Health and Beauty 103

9 May

HAIR

I have to say that I have some terrific clients, and many of them have stuck to me like glue for the last twelve years.  One of their biggest complaints or shall I say worries is that their hair never grows, or it grows incredibly slow.  The truth of the matter is that most hair grows at an average rate of 1/2 inch per month.  However, do keep in mind that  there are some factors that influence hair growth such as the seasons, hormones, health and nutrition where these elements will either enhance or wane the hair growth.  All I have to say is that thank goodness my hair grows more than 1/2 inch a month.  The aggravating thing is that I have to extinguish the firework show every three weeks due to this expeditious growth.

Sometimes my clients arrive in a frenzy and claim that they are going bald.  They proceed to describe how their tresses form into a big ball of fur as it scurries into the deep black hole we call a drain while they are showering.  Don’t worry my guests, it is normal to lose between 75-150 strands per day.  Did you hear that?  Yes, I say, 150 strands.  If there are more strands lost per day, then I do recommend a call to your doctor is in order, because losing more strands per day can signify deficiencies and/or illness, typically autoimmune.

SKIN

Summer is fast approaching, so I am on the look out for sales on sunscreen to prepare myself for my days at the pool.  How lucky I am to have a pool in my neighborhood to relax at and use to cool off during those scorching hot days.  I have learned that I really enjoy getting to the pool after one pm, for the UV rays aren’t as bad, and although it is still during the danger zone (10:00 am-2:00 pm) I need to get there if I want a lounge chair.  Why would I want to be lying on the concrete when I could be on a lounge chair?

Ultraviolet radiation waves (UV) are what cause our sunburns and are the culprits for premature skin aging, eye damage (cataracts), skin cancers, and they suppress the immune system where it can’t fight off diseases and disorders.  UV radiation is a form of energy that travels through space, and some penetrate the earth’s atmosphere.  There are three types of UV rays: 1:  UV A rays are long waves 2: UV B rays are short waves 3:  UV C rays usually do not reach the atmosphere; they are blocked by the Ozone.

UV A rays damage the skin cells called keratinocytes which are located in the basal layer of the epidermis and the place where skin cancer occurs.  UV A rays are more damaging to this part of the epidermis rather than the outer most layer and are significant factors to basal and squamous cell carcinoma.  Basal and squamous cells are types of keratinocytes.  UV A rays are the main tanning rays.  A tan results from injury to the skin DNA where skin darkens to prevent further DNA damage.  Did you know that tanning beds emit 12 times the UV A rays than the sun?  And, UV A rays penetrate through glass and the clouds.

UV B rays cause sunburns and causes damage to the epidermal layer.  UV B contributes to skin cancer, tanning and wrinkles.  April through October is when UV b rays are most intense, but can damage your skin year round, especially at high altitudes, so, to all those snow skiers and those living in the snow covered mountains, be aware that the sun reflects on the snow and bounces back to hit the skin twice.  My next blog post will cover sunscreen and SPF factors, so stay tuned.

BODY

Have you ever wondered how “fat” your body is?, or what the percentage of fat is in your body?  When I started to lose my weight 17 years ago, I became obsessed with my food intake and exercise plan.  I also became obsessed with how fat my body really was, so I purchased these inexpensive plastic and cheap fat calipers to measure my so called fat.  I’d go into the bathroom of my family’s deli and start pinching myself to measure the folds of skin at my waist to determine that I was at about 20%-21% body fat, but who knows whether I was measuring correctly.  If I had to guess, I currently may be about 24%-26% body fat.

Calipers is one way and probably the easiest and most convenient to measure fat and can be done in the privacy of your own home.  Fat measurements are also services your health club or gym offer for probably a small fee.  Hydrostatic weighing is the cream of the crop.  I have never resorted to this method, but it is underwater weighing and is usually done in a clinic or hospital.

Another indicator of fat is body mass index or BMI which is measure of body fat based on height and weight.  This is not the same as calculating body fat percentage because body fat percentage takes into account lean body mass.  Here is the formula to calculate BMI:

weight (in pounds) x 703/height 2 (squared)

I will use myself as an example.  I am 132 pounds (yes, I did put on a couple of pounds) and am 67 inches tall, so to plug in the numbers:

132 x 703/67 (squared)=92796/4489=20.67 BMI

The following chart indicates where you should be according to your body mass index, thus you can decide whether you need to change your eating and exercise habits.

BODY MASS INDEX CHART

< 18 = underweight

< 18.5 = thin for your weight

18 – 24.9 = healthy weight

25 – 29.9 = overweight for your height

30 + = obese

I hope this helps you in figuring your fat in comparison to height and weight.  Sometimes you really don’t realize until you see numbers, and remember, fat distribution is different for everyone and it also depends on the lean muscle tissue also that really determines your body fat percentage.  I encourage you to get some fat calipers, because I know I will.  I just can’t seem to find my cheap old ones to see where I am at today in comparison to what I was when I was once obsessed.


SOUL

What can I say about my mom.  She gave graciously of what was hers, always put us kids and family first and always went without just so we could have it all.  She was one of those individuals who was born with a star over her, for she attracted people from all walks of life.  She was like a magnet; people flocked to her and always wanted to be in her company.  My mom was the best story teller and would have you laughing and crying at the same time; she was infectious.  She was incredibly wise and smart, and always knew the right things to say.  She was a great cook and baker, and I learned from the best  (But I will say that my dad excels in this category).   She will be gone 10 years this November, and it seems like she left yesterday, yet sometimes it feels like an eternity.  I miss her everyday, but I am grateful for the beautiful memories my brain recalls.


This a photo of my mom at our family deli, Marianne’s International Imports and Deli Company.  At the deli she was able to exercise her culinary skills to feed many individuals as well as entertain them with her stories.  I would like to share the following poem by


Edgar Allan Poe-

Because I feel that in the heavens above,

The angels,  whispering one to another

Can find among their burning tears of love,

None so devotional as that of “Mother,”

Therefore, by that dear name I have long called you,

You who are more than  mother unto me.

I was truly blessed to have such a wonderful mom; I just wish that she didn’t have to go so soon.  Happy Mother’s day to all the beautiful moms!




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