All Articles Tagged "health"

15 Things You Can Actually Do For PMS

April 16th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

There’s nothing fun about being on your period, but there’s much more you can do for PMS than reaching for ibuprofen. Find the right combination of cures for your period symptoms and you can reduce your monthly nuisance into a minor inconvenience.

Heavy Periods, Headaches And Other Easy To Ignore Health Issues That Could Mean Something Is Seriously Wrong

April 2nd, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

We women are known for ignoring minor aches and pains in order to get on with our day. But these health issues that are often easy to ignore could mean that something’s seriously wrong.

Can You Eat Your Way To Thin? 15 Foods That Help You Lose Weight

March 31st, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Ready to kiss those hunger pangs goodbye? These foods help you lose weight by tackling cravings before they start and burning calories as you eat them.

“I’m Fat And Happy”: 15 Celebrities Who Refuse To Diet To Fit Hollywood’s Beauty Standards

March 27th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

It’s hard to be anything but stick-thin in Hollywood. But these celebrities who refuse to diet say they’re defining their own beauty standards — so keep your salad and your diet crazes to yourself.

Working It Out: The Eating Habits That Led To My 63-Pound Weight Loss

March 25th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Working It Out is a new health/fitness column chronicling MadameNoire Deputy Editor Brande Victorian’s journey to drop the pounds and get healthy.

March 12, 2015 vs. October 20, 2014

March 12, 2015 vs. October 20, 2014

A month ago, I revealed that I’d dropped 54 pounds within five months and many of you asked me to share details on the eating habits that got me there. Now with a total loss of 63 pounds under my belt, I’ve narrowed down a few key behaviors that have contributed to my success. Keep in mind, I am not a nutritionist, personal trainer, or doctor, but I can say that incorporating these methods has helped me stay on track during the past six months.

1. Counting Calories: Weight loss is math. About 3,5000 calories equals one pound. If you want to lose one pound per week, you must have a deficit of 3,500 calories per week, which would mean eating 500 less calories per day. I went about my current weight loss journey more aggressively, with an average loss of about 2.5 pounds per week, which means on any given day I eat about 1300 less calories than I expend.

To figure out how many calories to eat, I recommend an online calorie calculator like this one that takes into consideration your height, weight, age, and activity level, and recommends a small range of calories you can eat to lose, burn, or maintain your current weight.

2. Measuring Everything I Eat (and Drink): Yes, I have poured vodka in a liquid measuring cup before putting it in a glass with a splash of club soda and lemon and lime. Don’t judge me! Part of counting calories is making sure you’re calculating the right amount. While there are plenty of portion guides that will tell you four ounces of chicken is equal to the inner palm of your hand, I’m pretty anal about knowing the caloric value of everything I eat. So before anything goes in a baking pan or my stomach, it hits a food scale or measuring cup. #PortionControlOnFleek

3. Logging Everything I Eat: After I measure my food, I log it. I won’t act like this isn’t one of the more meticulous aspects of my journey (especially when calculating the total calories for a dish with a million ingredients), but for those times I step on the scale and don’t see the figures I expect, knowing that I didn’t underestimate my calories (and can therefore likely chalk up the disappointment to water weight or muscle gain) gives me peace of mind. I currently use DotFit to log all of my food because it comes with my Crunch personal training but prior to this I used MyFitnessPal.

Logging not only keeps me organized, but it keeps me accountable. It’s easy to convince yourself that you didn’t eat that many baked tortilla chips, but when you actually count and log your portions you know whether there really is room in your caloric budget to have that late-night snack you’re craving or if you need to drink some water and lay yourself down.

4. Tracking Calories Burned: If you want to take the accuracy of your caloric input and output to the next level, I recommend some method of calorie tracking. I use an Exerspy, again, via Crunch, and a couple of my coworkers use a FitBit. There are a couple of benefits to calorie tracking. The most obvious being that when you know how many calories you’ve expended, you know exactly how much you can eat to hit your deficit goal (again, weight loss is math). Calorie tracking also serves as a reminder to get moving. If it’s 4 p.m. and you’re thinking about skipping the gym tonight but you’re nowhere near 10,000 steps for the day, you know you need to get your butt moving! Third, we also tend to overestimate the number of calories we burn working out at the gym — as do the exercise machines we use — and a personal calorie tracker provides the highest level of accuracy.

5. Giving Up Everything I Thought I Loved: I don’t want to be too TMI, but the fact that I would end up on the toilet in the middle of the night every time I ate Popeyes, which I used to proudly proclaim my love for, should’ve been an indicator that such food wasn’t for my body. That’s why I say I’ve since given up all the food I thought I loved, like fast food (minus the occasional sub from Subway), soda, and even fried food that left me with “the itis” instead of energy.

Protein shakes and bars have been a big part of my diet over the past six months. I typically have two of either option per day, usually either as breakfast or a snack. I mix the shakes with unsweetened almond milk because it tastes better than water and has less calories than skim milk. And even though I’m totally over chicken at this point, I do routinely eat grilled chicken and also shrimp or turkey. For a dose of healthy fats, I almost always cook with either extra virgin olive oil or Pam cooking spray, and I love avocado. My carbs consist of corn tortillas, which I have to chill on sometimes; quinoa, which is considered a super food due to all of its benefits, and green vegetables like spinach that I can admit I don’t always get enough of.

Foods I’ve tried to get away with that my trainer shut down include: grits (oatmeal is more nutritious); canned soup (too much sugar); chips of damn near any kind, from corn, to pita, to spinach, and tortilla, although Quest protein chips have been approved; steak (not a lean meat); and chicken wings (they’re mostly fatty skin, though I do trim a lot of the skin off).

Foods I should be eating more of include: healthy nuts, fish, sweet potatoes (a healthy carb), and Ezekiel bread (if you have to have bread). I’ve included screenshots of some food logs on the next couple pages for more insight into my day-to-day eating.

6. Using #Fitspiration: Instagram has kept me on my toes almost as much as my trainer in two ways: Number one, I follow at least 15-20 women who have lost a significant amount of weight and maintained that loss to remind myself that I can do it too. Seeing their workout and results posts also keeps me from going off track (90 percent of the time) when I want to say eff it and either eat something I have no business or skip workouts. I also follow another dozen women or so who post healthy recipes. They help me switch up my meals and enjoy eating healthy more.

Hopefully this helps you on your journey. Of course, if you have questions leave them below. FYI, I’m currently working on a way to visually share my workout routine with you as well.

College Basketball Star Shanice Clark’s Actual Cause Of Death Revealed

March 17th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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In January, we reported on the untimely passing of California University of Pennsylvania basketball star Shanice Clark. The 21-year-old student was found unresponsive in her Vulcan Village apartment on January 18. She could not be revived. Initially, investigators believed that Clark choked on a piece of gum that she fell asleep chewing. However, a recent autopsy proved otherwise.

According to USA Today, the Washington County Coroner announced that Clark actually passed away from a blood disorder. Coroner Tim Warco discovered that Clark was a carrier of the sickle cell trait, which in extremely rare cases can cause sudden death.

Clark, who was originally from Canada, was a senior at the university. She is fondly remembered Cal U athletic director Karen Hjerpe as “a bright student and talented player” whose “smile and personality will be missed.”

R.I.P.

Living With Vaginismus

March 13th, 2015 - By TaMara Griffin
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Bride Divorces New Husband Because His Penis Is Too Big

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Vaginismus is a physical or psychological condition that affects a woman’s ability to tolerate vaginal penetration as a result of involuntary vaginal muscle spasms. The involuntary muscle spasm makes penetration painful or impossible, with the reflex often occurring as a result of an object such as a penis, vibrator, tampon, etc. coming towards it. In some case, even the thought of the object can cause the vagina to spasm.

Vaginismus can be either primary or secondary. A woman diagnosed with primary vaginismus has never been able to have penetrative sex or experience vaginal penetration without pain. Secondary vaginismus occurs when a woman who has previously been able to achieve penetration suddenly develops said spasms.

The exact cause of vaginismus is unknown however it’s speculated to result from physical causes such as an infection or trauma. Some cases of vaginismus may be due to psychological issues like fear or anxiety. Other factors may include:

  • medical conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, cancer, urinary tract disorders, etc.
  • psycho-physiological reactions to sexual intercourse based on a negative past experience
  • sexual trauma
  • scarring
  • vaginal thinning and dryness
  • incomplete sexual arousal
  • low estrogen
  • inadequate foreplay
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • allergies to spermicides or latex condoms
  • not trusting one’s partner
  • body image issues
  • misconceptions about sex
  • undiscovered or denied sexuality
  • conservative family upbringing
  • first time sex anxiety

Symptoms of Vaginismus

A burning, ripping, tearing, or aching sensation associated with penetration are all symptoms of vaginismus. The pain can be at the vaginal opening, deep in the pelvis, or anywhere between. It may also be felt throughout the entire pelvic area and the sexual organs and may occur only with deep thrusting.

Treatment for Vaginismus

The treatment for vaginismus is aimed at identifying and properly treating the underlying disorder. For example, medications are usually prescribed to treat any infections. Water-based or silicone-based lubricants may be recommended to help ease vaginal friction and discomfort during intercourse. Vaginal dilation exercises may also be used to treat vaginismus, but such therapy should only be done under the direction of a physician or sex therapist. Sex therapy can also be used to address underlying psychological causes of this condition.

The treatment for secondary vaginismus is the same as for primary vaginismus, although, in these cases, previous experience with successful penetration can assist in a more rapid resolution of the condition. Each case of vaginismus is different and an individualized, comprehensive integrative approach to treatment is the most effective.

Living with vaginismus is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about and the condition can be manageable if you are proactive and stay on top of your health. Work with your physician and/or sex therapist to get treatment, learn what works best for you, and communicate your needs to your partner. You can still maintain a quality sex life, as long as you are willing to go the extra mile to reduce the pain.

 

Dr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, educator and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE. She is the Editor-in-Chief of “Our Sexuality!” Magazine, The premiere magazine for women’s sexuality and sexual health. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, www.drtamaragriffin.com.

Dr. Jackie: 5 Things You Need To Know About Black Women And Fertility

March 11th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Fertility is increasingly becoming a concern for women of all ages, and though Black women aren’t absent from the conversation altogether, we tend to be late to the party, notes “Married to Medicine’s” Dr. Jackie Walters. We recently spoke with the OBYGN and asked her to give us five things we need to understand about Black women and fertility and she broke it all the way down for us, from our tendency to have fertility issues due to our weight and lack of an active lifestyle, to our hesitancy to follow through with doctor’s appointments. Check out the video above and get educated.

Dutchess Of VH1’s “Black Ink Crew” Opens Up About Heart Condition

February 28th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Heart Health Month comes to a close today and to mark this important awareness month we spoke with a woman who understands the significance of heart health all to well: Dutchess Of VH1’s “Black Ink Crew.”  We’ve seen the North Carolina native struggle with health issues as a result of her health condition multiple times on the popular reality show and as she updated us on her current health status, Dutchess also explained how she manages her condition and attempts to reduce the risk factors that affect her heart, like the stress of her tattoo crew. Check out the interview above.

Hot Flashes Can Last 14 Years?! 15 Shocking Facts About Menopause

February 19th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

The results from the world’s largest study on menopause are finally in. Think you know everything about the big change? Get ready to learn more than a few shocking facts about menopause.