All Articles Tagged "health"

Beautifully Balanced: 5 Famous Fitness Enthusiasts Whose Hair Stays On Fleek

June 25th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Need proof that being fit and having your hair on fleek are not mutually exclusive? Check out these famous fit females who make time for their health and their hair and keep both consistently on point.

Source:  PNP/WENN.com

Source: PNP/WENN.com

Angela Simmons

A red carpet appearance doesn’t stop the fitness show for Rev Run’s baby girl Angela Simmons. The 27-year-old is a well-known fitness enthusiast, regularly posting IG pics and videos of her doing yoga, kick-boxing, and more. And then we see her kill it at appearances like in the pic above and we think, when does she have time? Extensions make it possible for the young beauty to easily go from gym to glam. And if you’re curious how she keeps her body on point, just check out this circuit below.

No games will be played 💪 Sunday fitness @thebestdamntrainer !!

A video posted by angelasimmons (@angelasimmons) on

It’s GO time !!! @thebestdamntrainer thanks for joining @vanessajsimmons and I today !!! #ImReady 👊🏼 A video posted by angelasimmons (@angelasimmons) on

Cunnilingus: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

June 24th, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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Shutterstock

There’s always the debate of who has it worse when it comes to pleasuring their partner with oral sex. Women sometimes complain about men’s hygiene, the taste and the expectation that she should swallow, whereas, men often complain about female hygiene, landing strip versus shaven hair and the taste. But I’m sure we can all agree that there’s nothing like a little foreplay to get things heated up in the bedroom–or wherever you like to play. According to the experts, 70-80 percent of women require direct clitoral stimulation to reach an orgasm. This can be very daunting for the conservative fella who thinks that getting in and off is just enough to keep her satisfied. But why not show her a little love below? Ladies, if you find yourself unsatisfied with your partner’s reluctance to give you oral sex, consider schooling him on the good, the bad and the ugly of cunnilingus while taking the proper steps to make it more enjoyable and safe for him.

You Are What You Eat

The vagina is an acidic organ that requires a healthy pH balance to remain in tip-top shape. If your partner doesn’t like the taste, consider adding and subtracting some things from your diet. Because the vagina is acidic, consider adding acidic foods such as pineapples, oranges and grapefruit to balance your pH levels. These foods will also add a bit of sweetness to the taste. Adding celery to your diet helps to reduce any bitter taste your partner might come across when he’s down there. Celery is also high in water and Vitamin C. If a smell is an issue, consider adding healthy probiotics to your diet such as yogurt to help maintain a natural body odor. Cranberries and 100 percent cranberry juice also aid in reducing odor as well as preventing urinary tract infections.

Avoiding foods such as fried and sugary foods, dairy, red meats and fish can also help keep your yoni in good shape. I know you may be thinking, “But I love __.” Well, I say everything in moderation. It is important for your partner to understand that you most likely won’t smell like a bed of roses down there, so he shouldn’t expect you to. But you should smell healthy and clean. Now tell him to man up and get to work.

The Prep

Let’s be honest. There’s nothing more annoying than going down on your partner and getting a whiff of the rough day they had, or even worse, a mouth full of hair. Consider paying extra attention to personal hygiene. Poor hygiene leads to bad odors and a buildup of unpleasant residue. If 1970s bush floats your boat, by all means, do you, sista. But consider trimming loose hairs and giving your vagina hair a good deep condition. Some women prefer to leave a landing strip, and some are more comfortable with a fresh baldy. It is important to note that hair traps odor and other bacteria and dirt, so it’s okay if you have to spend a little more time in the shower to make the experience more pleasurable for you and your partner.

Playing It Safe

Too much of anything can be bad if you aren’t safe. While some may perceive oral sex as one of the safest forms of sex out there, you should also know that there are plenty of risk factors involved. The mouth can contain several microscopic cuts and bruises that can make you susceptible to STIs/STDs such as herpes, hepatitis, HPV as well as chlamydia. These infections can be passed orally. Just as encouraged with vaginal and anal sex, consider getting tested every six months or before you enter into a sexual relationship with a new partner that involves oral sex. If you find yourself uncertain of yourself or your partner, get tested first and consider using dental dams, which are a protective film placed over the vagina during oral sex.

It Takes Two To Tango

If both you and your partner find the foreplay of oral sex to be boring, try changing it up by experimenting with your moves. Positions such as doggy style, face-sitting, and spread eagle make for a better view and a pleasurable experience. Ask him to use a finger or two to add a little penetration to the fun. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, using toys and allowing him to explore what makes you squirm will make him more interested in what he’s doing. No one wants to sit and lick until their tongue is stiff, ladies, so help him help you.

The act of sex alone is a partnership. It’s give and take. So if he expects to receive and wants to hear no complaints from you about it, school him on giving.

Working It Out: How Meal Prepping Helped Me Drop 81 Pounds

June 22nd, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Working It Out is a health/fitness column chronicling MadameNoire Deputy Editor Brande Victorian’s journey to drop the pounds and get healthy.

January vs February vs June

January vs. February vs. June

Preparedness is one of those concepts we tend to only think about when it comes to natural disasters and road trips, but it’s a principle that also serves people quite well on their weight loss journey. I know because over the past nine months I’ve noticed the difference in results when I make a concerted effort to eat clean; and I’ve also seen how susceptible I am to falling off the wagon when the food I should be eating is nowhere to be found.

In case meal prepping sounds incredibly intimidating — or daunting — to you let me start by saying there are levels to this ish, as Meek Mill would say. There are some people who spend their entire Saturday or Sunday bagging and bottling every single cooked thing they will ingest for the next seven days. On the other end of the spectrum are people who spend their weekends doing pre-cooking preparations so each night they can come home and simply plop some chicken on the grill or throw a casserole in the oven and eat. My method tends to fall somewhere in the middle, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of leftovers, and I tend to get bored eating the exact same thing every night. So here are a few of my standard practices when it comes to various items of the food pyramid:

Meats

On Sundays, I usually pan grill strips of chicken breast using Mrs. Dash’s all-purpose or chicken seasoning (I use this type because it doesn’t have salt) and a little extra-virgin olive oil (healthy fats). If I’m supremely on top of my game, I’ll go the extra mile and weigh 4 oz. portions and separate them into plastic containers, but usually I just put all the cooked meat in Gladware and pull it out each night to make dinner or the next day’s lunch. With basic chicken, the meal options are pretty endless, but I usually use the meat for salads, tacos of some sort, homemade pizza, or even pasta. I also prep ground turkey the same way — minus the olive oil — and use it to make gyros or tacos, like these. Ground beef can be done the same way as well, just be sure you’re using an option that is 93 percent lean.

Vegetables

I’m lazy, which is why my vegetables of choice tend to be leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale or corn — none of which require much prep other than pre-portioning and separating into containers for the week. Every now and then I switch things up and grill asparagus underneath my stove, all of which can be cooked at the same time and warmed up throughout the week and spruced up with a (measured) sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. I also love this recipe for baked green bean fries. The preparation is a bit time-consuming, but once the fries are made, all they need is a quick zap in the oven to heat them up and keep them crisp each night.

Grains

One of the first foods my trainer introduced me to was quinoa, and he’s pretty adamant about me having at least one serving of it per day. Thankfully, like rice, cooking the protein-heavy seed requires nothing more than water and a pot, unless you want to get fancy. At the top of the week, I tend to make a big pot of quinoa without any seasoning and then put cup-sized portions in individual containers that I can pull from Monday through Friday. Most days I eat quinoa as a plain side but sometimes I add meat and flavoring to make a pasta-like dish and separate my lunch and dinner portions after cooking. One of my favorite recipes is garlic butter shrimp and quinoa. I also love buffalo chicken quinoa bites, which give you meat and grain all in one, that way all you have to add is a vegetable of choice as a side.

Miscellaneous

Even with all of these at-home preparations, I still sometimes don’t feel like toting everything I need between my apartment and my office. So I’ve taken to leaving some things at my workplace to make my diet life a bit easier. That includes a set of measuring cups for times when I don’t pre-bag the 1/4 cup of cheese I use for my salad or the dressing I put on top. I still drink protein shakes as meals or snacks from time to time, so I bought a container of protein powder just for the office, so I don’t have to transport that big jug back and forth. I keep protein bars in my desk drawer for times when sweet cravings hit me too. I also try to bring most things I’ll need for the week on Mondays. For instance, if I made salmon burgers, I will put all the patties in one container and put them in the office fridge and leave the buns sealed in my desk drawer as well. The basic premise is the less I have to do when I get home from the gym around 8 p.m. each night, the better. That is also why I sometimes bring two sets of gym clothes to work in a day and leave one set at my desk for the next day.

20150621_141305

August 2014 vs June 2015

Now the obvious question you might be asking is, why do all this work? And to that I would say you have to do the work anyway. The real question is, do you want to do a lot of work each night or a lot of work in one day and save time throughout the work week? Depending on your lifestyle, cooking meals from scratch might work for you each night, but I know myself. Meal prepping helps me in a few different ways because I know myself. Just the act of putting together sensible meals on Sundays resharpens my focus on my fitness regimen. Especially because I tend to start my day with a 10 a.m. Zumba class, go to the grocery store, and then come home and cook for the week. With that regimen, there’s little room for error. As a person for whom the saying “Idle hands are the devil (food)’s playground” rings far too true, I need to spend that time trying to prevent downfalls throughout the week.

While restaurants boast “healthy” meal options, the truth is there’s no way to know exactly what you’re putting in your body unless you make it. Sure, I can pick up a salad somewhere on days when I forget my lunch but as someone who is a bit OCD about counting calories, eating out doesn’t provide the type of accuracy I prefer. Not all restaurants provide calories for their meals either, so while you may be able to guesstimate how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat are in a particular meal you’ll never really know for sure with so many outliers regarding measuring and the various oils used for cooking and so forth. Also, fast food and restaurant meals tend to be packed with salt, which, at the very least, leads to water weight and bloat, not to mention far more serious health problems down the line.

I won’t lie and say meal prepping is easy, but it’s not exactly hard either. I tend to look at it as preventative care because I know if I’m tired and don’t have any food at least halfway ready for me when I come home or go to work, there is a 75 percent chance that I’m going to pick up something that’s no good for me. When I came back from the DR, my weight loss stalled quite a bit because my mind was still in carefree island mode; meanwhile my waist was about to start looking like 2014 again. Now sitting at a loss of 81 pounds, I have to remind myself of what got me to that point, and it wasn’t trying to be like Jarred and eat Subway every day. It was measuring, weighing, and cooking my own food and doing so in bulk so that throughout the week I would have no excuse not to win.

He Said, She Said: Does Size Really Matter?

June 2nd, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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Shutterstock

I’m sure many of us have found ourselves standing in Duane Reade, Walgreens, Rite Aid or CVS for several minutes while trying to figure out the “right” brand of condom to buy. Companies like Trojan have made millions as they have marketed their Magnum brand as the go-to condom for the well-endowed male. And while some men honestly need the extra space, it is assumed that other guys go for the larger gold wrapper because they want to seem like “the man.” Why? Because there is a popular opinion that the larger a male is down there, the better sex will be. However, some have disputed this assumption by saying it’s not the size of the equipment, but how you use it.

As I assembled a think tank of both men and women, I was very amused by the feedback that I received, and the explanations given for why both men and women place so much emphasis on penis size. So with that being said, does size really matter?

He Said.

“No man ever feels his penis is small. We tend to feel like the man until she tells us it’s small.” That was an opinion expressed during an interview with one of the men about the assumed penis size obsession. I was surprised to learn that most men don’t put as much thought into their penis as women do. When I asked why does size matter to men, many responded with “Do you mean women?” I was amused to learn that most of the guys I talked to think that the simple fact that they have a penis is enough for them to feel good about themselves. And unless you’re one of those guys who just likes to sit around and talk about his penis all the time, some of the guys I spoke to claimed that most men aren’t that insecure. A few who admitted to being insecure agreed that they didn’t second-guess themselves until a woman criticized their penis size and made them feel small.

It got a little rowdy when some got passionate about how ruthless some women can be about penis size. Regardless of girth, if a guy feels he can make you orgasm, and he has done so, his penis size shouldn’t matter. Some had the idea that sex is sex. If a guy has a big heart and he expresses his love even bigger, a woman should be more accepting and less shallow. Coming into the conversation with my own judgments, I didn’t expect the type of feedback I received. I was waiting for the men to talk about how big their penises were and go on their ego trips. However, most were quiet and very honest about the fact that size doesn’t matter to them.

She Said.

Most of the women I spoke to said they believe size does matter. In fact, the men they entertain should be well within average size. When asked what the average size in inches they preferred is, some of the women I spoke to did agree on nine to 10 inches, which the men found to be completely insane. Only a few women felt their partner’s penis size doesn’t matter, and they said it isn’t a factor as long as the sex is still pleasurable. “What’s the point in having a huge penis if you don’t know what to do with it?” one woman said. Another woman believed that sex itself is a constant work in progress when you first meet someone. Therefore, learning how to explore each other’s bodies is more important. But when asked flat out, none of the women said they would settle for a man with a small penis.

Science Says.

The average male penis size is five to six inches when erect. For women, the length of the vagina is approximately five inches deep, so it sounds like a perfect fit, right? However, according to preliminary research conducted by the Sexual Psycho-physiology and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, women prefer slightly larger than average penises for both casual sex and long-term relationships. As a result of this, their partners are prone to “small penis syndrome,” which is a condition where men, despite having average penis sizes, may feel inferior. Sexologist Ian Kerner observed that the average woman who believes that size matters has also never experienced an orgasm, which could be the reason for her views on size. And according to sex therapist Debby Herbenick, it isn’t unusual for most women to not have experienced an orgasm due to a lack of direct clitoral stimulation. Herbenick suggests trying different positions to increase that stimulation.

The Consensus.

Seven out of eight women (84%) claim they are satisfied with their partner sexually regardless of size. The remaining 16% hold to their views on size being imperative. At the end of the day, the men argued that it’s not about the size, but how well you can handle your equipment. But what about you? Would you say that size matters?

Your Favorite High Heels May Be Secretly Causing Health Complications

May 26th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Shutterstock

As a teen, I rarely missed an opportunity to break out my highest heels for Sunday church services. But there was one usher in particular who hated to see me coming.

“Goodness those shoes give me a headache,” she dramatically snarled at me one day as I entered the church cafeteria. “Keep it up and your entire uterus is going to shift.

In my mind, I wrote her off as a grouchy old bird who had apparently never mastered the “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all” rule. But a recent study suggests that the mean usher who constantly hated on my choice of shoes may have been onto something.

New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Study, revealed that high-heel related injuries doubled between 2002 and 2012. The frequency and severity of said injuries caused investigators to recommend wearing the right shoes for the appropriate occasions. Interestingly, nearly half of these injuries occurred in the home. It was also revealed that while females made up the majority of these injuries, the rate of injury for Black women was twice that of White women.

“Although high-heeled shoes might be stylish, from a health standpoint, it would be worthwhile for those interested in wearing high-heeled shoes to understand the risks and the potential harm that precarious activities in high-heeled shoes can cause,” said lead investigator Gerald McGwin, Ph.D., vice chair and professor of the Department of Epidemiology in the UAB School of Public Health.

In addition to terrible mishaps, research suggests that these heels can cause lower leg, ankle and foot discomfort as well as “reduce ankle muscle movement, step length, total range of movement and balance control.”

“Some historians suggest that high-heeled shoes have been around for nearly 300 years and that medical professionals have been warning wearers about the dangers of such shoes for the same amount of time,” McGwin said. “While previous studies have confirmed that high heels are associated with lower extremity discomfort and musculoskeletal issues, there is very little information on the nature and frequency of these injuries, or which age groups were most affected.”

As a solution, researchers suggest that “those wearing heels be aware of how often and for how long they wear them.”

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Should Black Women Date Like White Women?

May 26th, 2015 - By jade
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If you recall, we interviewed the founders of Black Girls Run about why they started their organization and what advice can they give women who are looking to workout. In this bonus clip, Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey talk about why it’s so important for women to workout in a relationship and be open minded while dating.

To join Black Girls Run in your area, visit their website.

Episode 1 – Curly Nikki 

Episode 2 – Missy Lynn 

Episode 3 – Black Girls Run!

Episode 4 – Black Girls Workout Too! 

Episode 5 – The Curvy Fashionista

Episode 6 – Series Extras

Episode 7 – Black Girls Workout Too! Bonus 

 

 

15 Germ-Filled Reasons To Stop Wearing Shoes In The House

May 18th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Do you wear your shoes in the house, or leave them at the door? We used to think that a no-shoes in the house rule was just about cultural differences. But these germy statistics are making more people reconsider whether or not guests should be allowed to walk around their home while wearing shoes.

It Won’t Grow Back Thicker: 15 Medical Myths We Totally Believed

April 29th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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medical myths

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Do you really need eight glasses of water a day? Can going out without a coat make you sick? We thought we knew the answers to these common medical myths, but we were wrong!

Will You Look This Good at 62? Find Out How Many Times A Week You Should Work Out!

April 28th, 2015 - By jade
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In the series, One Bold Move, we profiled four popular bloggers in the categories of Hair, Makeup, Style, and Fitness. These bloggers discussed the one bold decision that placed their life on a completely different trajectory. For two of our most popular episodes, we are releasing never-before-seen footage with more great advice from excellent women. In this episode, mother and daughter duo Ellen and Lana Ector discuss their motivation for getting fit, why it’s important for black women to work out, and they share some great tips along the way.

To join their gym, purchase workout DVDs or workout gear visit their website.

Episode 1 – Curly Nikki 

Episode 2 – Missy Lynn 

Episode 3 – Black Girls Run!

Episode 5 – The Curvy Fashionista

Episode 6 – Series Extras

No Time For The Gym? 15 Ways To Lose Weight On a Busy Schedule

April 24th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Struggling to fit your diet into your busy day? Eating right and exercising doesn’t have to mean crash diets and hours at the gym. For busy women, losing means finding ways to do it on a busy schedule.