There’s An Untreatable Gonorrhoea Outbreak In England

An anti-biotic resistant strain of the STD is making the rounds in England. 

The Truth About Breastfeeding

There are things that happen during pregnancy that we love to talk about, like how you have a mother’s nurturing glow, how the baby is kicking, and how perfectly round your belly is getting. On the negative end, we also love to vent to our friends about the heaviness, the swollen ankles and those surprising bouts of morning sickness that happen in less than ideal situations.

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After the pregnancy is over and the beautiful bubba is born, the conversation switches to how the baby is sleeping, debates over breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, and quick snaps at anyone who asks you how your weight loss is going post-pregnancy. One thing that isn’t talked about a lot is what actually happens to the body after birth, especially sensitive areas like the breasts.

A recent post on Vogue about what happens to breasts after pregnancy and breastfeeding had me thinking about this even more. I’ve always joked to my partner that after we’ve finished having kids, he’ll have to buy me a breast lift to make up for the soccer team he wants, but for a growing number of women out there, getting a breast lift is no joke; it’s a way to feel like yourself again after giving your body to your children.

While stretch marks are newly taking some focus after birth, it’s still not a popular conversation to have about what happens to a woman’s most intimate places on her body; namely her breasts and vagina. Vaginal rejuvenation has become a popular topic, especially in Hollywood, but it seems that we are still hiding what our breasts are like after birth.

Every woman and her body are completely different, and our bodies react differently to child birth and breastfeeding, but for those who happen to sag significantly, it can affect self esteem and happiness. If you’re thinking that it’s shallow to want a breast lift after pregnancy, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But we should all have the right to feel great about ourselves, even if it means having a little help to get your breasts back to what makes you feel fantastic.

Women are slowly getting there in terms of what is socially accepted to speak about, but I think that what happens to a woman’s body after she nurtures a life is very important. This shouldn’t be a deterrent from breastfeeding; quite the opposite. Women should be empowered to feel great after having given birth to new life. They shouldn’t feel ashamed for not feeling happy with their bodies and shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting a little extra to feel great again.

It’s a new era, a new time; women can talk about these things. And we should be talking about these things and letting each other know that we are all beautiful and we all have the right to define beauty the way we want to, without judgement or critique. Let’s start being open about what giving birth is actually like and start being more open about the way women feel, and are allowed to feel.

Image via welladjusted.co

How Does The Biggest Loser Affect Weight Loss

The television show that helps people change their lives and better themselves is back. That’s a pretty vague description, I know – it could be used for virtually any reality show out there. Would it narrow it down if I said it’s the one that pushes contestants to their absolute limits to help them lose weight? Now you know what I’m talking about; The Biggest Loser is back on Australian televisions with families competing to lose the most weight and gain that big cash prize.

RELATED: Marriage Weight Gain: Myth Or Reality

I’ve always been skeptical about The Biggest Loser. It dramatically changes lives through gruelling exercise and an intense diet to lose the weight that has been impacting on their health and quality of life, but is it really done in the right way?

Yes, it’s amazing to see the transformations and to see what these people can become, but it doesn’t exactly promote sustained weight loss with contestants shedding large amounts of weight per week – much more than the recommended 0.5-1kg for healthy weight loss.

The Biggest Loser in America was slammed by former contestants recently, saying that the way they were treated was dreadful and that the show caused them health problems. Long, intense workouts, baby food diets and constant fat-shaming from trainers caused their mental health levels to drop.

Former contestants also allege that many others that have been on the show have gained back the weight they lost during the season. While this is not a surprise, it backs up the point that the show’s way of weight loss is unsustainable, and is merely for entertainment and shock value.

So, what do we really need to think about when we watch The Biggest Loser this season? We need to evaluate whether it’s worth watching overweight contestants sweat out all of their fluids for days on end to gain a money prize. We need to evaluate what their health is worth. And we need to evaluate what our health is worth and how we see ourselves.

If there’s anything that we can get out of The Biggest Loser, it should be that we need to take action now. If the kilograms are starting to creep on, it’s best to sustainably get yourself back to a better quality of life, with a healthy diet and safe exercise. We have health professionals who are willing to help and the best cure is actually prevention.

Image via illawarramercury.com.au

How To Have A Better Sleep

In a world full of valuable objects including technology, money and fast paced fashion, perhaps the most valuable thing we own is not material, but how we feel. Something that can’t be bought is time and so often we feel there is never enough time in our busy schedules to finish our duties or have some time to ourselves.

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Living in such a world where everything moves so fast, we find ourselves unable to switch off for a good night’s rest, waking in the morning unsatisfied with our mediocre sleep and the commitments of the day ahead.

Sleep is valuable to our brains and bodies. Not only do we rest when we sleep, but we are allowing ourselves to unwind and our bodies to heal. When we lack sleep, we lack energy, focus and the ability to get through the day smoothly.

Unfortunately, we could be hindering our sleeping success without even realising it, so take a look through our top tips to help you get a better sleep.

Give up the gadgets

Start to put away the gadgets before you get into bed. Reading from anything that has a backlight like your phone, computer, or tablet can suppress your melatonin production, which makes it harder to get to sleep. Turning off the TV and laying in your bed without the distractions makes it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Ditch the afternoon coffee

You might think you’re immune to caffeine by now, but it’s stopping you from getting to sleep. Snacks like chocolate also contain hidden amounts of caffeine, so avoiding dessert may actually help you sleep better.

Schedule in regular exercise

Regular exercise is proven to help you sleep better, as long as it’s not too close to bedtime. Morning exercise can help to wake you up and prepare for you for the day, but aim to finish intense afternoon exercise three or more hours before you’re due to call it a night.

Create a sleeping routine

Humans like to get into a habit, and sleeping is no different. Working with your routine, getting to sleep and getting up at the same time everyday can help you sleep better. This also includes limiting daytime naps to ensure that you can get a good quality sleep when you hop into bed at night.

Image via cherryflex.com

Gym Fashion: Motivating Or Intimidating?

There’s a must have when it comes to working out, that in recent years has inspired many Instagram posts, tweets and Facebook selfies. No, it’s not the brand of protein that you use, or how much you lift; it is of course, what you wear when you hit up the gym.

RELATED: The Fitness Mistakes We’re All Guilty Of

Brands like Lululemon, Lorna Jane and Nike have encouraged women, and men, to invest in some fabulous workout wear to enhance their workout and encourage them to exercise. But what about those of us who haven’t jumped on the overpriced bandwagon and have continued to workout in shorts that we wore for sport at high school? Are we not getting as good of a workout as our sisters dressed in neon patterns?

Of course we are! It seems silly to think that buying pretty, matching workout gear actually makes us work out more. If anything, it just means more mirror selfies with a pair of weights at your feet. Or yoga mat selfies. Or…you get the point!

But then the question arises, are those of us not dressed in the latest gym fashion intimidated at the gym? Us ladies can be self-conscious when pumping iron as it is and having the pressure of those around us looking like they’re coming off a fitness runway can be daunting.

It’s another instance in which we feel that women are being pitted against each other in competition of being the most fabulous or the most fit. Workout wear is classed as another way in which we can feel inadequate. Those of us not dressed like a Nike billboard can feel a little shameful of our oversized t-shirt and old leggings combo.

In a bid to gain our own self-confidence and feel great no matter what we do or wear, we need to learn that it doesn’t matter what you put on when you go to the gym. As long as you’re comfortable, wearing clothing and shoes that support your body, and are in something that you can smash a workout in, it really doesn’t matter what you have on. However, if you’re in booty shorts, it does – because those just go straight up your ass.

Once we start to care less about what other people think and do, we can be so much happier within ourselves and not have to feel inadequate because someone’s hot pink leggings are brighter than your own.

Image via workandworkout.com

Bikini Selfies: Inspirational Or Annoying?

It’s the classic newsfeed that we scroll through whenever we are checking out Facebook or Instagram. There’s photos of an old friend who’s off travelling, someone getting engaged and a string of bikini selfies from girls who call fitness their religion.

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The bikini selfie is one that is usually well thought out. It needs a couple of key ingredients to ensure maximum likeage and comments from creepy guys who tell you that you look amazing, or worse, use a love heart eye emoticon. Gross. The key ingredients to a good bikini selfie are a great tan, a fabulous bikini, good angles and lighting, and of course, a toned body. Bonus points if, instead of using a mirror, you’re actually on the beach, laying down and photographing not only your body, but an amazing view to instil some travel envy into your followers. Extra bonus points if you tag the bikini brand and then get a shout out.

We idolise the women of Instagram who post up inspiring bikini pics with links to their latest workout plan for you to buy, because we think it’s motivational for us. We might re-gram a photo with the hashtag #fitspo and the praise hands emoji in a display of awe for these woman who actually do fitness for a living.

bikini selfies: inspirational or annoying
The Kardashians are not shy with their bikini selfies

However, when friends, family or acquaintances post a few bikini selfies, at first we’re supportive, adding comments like: “You look amazing,” and “You’ve done so well!” But when the stream of pictures is coming in thick and strong, it’s easy to get a bit annoyed and mentally tell them to put it away. Sometimes, you even (shamefully) feel a pang of jealousy that someone who works a normal job can look like that.

Overall though, I personally find bikini selfies motivational in theory. It’s all well and good to scroll through social media and see someone in a bikini and think, “wow, I would love to look like that,” but it doesn’t stop me from stuffing my face full of sour cream and onion chips and the occasional piece of cake.

I would now like to open it up to you guys; do you think bikini selfies are annoying, or do you find it inspiring when people post a picture of their workout progress and how great they look in a bikini? Are you a bikini pic poster? Or do you just not care at all?

Images via instagram.com/kyliejenner

How To Say No To A Proposal

We’ve grown up to believe that it’s every girl’s dream to find that special guy and have him take us somewhere romantic, drop down on one knee and pull out a beautiful diamond and ask us to be his wife. That’s what we’ve be taught through advertising, movies and old fashioned values from when we are a young child.

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There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having that dream, but not every woman wants to wait until the man is ready to ask and some women don’t want to get married at all. On top of all that, saying yes to marriage is a huge commitment and with divorce rates skyrocketing, it seems that decisions are being glamorised by an amazing proposal while relationships for life aren’t being considered.

Saying yes to a proposal is something that should be really thought about. Do you want to marry this person, or are you just after the label of being married or the stability of a marriage? Could you spend your whole life with this person and is the relationship ready to move into marriage territory?

Saying no to a proposal is tricky. You feel like you’re going to break your partners heart, but it’s important to explain to them why you’re saying no instead of a blunt rejection. There may be a number of reasons that you feel you can’t say yes to this proposal. You may not be ready for marriage, you may not want to get married, or you may not feel the same way about the person asking you.

It’s better to say no to a proposal than to lead your partner on. One of the important things about saying no is letting them know why you’re saying no, especially if it’s not to do with them as a person. It can be very easy for a relationship to go south after rejecting a proposal, so it’s important that the asker understands why you’re saying no. If it’s because you don’t want to marry them as a person, they need to know that and you can both assess the relationship and where each of you is going. If it’s because you’re not ready, or you don’t want to be married but still want to stay with the person, let them know this.

Saying no to a proposal is heartbreaking, not just to the one who is asking, but for the person saying no – knowing that you are going to very much upset your partner is traumatising. What both of you want in life is an important discussion that needs to be had as the relationship progresses so that you can both let the other person know how you feel about important topics such as marriage.

Communication is key in a relationship, even when it comes to something that you want to be a surprise, like a proposal. Wouldn’t you rather ask at a time that you know is right and get a yes than ask at the time you think is right and get a no?

Image via americangemsociety.org

Post-Winter Workout Overhaul: Banish Bad Thoughts

I think we all know how tough it is to get your running shoes and sports bra back on after a long break from working out. Maybe you were injured or sick, or maybe it was winter and snuggling in your warm bed just sounded so much better than trudging to the gym in the cold.

RELATED: What Not To Do Before A Workout

It’s officially spring – and those who paused their workouts for the winter are starting to get back into fitness, but I can guarantee you of some of the thoughts that will pop into your head as you struggle through those workouts in your first week.

I am so puffed already.

During the warm up, most likely. “Really, the warm up could now be the main event I’m puffing so much. What is regulated breathing? How did I used to do this? I’m super unfit and I’m red already!”

Can that person hear me breathing?

“Do you think that person next to me notices my heavy breathing? They don’t have headphones in so they must wonder what I’m doing. Is my wheezing getting too loud? Maybe I should just give them a smile so they know that I’m okay.”

Is it possible I could die from this?

“I mean, I used to do this, so the possibility of me dying is low. But all this heavy breathing, I can’t even talk. Do you think that guy would save me if I fell to the floor? Imagine getting mouth to mouth at the gym. From a stranger. Sweaty, gross mouth to mouth. Ew.”

Hold on, I think I may be dying.

“My legs are weak, I’m wheezing away, my face is beetroot red and I’m sweating everywhere. It is possible that I may be about to fall on the floor and crawl to my car. Why do I do this to myself?!”

Time for a break…

“How did I ever used to enjoy doing this? I feel so awful. I’ll just go lay on a mat and do some ab exercises. Or maybe I’ll just lay here for a bit and stretch. Maybe I’ll just pretend to stretch while my brain comes back from its overheating, oxygen deprived holiday. It’s a miracle I’m even in the gym today, so I’ve done enough to warrant a tweet about how great my workout was.”

Image via vidavibrante.com

Do You Know What Causes A UTI?

I think we can all agree that getting a Urinary Tract Infection (or UTI for short) is on of the most annoying things that can happen down there, along with thrush, of course, if we’re going to be talking about day ruiners. That feeling of having to pee constantly, when you literally just went to the bathroom and that burning feeling when you do urinate is uncomfortable to say the least.

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A UTI is an infection of the urinary system which may occur in the kidneys, bladder, urethra or a combination of all three. But do you actually know what causes a UTI? The most common bacteria that infects us is E.coli, which is found in our gut, and thus our faeces.

Us women are more susceptible to UTIs than our male counterparts, purely because of biology. Having a small urethra means bacteria doesn’t have to travel far to make its way into our bladder and since our urethra is located so close to the anus, there is a larger chance of bacteria tunnelling its way up.

If you haven’t had a UTI before, or even if you have, watch out for symptoms like burning when you urinate, foul smelling urine, a frequent and intense urge to urinate even if nothing comes out and feeling tired or shaky. If you start to suffer from a fever or chills, you know the infection has reached your kidneys.

Having to pee multiple times per day usually is annoying enough without feeling like you have to go even more, so prevention is obviously better than a cure. You should avoid holding in your urine for hours at a time as this can cause the growth of bacteria. Emptying your bladder frequently is very important.

One of the biggest reasons that women get UTIs is from wiping in the wrong direction when they urinate. We should always be wiping from front to back to ensure that we are not taking bacteria from our back passage and wiping it directly onto our urethra.

Urinating shortly after sex is also recommended to flush out any bacteria that may have made its way into your urethra during the act. Drinking lots of water to flush out your system not only keeps you hydrated, but it helps to keep your urethra healthy while wearing cotton underwear instead of nylon to let your lady parts breathe and stop the growth of bacteria.

While going to the doctor and grabbing a round of antibiotics is the best option for a UTI, you can also help yourself out if you can feel one coming on. Cranberries are often a home remedy for UTIs and while there isn’t much research to back it up, taking cranberry tablets may help out your urinary tract. Drinking plenty of water is also a great way to flush out any nasty bacteria that is trying to affect your life.

Image via herbalpharamacist.com

Spring Clean Your Stress Away

Spring is almost sprung. Can you smell the flowers? Can you hear the birds tweeting? Can you think of any other spring cliches to put into this question? I’m sure there’s many more about the start of spring being a magical time of the year where lambs are born and you get to frolic in the sunshine.

RELATED: 10 Amazing Spring Cleaning Hints And Tips

In reality, our springtime is more about what we’ll be wearing to the races, getting our bikini bodies back on track and cleaning out all the stuff that has consumed our house over the last year.

When spring starts, it’s as if we are reborn. It’s almost the same feeling you get during a new year, where anything is possible and you feel motivated to get stuff done. After all, have you not thought to yourself during this month: “I’ll just wait until spring to start my diet/start exercising/start hand washing my delicates, a few more weeks won’t hurt.”

One cliche that we should be living by is spring cleaning and getting rid of the things in our house just as the weather warms. Spring cleaning isn’t just great for the way your house looks, it’s good for your health.

While cleaning seems like the biggest chore, decluttering your house is fantastic for your mental health. Clutter is mentally exhausting and can cloud our brains. When the space that we inhabit is not clearly presented, it can cause stress, which we all know is less than ideal. Winter is the time where we collect things, making a nest for ourselves inside our own homes. It could be magazines that have been bought for warm, weekend reading or it could be the clothes that are hanging in front of the heater to dry. Spring cleaning means getting back into our lives with a clear mind, thus clearing the clutter.

Having a good spring clean also increases our productivity. Organising your home is great for your mindset, but also for your wallet as there is no need to replace things that seem to have been lost. Cleaning out clothing is also great for local charities who can benefit from the clothes you will no longer wear by giving them to someone in need.

Mental health benefits: tick. Money benefits: tick. Let’s get onto getting that summer body back right? Having a great spring clean of the house gets you moving! Cleaning is great exercise, so put some tunes on, work your way around the house and find that sports bra that’s been hiding all winter to get back into your healthy routines.

On top of all of this, spring cleaning gives you that sense of satisfaction when you’re done. Sure, it might be a huge and exhausting job, but just imagine how great you’ll feel once you’re finished and you can sit on your clean floor, watch TV and eat some pizza knowing that you’ve done something great. You’ll be as happy as a 1950’s housewife advertorial.

Sexting To Spice Up Your Relationship

Sending a sneaky sext to your hubby during the day can help to raunch up your sex lives, build affection and let loose when you both get home from work, having worked on your sexual chemistry earlier in the day. It gives both of you something to look forward to and adds a bit of naughtiness to your playtime.

RELATED: Seven Days To Better Sex

But before you all launch at me with your hair straighteners and your eyelash curlers about how bad sexting is and how it ruins lives and careers and everything else about a woman, please just hear me out.

I’m not talking about sending a sext to the guy you just met on Tinder, or the one that you starting dating last week. I’m talking about sending a surprise sext to the man of your dreams, who you are in a stable and long term relationship or marriage with.

Spicing up your sex life after being together for that long could be as simple as sending him a message about how you can’t wait until he comes home tonight so he can check out your new lingerie.

Sexting shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence; like anything else that happens everyday, it gets a bit boring. It’s a once in a while way to add some excitement to the things that sometimes take a back seat to work, family and other commitments.

And while it’s all a bit of fun and games for you an your partner, researchers say that sexting can actually be great for the both of you. It has been found that sexting leads to increased satisfaction in relationships. Letting your partner know how you feel about them isn’t away from the norm when you discuss it in person, and with the rise of technology, sending a sneaky sext can let your partner know that they’re on your mind during the day.

If you’re wondering how to start out your sexy string of messages to your man, it’s best to begin slowly, with a little bit of a tease to ignite the fire in him. As for photos, if you want to send through some sexy snaps or suggestive signs, try not to include your face. It could be as simple as sending him a photo of your lingerie laid out on your bed or the top of a hold up stocking with a some suggestive wording.

Images via womenshealthmag.com

Can Music Help You To Heal?

Music does wonderful things for the brain. It’s a quintessential part of a breakup, to give you something to cry to by someone who relates to your pain. It’s a must have for a wedding, to convey your love through the tunes being played as your walk down the aisle or have your first dance. And it gives you thrills and chills in movies, to really set the scene.

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Music plays on our emotions and we know that it can mentally heal someone who is dealing with grief. But recent studies have shown that music can actually help our bodies to heal better after surgery. How amazing is that?

Doctors have recently written a piece for medical journal The Lancet to detail how music improves the recovery time after surgery for patients in hospital. The often ignored, non-drug treatment is said to have many benefits including reducing the activity of our nervous system, thus lowering the pulse and the blood pressure of the patient.

Listening to music before, during and after surgery can affect perceived intensity and unpleasantness of pain, which enables the patient’s sense of pain to be reduced. This also reduces anxiety levels.

So what kind of music is going to help you to recover when you come out from surgery? There’s no right answer for that, it’s about what sounds good for you. As music is a personal choice, your recovery songs are all going to be different, whether you like a bit of Guns ‘n’ Roses or Taylor Swift.

This research was done to help promote non-drug related pain tolerance methods that are often ignored. Doctors are so quick to reach for drugs in order to get things done, when there may be a non-drug related solution that is better for the body.

London-based researchers found that the effect of music was consistent across many different types of surgery and music styles and that patients should feel free to request their favourite songs, as long as there was no interference with medical equipment.

If you happen to be going into surgery soon, good luck to you, for one, and ask to be able to listen to your favourite tunes to assist in your recovery process; it’s much better for your body to have music help you to heal.

Image via gettyimages.com

Why It Pays For Your Health To Be Grateful

It’s the things in life that we never really stop to think about, like being able to put food on the table, having enough money to pay the bills and just being alive and living a healthy life. When things get busy and you’re stressed and feeling down, it’s easy to fall into the trap of asking why things are so hard for you.

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That’s why being grateful is so important in life. It’s about remembering how lucky you are to have what you have, being humble and helping out those who are less fortunate than yourself. When I was younger, I always used to complain about how ugly my feet were and how my feet would never look good wearing open heels or sandals. My mother would look me right in the face and say: “At least you have feet to walk on,” – this really hit home for me.

Being grateful is about valuing what you have in life and it’s fantastic for your attitude, your happiness, and your health. Gratitude in your life leads to lower levels or stress and depression, as well as more positive emotions and higher levels of life satisfaction.

By ignoring the urge to dwell on the things that haven’t gone your way and being thankful for the things that you have received in this world, you are allowing yourself to see the positives in life.

Those who show gratitude are more likely to take better care of themselves by engaging in regular physical activity and eating a healthier diet. Being grateful is also said to be an immune system boost as being optimistic leads to better immune function. They are also said to engage in more protective behaviours when it comes to health, like scheduling regular check ups and taking a ‘prevention over cure’ attitude.

One way that you can start to focus on what you are thankful for is by keeping a gratitude journal and writing down daily the things of the day that you are grateful for. By focusing on the positives of the day, you are helping yourself to de-stress and become a happier, healthier person.

Image via theunboundedspirit.com

What Is The Bachelor Doing To Mental Health?

I am a reality television junkie – and it hurts to admit that. It’s pretty shameful to say that I love watching TV shows in which either a) celebrities go about their daily lives, b) normal people get into a competition for something, or c) outrageous people are actually paid to party and do stupid things. I like to justify it by saying that it comes from my own stressful lifestyle where watching trashy TV shows is like time out for my brain.

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However, it’s impossible to turn my brain off completely and that’s why when watching The Bachelor the other night, I thought about how completely immoral and stupid it is to pit women against each other for a man they don’t even know. But of course, this is obvious, and often why the show is opposed by feminists and anyone with a brain.

It’s the fact that strong women still put themselves in this situation, where they are quite literally competing against other women for the affections of a man that they barely know. While watching the show from the comfort of your own home, you actually feel uncomfortable in the way that these women are portrayed as petty and jealous, with every move and look scrutinised purely for the entertainment of the audience.

self esteem, women, mental health, the bachelor

For the women on the show, being in The Bachelor mansion could be having a detrimental effect on their self esteem. Putting all their energy into trying to win the affections of a man and whether they are successful or not in gaining his attention and affection is almost a cry for help regarding self-worth and self-esteem.

However, it could go both ways. On one hand, these women could be so sure of themselves that whether or not they win a competition to get a boyfriend will not affect them or the way they see themselves. On the other hand, they could be taking to heart the producer’s choices and/or Sam’s choices and making mental notes of all the things that they deem not good enough to land them a man on a television show.

In that respect, we do have to praise the women who leave the show and tell their last piece to camera in a way that empowers them to get back out there and be themselves to find the right man for them.

It’s a bitter world out there and while I do love a good Bachie romance and am looking forward to Sam Frost killing it on The Bachelorette, we do need to ask ourselves whether someone’s self esteem should be worth our entertainment.

Images via popsugar.com and yahoo.com

How To Deal With Food Poisoning

In the unfortunate event that you eat some bad chicken, some dodgy seafood or rice salad that’s been left out too long, you might end up spending a night with your toilet instead of your bed.

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Food preparation, cleanliness and quality are all factors that can affect your stomach when eating out or even cooking in your own kitchen. And let’s be honest, food poisoning is an absolute bitch.

While being cautious when eating from street vendors, kebab shops and anywhere overseas can help you avoid the wrath of your upset stomach, sometimes you can get hit in the most unexpected of places. You wouldn’t think twice about eating cake batter or cookie dough, but those raw eggs pose a problem when it comes to sanitation.

While you usually can’t do anything about the unstoppable diarrhea or the gushing vomit that escapes from your mouth and nose, there are a couple of things that you should be doing to ensure that you help yourself recover from a nasty bout of food poisoning.

Drinking lots of water

You definitely need to rehydrate yourself after having some many fluids drained from your body. Making sure that you’re drinking enough water and having an additional oral hydrating solution is the best way to get the fluids back into your body and ensure that you don’t get dehydrated.

Eating bland foods

This one should be obvious, but when you’re suffering from food poisoning, the last thing you should be doing is re-eating things that made you sick in the first place. Eating dry toast and biscuits and avoiding dairy and meats should be your main priority to help yourself back to normal.

Staying home

You probably feel like you’re dying and you don’t actually want to go out anywhere, but don’t feel obliged to go back to work or attend any prior commitments while you’re recovering. You never know when you might need that toilet – it’s best to stay at home.

Go to the doctor

If symptoms are persisting, go to the doctor to get checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Image via wisegeek.com


#Fitspiration: Get Fit With Katie Austin

In the days when women used to feel intimidated to step into a gym and before pump and attack classes were a huge ‘thing’, many fit-loving ladies would work out in the comfort of their own home to an exercise DVD or VHS with their favourite celebrity trainer. Not to say that workout DVDs aren’t still popular, but many women would choose to go to the gym instead of sweat it out in their living room.

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At the forefront of at home workouts was, and still is may I add, the queen of fitness DVDs, Denise Austin. Denise is the all American girl, enthusiastic fitness instructor and author who helped our mothers burn fat through her tailored workouts.

With the rise of the internet, workout DVDs are not as popular as they used to be. That is no matter to Denise, however, who is all about change and growth, launching her internet empire and taking over American morning talk shows with her fit daughter Katie.

katie austin, denise austin, workout, fitness, fitness icon

At 21 years of age, Katie is following in the footsteps of her mother and training others to become the best versions of themselves. Appealing to a younger audience who haven’t been working out with Denise herself, Katie Austin is some major fitspiration if you’re after a gorgeous tan and a toned, slim body – who isn’t?

Living on the beach in California, Katie is often in a bikini and through her Instagram, her website and Twitter, she has some great inspiration for getting fit and staying fit. Gaining more media attention by appearing with Denise on day time television programs such as The Doctors and The Today Show, Katie has been demonstrating that there are easy ways to fit in exercise, even if it’s on your couch.

katie austin, denise austin, workout, fitness, fitness icon

The workouts that Katie has created also use minimal equipment, so they can be done anywhere and are perfect for travelling. You can bring up workout videos or Katie’s e-book on your phone, laptop or tablet to exercise in your own lounge room and get fit while having fun.

She has also been publicising her goals in getting you fit, which means not only getting physically healthy, but being fully confident in who you are and about being yourself and having fun. While having the genes from her age defying mother is a huge bonus, Katie is the sort of inspiration that we ought to be following on our social media channels.

Images via instagram.com/katie.austin

Give Yourself A Boost With A Healthy Lunch Break

One of our life savers during the day is the promise of a lunch break. Besides Friday afternoon, looking forward to our lunch hour and what we’ll be gorging on is something that undoubtedly crosses our mind every day. Even when you absolutely adore your job, that hour to do as you please is a slice of heaven.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Naturally Detox For Summer

When work and life stresses get the best of you and things like exercise and healthy eating take a sideline, it’s easy to fall back into bad habits that can be detrimental to health. An example of that is the mid-year spread, when winter becomes the time of creamy pastas, hot chocolates and a whole lot of sitting on your butt, both in the office and at home.

That’s why using your lunch break as a health boost is a great way to save yourself time and get yourself in a great mood for the afternoon and the three o’clock slump ahead. Simple things that you can do on your lunch hour can give your physical and mental wellbeing a good kick and you can get yourself into the habit of having yourself a healthy lunch break.

Get some sun

Give your Vitamin D a boost by getting out of the office and taking a walk in the sun. Not only will getting fresh air clear your mind, getting enough Vitamin D also increases your resistance to some diseases and to bone issues. Getting out of the office all takes your mind off work for a bit and allows you to think about other things in life that you are grateful for.

Swap processed for organic

Swapping your microwave dinner for a fresh, green salad or some grilled salmon and veggies is the way to go. Keeping your lunch light, but filling, will keep you alert for the rest of the day and will help you to avoid the sugar or carb slump that can affect your productivity.

Sneak in a quickie

A quickie workout, that is! Unless you’ve got a broom closet to be in. Sneak in a half hour workout before enjoying your lunch, or pack your flats and take a walk during your lunch hour. Even doing shopping counts as exercise, so get your wallet working!

Image via sheknows.com

Banish Bingo Wings With Strong Triceps

While half the world is in the sweater season, the other half if taking some time off in the sun. Whichever season you’re in, you’re probably also trying to find a way to cover up those bingo wings or stuff them into sleeves. Luckily, bingo wings can be banished. Yes, it is possible to get rid of the wiggly, wobbly bits that sit under those arms. As Denise Austin says, we can always use some “sexy arms!”

RELATED: 5 Breakfast Ideas To Boost Weight Loss

If you’re reading this article thinking, “I’m safe, no bingo wings here!” then read on for some exercises to add to your workout to ensure that those bingo wings stay at bay!

1. Overhead triceps extension

Add some weights to your workout to build muscle and burn up the fat that lives in the back of your arms. Hold one weight with both hands above your head, hands facing forward. Slowly lower the weight down your back to your shoulder blades and raise it back up to starting position. Feel the burn in your triceps after completing three sets.

triceps workout, women's fitness, tricep, body tone, bingo wings

2. Tricep pushups

A tricep pushup is just the same as a normal pushup, except the hands are placed right under the shoulders. When lowering down into the push position, the elbows should be close to the ribs and not pointing outwards like a normal pushup; instead they should be pointing down towards the feet. They’re hard, but once you start to strengthen yourself, your toned arms will be well worth it.

triceps workout, women's fitness, tricep, body tone, bingo wings

3. Tricep kickbacks

Using a bench for stability, place your left knee on the bench. Hold your weight in your right hand and lift the arm so that your elbow forms a right angle. Slowly straighten your arm back behind your body and then return to starting position. Make sure you really squeeze your tricep as you go.

triceps workout, women's fitness, tricep, body tone, bingo wings

If you’ve tried to eliminate your bingo wings in the past, just remember: living a healthy lifestyle means making the right decisions about what goes in your mouth, not just which exercises your body does.

Images via realsimple.com and fitwirr.com

5 Common Sex Mistakes You Could Be Making

Is it fair to say that sometimes your satisfaction levels in the bedroom are less than 50 per cent? It is fair because these days we work longer hours, we’ve got kids to raise before and after those longer work hours and no one wants to be that woman that their husband has a moan about to his mates because sex is now an annual delight. Or maybe you have sex once a week, but it’s only to stop the nagging and rogue groping that comes with prolonged periods of sexlessness.

RELATED: Can Sex Make You Smarter?

And I’m not pointing fingers here, but sometimes there are some common sex mistakes that women make that could be preventing them from having better sex, which sometimes can be the fix to all your troubles.

1. Not having enough

I’m not even just talking about not having enough sex, I’m also talking about not having enough time with yourself to feel good. When you don’t have much sex, you don’t really feel like more, especially if it’s seen as a chore. Setting healthy time aside for yourself, whether it’s for masturbation or painting your nails, whatever makes you feel good about yourself, is a great way to make yourself want more sex and enthusiasm and a good attitude, much like the key ingredient to all things in life, are the pathway to great sex.

2. Not asking for what you want

Come on ladies! It’s 2015! Women have the power to get any job, not have a teen marriage and ask our man to bake us an apple pie; surely we can ask for what we want in the bedroom. Whether it’s a casual encounter or ten years of marriage, sex isn’t all about the man and if you’re not getting what you want, then ask for it. If you’re too afraid to verbally communicate, the power of touch shouldn’t be underestimated. Move your body, your hands or your partners hands to where you would like them to be – you don’t have to say the words, the satisfied moans and sighs will say it all.

3. Thinking that sex starts in the bedroom

The deed may be done under the cover of your Egyptian cotton sheets, but sex really doesn’t begin in the bedroom. Showing affection to your partner throughout the day is a key factor in, not only wanting to have sex, but also enjoying it. Simple gestures like giving him a cuddle or sending him a suggestive text, or even just connecting through conversation will you get your brain ready for the bedroom. For women at least, we really need that brain warmup – it’s like the foreplay before the foreplay.

4. Feeling ashamed of your body

Just stop. You’re gorgeous! We all get insecure, but loving yourself is part of loving someone else, and trust me, they absolutely love your body, especially the parts that you don’t.

5. Faking it

An orgasm is not the be all and end all of sex. You get so many other benefits like a heightened connection with your partner and all those feel good hormones, but having an orgasm would just be the icing on the sexy cake, wouldn’t it? Well, faking an orgasm is not the way to get it. Besides being hurtful to yourself, your partner and your relationship, faking an orgasm is not going to get you a real one. Whether you’re faking it to have the sex end quickly so you can sleep, or because you feel like you’ve tried so hard, it’s best to take the time and work together to get you a real orgasm so that future sexual encounters are extra satisfying.

Marriage Weight Gain: Myth Or Reality?

I can tell you right now that marriage weight gain is not a myth – it is a cold, hard fact, ladies! Actually, it’s more like a warm, soft fact, just like the way your tummy feels on your first wedding anniversary – quite different to the slim waistline that you slipped into your white dress a year ago.

RELATED: The Secrets Behind A Successful Marriage

It’s true. Getting married causes weight gain, with happy couples said to gain more weight as they progressed through the years. With comfort and a secure relationship, it’s easy to see why we put on a few pounds once the vows are said and the rings are on our fingers.

Many brides absolutely kill themselves slimming down for the wedding. It’s the day where you have to look your absolute best because for years to come, you’ll look at the pictures of your dream wedding and most of us hope for only one.

Unfortunately, within the first fours year of marriage, on average, women would gain about four kilograms more than their single counterparts. While that doesn’t seem like that much, a study in Adelaide last year has shown that many brides put on 2.1 kilograms by six months into the marriage. Brides who felt more pressure to lose weight before the wedding put on more weight averaging between 3 and 4.5 kilograms in the first six months, over double the average bride. While the kilograms don’t sound like much, just think about the impact on your dress size or how you look in a bikini.

But before you tell your fiancé that you’d like to delay the wedding permanently, it’s easy to see where the weight gain factors come in to play and it’s not just women who are affected by the post-wedding pudginess.

marriage weight gain, marriage, wedding

Comfort is a huge part of weight gain during marriage; now that you’ve got a ring on it and you’re in a stable relationship, there isn’t as much pressure to be perfect all the time. Many brides get comfortable settling into a new routine with their hubby, picking up his bad habits like sleeping in on weekends and eating ice cream after dinner every night.

Getting settled into a new routine can also cause weight gain by cooking quick and easy meals that aren’t necessarily good for you, or cooking quite lavish meals laden with cream, just the way your spouse likes it. Eating the same portion sizes as your hubby is also up their on the ‘why have I gained weight’ list.

But changing this marriage factor doesn’t have to be hard. It starts with you and the way you and your husband see a healthy lifestyle. This could mean simple things like cooking healthier dinners, giving each other time to go to the gym or even taking on new types of exercise together. Working together on health and fitness is a great weight to curb the kilograms that can make you unhappy and unhealthy.

After all, it is ’til death do we part, but we don’t want obesity, heart disease or diabetes to be involved in our marriage.

Images via ok-women.com and ealminitarium.ch

This Should Be Labelled As A Pregnancy Sin

While Carrie Bickmore is shutting down Steve Price about his breastfeeding comment, social media has been blowing up about a woman’s right to breastfeed whenever and wherever she wants. And while most of the population are supportive about women breastfeeding in public, there are still those that hate on the natural process.

RELATED: What Is Making Parents Harm Their Children?

I would like to call all those who get so distressed about breastfeeding to jump on a new cause. The other day, I witnessed a woman, easily her third trimester, smoking. I was shocked. Knowing that there is so much research and support to show the problems that smoking during pregnancy causes, and rarely seeing women publicly smoke while pregnant, I was in disbelief.

Smoking during pregnancy is the number one cause of adverse effects on children’s health. Being born premature, being born too small and death before birth can all be avoided if a woman was to stop smoking during her pregnancy.

And I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Through the glass windows of our office, three other women saw the puffs of smoke escape the woman’s mouth as she talked on her mobile phone, causing a discussion about neglect for the unborn child that is trying to grow in her uterus.

Many have forgotten about smoking during pregnancy, purely because it’s not something the media reports on at the present moment, but it is still occurring, putting many more babies at risk of developing a debilitating disease. While babies who have suffered from cigarette exposure can suffer from problems at birth and infant death, the smoking also affects them later in life with children having a higher risk of asthma or decreased lung function, an increased risk of childhood obesity and an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure in adulthood.

A decision of a woman to smoke during her pregnancy will cause health effects on her child for life. It has even been suggested as child abuse or neglect due to the fact that smoking harms an unborn child who has no say or rights.

In such a modern and sophisticated world with ample access to research and technology, I wouldn’t think we would be having this conversation, but as people forget what isn’t being publicised in the media everyday, we need to remember that smoking during pregnancy is very harmful.

If you need help quitting, you should see your doctor.

Image via jacquewatkins.com

What Is Making Parents Hurt Their Children?

We’ve heard a significant number of cases this year of mothers torturing and even killing their children for attention on social media. Most recently, Candy Flutin was found guilty of making her son ill by putting faeces into his IV drop while he was in hospital and has received six years in jail. The attention that she gained from posting updates of scans, tests and surgeries to her 2000 plus Facebook friends, motivating her to go further and keep her son ill by performing such disgusting things.

RELATED: The Ice Epidemic: What Makes Users So Aggressive?

Earlier this year, a Lacey Spears was charged and sentenced to 20 years in jail for killing her six year old son by slowly poisoning him with salt. Her motivation? A blog detailing her son’s journey through illness and disease, with social media supporting her through hard times, that she in fact had caused.

Now it’s time to talk about it. Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome is a mental disorder in which a parent, most commonly the mother, causes harm to their children for the attention that it gains for them, and the gratification they receive from that attention. Related to Munchausen Syndrome, a condition in which a person harms themselves or feigns illness for attention, Munchausen by Proxy is carried out on the unknowing, helpless child. Many children have lost lives and have become debilitatingly ill at the hands of their own parents, gaining sympathy and attention from those around them.

With the rise of social media, it’s much more accessible to gain support from people who comment or like posts in a show of ‘kindness’. Munchausen by Proxy is a diagnosed mental illness which is thought to possibly develop from the perpetrator being abused physically or sexually as a child.

Assessing our mental health and those around us is important for the health and safety of everyone, but especially children who are the sponges that we create and help to grow. We could never imagine that a loving parent would put their child through something so cruel, meaning it is also hard to know if this is happening to a child. With the rise of social media and less time in person, we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. Doctors and nurses can suspect the mental illness if they are continually testing a child and finding no causes for their illness, however, it is obviously difficult to pin point.

Diagnosis of Munchausen by Proxy is considered rare and can be extremely difficult  because of the attentive caring that the parent or caregiver is portraying, but realistically, it’s child abuse. If you suspect that someone you know is suffering from Munchausen by Proxy, it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Image via parentinghub.co.za

Top Tips For Your Pregnancy Workout

Did you ever watch What To Expect When You’re Expecting? And think, I’m going to be Elizabeth Banks, who has the awful pregnancy experience while Brooklyn Decker is still wearing stilettos and going to pre-natal yoga classes. Everyone’s pregnancy is different, but staying fit and healthy during a pregnancy is good for you and your baby. However, there are certain things that you should take into consideration when you’ve got a bubba growing inside of you.

RELATED: What Dads-To-Be Can Experience During Pregnancy

There’s a certain false impression that working on those abs is going to help you push out the baby when the (terrifying) time comes but accredited exercise physiologist Kate Faber from Precision Physio is here to bust that myth, saying it’s just not going to help in the way you think it is.

kate faber, precision physio

Kate Says, “Many women (and some medical, health and fitness professionals) believe there is great need to strengthen the abdominal muscles during pregnancy, in order to assist in pushing the baby out during delivery. While this may seem logical, the abdominal muscles are not directly involved in delivering the baby – the uterus and pelvic floor are responsible for that!”

And if you’re thinking that’s not a problem, but you’ll continue to do crunches to make it easier to get that flat belly after your pregnancy, you should definitely think again about that one.

“While you may think, “well, it couldn’t hurt, right?” Unfortunately, some women will find the tighter and stronger their abdominal muscles are, the more likely they are to develop abdominal separation (diastasis recti). So it’s not always easy, but you need to find the right balance between maintaining all-over, whole-body strength (which still includes the abdominal muscles), without overdoing it and putting yourself at risk of abdominal separation,” says Kate.

Pregnancy exercise is a great way to keep yourself fit and minimize the extra weight gain that isn’t pregnancy weight but just ‘I can eat whatever I want weight’. Everyone gains weight during pregnancy, but let’s take a tip from Jessica Simpson to put down the deep fried Oreos and Southern spiced wings and keep it healthy for the baby. Eating a healthy diet and engaging in some pregnancy-friendly exercise is a great way to keep yourself fit and not have to shock your system once you’ve given birth and you’re looking to get your pre-baby bod back.

Kate also has some great pregnancy tips for the type of exercise you are looking to do. You should always take your baby’s health into consideration and see your body as a place that you are nurturing a life. Women don’t need to be completely wrapped in cotton wool when they’re pregnant, but there are safety tips to follow when considering how you’re going to work out.

Let’s take a look at Kate’s top pregnancy workout tips:

  1. Include a gradual warm-up and cool-down pre and post exercise.
  2. Exercise at an intensity that is comfortable for you – avoid unsupervised high-intensity exercise during pregnancy if you weren’t doing it before you fell pregnant.
  3. Stay well hydrated and avoid over-heating.
  4. Avoid any activities (e.g. very heavy lifting) which cause you to hold your breath or alter your posture.
  5. Beyond 16 weeks, be careful when lying on your back – you may be more comfortable in a seated or incline position.
  6. Avoid activities which increase the risk of physical injury (e.g. contact sports).
  7. If you do develop abdominal separation, seek guidance around exercises you need to include or avoid.
  8. Get moving – reduce time spent sitting and get regular exercise in!
  9. Maintain good bowel habits – go when you need to go!
  10. Practice safe manual handling techniques – whether it be at work or home.

Keeping it gentle is key and activities like walking, swimming, yoga and pilates are low impact activities that keep your body fit and build a strong cardiovascular system, which makes mum and bub healthier.

For more information about Kate Faber and Precision Physio, you can visit their website.

Images via myrtylebeachbirthservices.com and precisionathletica.com.au

Are We Surprised That Soft Drinks Cause Death?

Last Monday, a study published in Circulation came through about how many deaths are caused by sugary drinks from researchers in the United States. A whopping 184,000 deaths in the world have been caused from problems that are associated with specific consumption of sugary drinks.

RELATED: How Sarah Wilson Is Making $4M Per Year By Quitting Sugar

Is this really a ground breaking statistic, though? The consumption of sugar-loaded drinks is huge, not just in the United States but all around the world. Soft drinks are popular with most meals and are consumed daily by millions of people, and for the amount of people in the world, this doesn’t seem much. However, full of multiple teaspoons of sugar, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that consistent consumption of soft drinks are causing health problems.

The study showed that 133,000 people had died from diabetes due to the consumption of “sugar sweetened beverages,” while 45,000 died from cardiovascular disease and a further 6,450 people from cancers that are related directly to soft drinks. Globally, these numbers may seem small, but this doesn’t include the people living a decreased quality of life due to their associated diseases and it also doesn’t include those with problems relating to sugar in general. This is specific to the consumption of sugary drinks, which pretty much translates to: soft drinks cause death from lifestyle diseases.

What does that mean for us? It means the same as what has been drilled into us for years – that drinking soft drinks and sugary juices isn’t good for you. The over consumption of sugar has serious health effects and is related to lifestyle disease that are preventable like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Surprisingly, in the study, the United States came second to Mexico with the highest rates of death per million adults directly related to the consumption of sugary drinks, with 76 per cent of the deaths occurring in low to middle income countries. This is why education and health advice on this issue is so important.

Maybe next time you have a soft drink with your meal you should think about how much sugar you’re consuming and what this means for your health. After all, you don’t want to be one of those statistics, do you?

Image via prosprhealth.com

Keep Fit And See The World: Active Getaways

Sometimes you want to get away to a five star, beach-front resort, drop your suitcases at the concierge and flop onto the sand, fancy cocktail in hand, delicious snacks in the other. And sometimes you want to keep that hot body that you worked so hard for during the working season and you want to have some adventure and experience the world in an active way.

RELATED: Holiday Like A Celebrity: Top 5 Luxury Locations

Active getaways are becoming more and more popular, with less people choosing the traditional beach holiday for something that is filled with exercise and thrill. Not that your usual holiday isn’t thrilling, it’s just unlikely to get your heart pumping unless you’re experiencing some holiday love between the sheets.

There are certain destinations in the world that are recognised for shopping, for star spotting and for traditional sight seeing and then there is the list below in which you can experience a fabulous active getaway, keeping fit while seeing the world.

5. Skiing/snowboarding, Colorado, United States

One of the most popular active holidays is a snow one. Spending your days shredding up the powder on skis or snowboards while checking out beautiful views atop the mountain. You’ll burn those legs and buns in a skiing holiday and Aspen is a fantastic place to experience it. Better yet, head over during Christmas to see the town during the festive season and keep those extra Chrissie calories at bay.

4. White water rafting, Queenstown, New Zealand

Water sports are always better in adventure capital Queenstown. With heaps of water activities to choose from, white water rafting is going to be at the top of your list for thrill and sight seeing through the valleys of New Zealand.

3. Mountain biking/cycling, Europe

Let’s face it, there are way too many options to narrow this one and you can take your bike to so many places in Europe to explore the country side and mountainous terrain. Not only will it be cost effective, but you’ll see amazing sights and find great places that you may not be able to find by car or bus, and you’ll be keeping all those pastries off your hips.

active holidays, exercise, travel

2. Surfing, Hawaii, United States

Hawaii has something for everyone. From places to flop and drop, to some of the most active holidays you can have, it’s all up to you in Hawaii. Famous for their surf, catch a few waves, or learn how to anyway, climb volcanoes and go snorkelling through the crystal clear waters. With some fantastic views to find from higher up, hiking is a big one to take in some breath taking beauty.

1. Trekking, Machu Picchu, Peru

See history and challenge yourself while trekking through the Inca trails around Machu Picchu. The amazing ruins will have your jaws dropped as you finish the trek and see your final, amazing destination.

Images via worldadventuretravel.co.uk and surphile.tumblr.com

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