up on their offers:

  1. Starbucks treats you to your favorite drink or perhaps something from their breakfast starbuckspastry selection on your birthday if you are an active member of their Starbucks Rewards for at least 30 days prior to your birthday.
  2. Dunkin Donuts will treat you to a cup of their special brew (it’s pretty darn good) to goDD along with your donut on your birthday if you have one of their DD Perks cards.
  3. Sephora is all about birthday beauty.  If you are a Beauty Insider you’ll get a deluxe set of mini samples.  Currently you can choose between a Tarte lip and cheek set or a Caudalie skin set.
  4. Ulta gives you a free gift on your birthday.  Join the Ultimate Rewards program to get the gift, plus score double points on all purchases made during your birthday month.baskin-robbins
  5. Baskin Robbins if you sign up for a BR account online, you get a free scoop during your birthday month.
  6. Aveda if you’re in the Pure Privilege rewards program you will get a free product gift, plus a certificate for double points on your next purchase.
  7. Benefit offers free brow arching at their U.S. Brow Bar locations.  No purchase or rewards program necessary.  Come in anytime during your birthday week with a valid ID and walk out with well-groomed arches.plenti
  8. Eat at Chili’s and get a free dessert if you have a Chili’s Rewards Card or are involved in the Plenti partnership of stores and providers that allow accumulation of points.
  9. Benihana if you sign up for The Chef’s Table e-newsletter, you’ll get a $30 Benihana gift certificate to use anytime during the month of your birthday.
  10. Buca di Beppo get free cake during your birthday month if you make your reservation online using their special form and bring a valid ID.bww
  11. Buffalo Wild Wings Sign up for the Buffalo Circle newsletter and you’ll get year round deals—including free snack-size wings on your birthday.
  12. Cinnabon you get a free Minibon just for signing up for Club Cinnabon, plus they’ll also send you a free treat via email for your b-day—usually a coupon for a free Minibon or a free coffee.
  13. CVS if you belong to the ExtraCare Beauty Club—you’ll score three dollars in ExtraBucks rewards on your b-day
  14. DSW Sign-up for DSW Rewards and you’ll receive a $5 gift certificate on your birthday.jambaJuiceLogo
  15. Jamba Juice Sign for Jamba Insider Rewards and you can get a free small smoothie on your birthday
  16. Panera Bread Sign up for MyPanera, present your rewards card on your birthday and get a free pastry
  17. Pinkberry  Members of Pinkberry’s loyalty program can treat themselves to a free pinkberrystrawberrybirthday yogurt.
  18. Redbox  Sign up for Play Pass and you’ll get a free one-night birthday rental.
  19. Aunty Anne’s  Download the My Pretzel Perks app to score a free pretzel during your birthday month
  20. IHOP  Sign up to be a part of the Pancake Revolution email club and get a free stack of pancakes.

I am going to have to set up a schedule to make sure I can fit in all of the free things that are out there for birthday celebrants!  Make sure you don’t miss out on any either!

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Silly Bathroom Facts

This one is just for the fun of saying I blogged about the bathroom!

silly-bathroom-fact

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Your Body On Sleep

I don’t see an entry for: it just really feels good or my bed is really comfy.  Those must be implied. Hmmm


Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

How Does The Brain Retain Information

Thanks http://www.mindflash.com!

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

20 Minute “Revenge Body” Workout

If you haven’t seen pictures or promo commercials for Khloe Kardashian’s newest reality series about her slimmer, stronger body, you are either really lucky (I am being entirely serious) or you don’t have cable/satellite TV, you avoid the magazines at the checkout lines, and you don’t use your computer for any social media at all.  Hmmm

Regardless, there is a new wave in fitness that is touting a faster and heavier workout regimen meant to sculpt muscle and burn the fat we girls all hate.  One of the trainers who worked with Khloe Kardashian shared her workout with Shape Magazine and even provided a video (click on the link below) to help keep those of us brave enough to give it a try from doing it wrong and getting hurt.

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Lacey Stone’s 20 Minute Revenge Body Workout 

How it works: Perform all six exercises in a row, then repeat two more times. (This is what Stone calls a ‘Max Monster Set’). Take up to 2 minutes of rest during the workout, either in the middle or at the end.

You will need: An aerobic stepper with risers, one 30-pound dumbbell, and one 20-pound dumbbell (“If you feel you can do more reps—the weight isn’t heavy enough!,” Stone says.)

1. Bench Press with Leg Lift 

Laying on a weight bench with a 30-pound dumbbell in your right hand and your knees at a 90-degree angle, simultaneously lift your left leg up and perform a dumbbell press, reaching your right arm towards your ankle at the top. Perform 10 reps on each side.

2. Alternating Reverse Lunge 

backward-lungeWith your feet shoulder-width apart and a 30 to 35-pound dumbbell in each hand, step your left leg back to come into a lunge position going as low as you can to bring your right thigh parallel to the ground, while making sure to keep your right knee over your right ankle. Push off your toes to come back to starting position. Perform 10 reps on each side.

3. Plank Row 

plank-row-with-db_2Start in a plank position with your upper body elevated on a bench and your feet a bit wider than hip-distance apart. With a 20-pound dumbbell in your right hand, perform a row, lifting your elbow up towards the ceiling as you keep your core tight and glutes engaged. Perform 12 reps on each side. 

4. Speed In and Outs

speedupoversBegin standing with both feet on the riser, then step each foot off and back on as quickly as you can. Perform AMRAP for 1 minute (30 seconds leading with right leg and 30 seconds leading with left leg).

5. Reverse Lunge with Shoulder Press 

1103-lunge-to-pressBegin with both feet on the riser, and a 20-pound dumbbell in your right hand. Perform a shoulder press, then bring your right foot back to perform a reverse lunge. Perform 10 reps on each side.

6. Biceps/Triceps Combo 

Using 20-pound dumbbells, perform 10 bicep curls, then immediately begin triceps dips using the stepper, performing AMRAP for 1 minute. 

 

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments