Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Friday 5

Hey hey, happy Friday to you!

I can’t believe it’s the middle of June already! Murphy’s 10th (!!) birthday is today, Father’s Day is this Sunday and then my birthday next week – it’s a busy (and fun!) time of year for us, for sure!

Since last weekend was jam-packed with wedding festivities, we’re taking it semi-easy this weekend. Quinn’s pool party is on Saturday and then we plan to go out to breakfast and then visit the Wicked BIG Bug exhibit at the Franklin Park Zoo to celebrate Father’s Day. Both boys really love bugs, so they are definitely looking forward to it. I, however, plan to stay in the car. Kidding! Sort of.

Anyway, today’s edition of The Friday 5 is a random mix of things I’ve been loving this week – from my favorite easy makeup routine to my go-to pair of shorts and a cute hat for Quinn!

I hope you have a fabulous June weekend!

1. Madewell Rainbow Stripe Tank Dress – This striped tank dress from Madewell is so stinkin’ cute! It’s in my shopping cart… I think I’m going to treat myself for my birthday. I can see myself wearing this cotton swing dress all summer long!

2. 88 Acres Organic Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter – So y’all know I’m obsessed with nut butter in general, but this organic dark chocolate sunflower seed butter from 88 Acres is something else! Holy yum! Often times when I’m craving something sweet, I’ll just have a spoonful of it and it satisfies my sweet tooth. It’s always great for seed cycling when you want to get sunflower seeds into the second part of your cycle. The 88 Acres Organic Pumpkin Butter is also really tasty and great for switching up! Both are nut-free, non-GMO, and dairy-free.

3. Beautycounter’s Flawless in Five – Now includes my beloved Dew Skin (tinted moisturizer with SPF 20), which I wear every.single.day of the year. I typically wear shade No. 2, but I switched to No. 3 for the summer. Flawless in Five is perfect for anyone looking to refresh their makeup with safer (and high-performing) alternatives. It’s a customizable bundle of six products to have you looking flawless in five minutes or less. PLUS, you save $37 by bundling rather than buying everything separately! It’s a great way to “get started” with Beautycounter, and it makes a great gift, too! 🙂

4. Athleta Metro Downtown 4″ Short – These mid-rise shorts from Athleta are my go-to for summer. They are so cute and comfy! The fabric is thick and form-fitting, but stretchy and moves with you. I have them in grey, but am thinking I should snag the other colors, too, as I wear them so often. These shorts are super versatile – casual for your weekend athleisure look or dress them up!

Athleta Metro Shorts

5. Out of the Sun HatThe Out of the Sun Hat is perfect for beach and pool days. Quinn actually borrowed his cousin’s hat over the weekend (as seen in this post). Quinn loved it so much and didn’t take it off all day, so we decided to buy him his own. In fact, we got a GREAT deal on it! It was on sale for $7.99 and then if you sign up for the Hanna Andersson email list you get 25% off your first order! It’s definitely an awesome hat if you want to protect your little one! 

Hanna Andersson Out Of The Sun Hat in Red

I also bought Quinn this UV SKINZ UPF 50+ Boys H2O Hat for summer. I just love the funky style of the first hat, and Quinn looks so cool in it when he’s outside playing or riding his bike. It’d be a great pick for an older kid since it has the UPF protection. 

Flashback Favorites

Sales of the Week

Question of the Day

Do you have a favorite summer sun dress or go-to pair of shorts?

P.S. Here’s a bonus favorite for you FitBit Versa people – this silicone strap was just $7.99 on Amazon! I ordered it in white, and I love how it buckles, which is not the usual way! 🙂

P.P.S. I’m starting a new email series called “Throw-Together Meals” that shares some of my go-to, quickie meals. Most aren’t even official recipes – just tasty combos I love to create. I’m sending it out weekly to my email list, so make sure you’re on it! 🙂

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This post contains some affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission from the company if you decide to purchase the product linked to. This compensation helps with expenses to keep CNC up and running. Thank you for your support!

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Does Diet Influence Menopause Timing?

Last week, I linked to a story about a popular vegan blogger, author, and influencer who found herself going into menopause at the age of 37 despite doing “everything right.” She exercised, she ate raw, she avoided gluten and refined sugar, and, most importantly, she avoided all animal products. Now, this wasn’t a randomized controlled trial. This wasn’t even a case study. But it was a powerful anecdote from someone whose livelihood depended on her remaining a raw vegan. It wasn’t in her interest to make it up.

So, it got me wondering: How do diet and lifestyle influence the timing of menopause?

Now, before I begin, let’s just state the obvious: Menopause isn’t a problem to be avoided. It’s not something to be feared or maligned. It’s not “the end.” I wrote an entire series on menopause last year, and there will always be more to come on the subject because it’s an important time of life with its own questions and possibilities. While it’s a natural, evolutionarily-preserved part of being a woman, it also follows a natural cadence. Menopause at the right time in accordance with your genetics is normal, expected, and healthy. Menopause that occurs earlier than your genetics would direct suggests something is amiss. Sure enough, early or premature menopause—defined in most places as menopause before the age of 40—has a number of troubling links to poor health outcomes.

Early menopause is linked to:

Not to mention that all the other things normally associated with menopause, like osteoporosis and changes in mood, also have the potential to occur, only earlier.

Okay, so early menopause can have some health consequences. Is veganism actually linked?

What Research Says About Diet and Menopause Timing

There was one study that found people who’d never been a vegetarian developed menopause at a later age, which is a roundabout way of saying that vegetarianism may increase the risk of early menopause.

Other lifestyle factors linked to later menopause included regular strenuous exercise, never smoking, midlife weight gain, and drinking alcohol. Strange mix of behaviors, both classically healthy and unhealthy.

But then another study in Han Chinese women found the opposite—that vegetarianism was associated with a lower risk of premature menopause.

Those are the only direct (if you can call it that) lines of evidence, and they conflict. No solid answers there. That said, there’s more indirect stuff pointing toward a link between exclusion of animal foods and earlier menopause:

  • A high intake of vitamin D and calcium from dietary sources has been linked to a lower risk of premature menopause. Oddly enough, supplemental vitamin D and calcium were not linked to lower risks, suggesting that it’s the food—dairy primarily, but also bone-in small fatty fish like sardines—and not the nutrients alone. So a vegan might not be in the clear simply by supplementing with D and calcium.
  • The amount of protein and carbs a woman eats throughout her life seems to predict the age at which menopause occurs. More protein, later menopause. More carbs, earlier menopause. Protein is harder and carbs are easier to come by on a plant-based diet—that’s for sure.
  • Another fairly consistent finding is that polyunsaturated fat intake “accelerates” menopause. Women who eat the most PUFA tend to have menopause earlier. High PUFA intakes are pretty unavoidable when your diet is awash in seeds, nuts, and other plant-based fat sources.

Then there was a different connection in another study.

The Nurses Health Study found that women who ate the most plant protein were more likely to avoid premature menopause; animal protein intake had no effect. They even found beneficial links between specific foods and protection against early menopause, including dark bread, cold cereal, and pasta. Those are about as unPrimal as you can get.

How Can We Make Sense of Conflicting Research?

In addition to smoking (which we all know is trouble for almost all markers of health), one thing that keeps appearing in all these observational studies—and they’re all observational studies, unable to prove causation—is that underweight BMIs predict early menopause. In the Nurses Health Study, for example, BMIs under 18.5 were linked to a 30% greater risk of early menopause and BMIs between 25 and 29 were linked to a 30% lower risk. If that’s true, and if that’s actually a causal factor, then the most important thing a woman who wants to avoid early menopause can do is avoid being underweight. In that case, filling up on foods known to cause weight gain in susceptible people like bread, pasta, and cereal would be protective (at least for early menopause).

And that could really explain why the vegan blogger developed premature menopause. In her own words, she “had run out of fuel.”

A big downfall of many plant-based diets is that they starve you. They starve you of vital micronutrients you can really only get in animal foods, like B12, zinc, creatine, cholesterol, and others. They starve you of vital macronutrients, like protein and animal fat. And they starve you of calories. It’s hard to maintain your weight and physical robustness eating a diet of leaves, twigs, and seeds (unless you’re a gorilla). Oddly enough, I think vegans who eat grains and vegan “junk food” like fake burgers and weird nut cheeses are probably better off than the gluten-free ones who live off salads, simply because they’re getting more calories. It’s true that there are many ways to eat vegetarian and even vegan—and some are healthier than others (I’ve written about Primal recommendations for vegetarians and vegans in the past), but the more restrictive a person is with animal products, the trickier it will be to stay well-nourished.

If I had to make a bet, it’d be that any diet that provides sufficient nourishment in the form of micronutrients, macronutrients, and total calories will help stave off early menopause.

What about you? What’s your take on this? Has anyone out there experienced premature/early menopause that didn’t follow natural, familial patterns? What can you recall about the diet and lifestyle leading up to it?

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References:

Wang H, Chen H, Qin Y, et al. Risks associated with premature ovarian failure in Han Chinese women. Reprod Biomed Online. 2015;30(4):401-7.

Velez MP, Alvarado BE, Rosendaal N, et al. Age at natural menopause and physical functioning in postmenopausal women: the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Menopause. 2019;

Sujarwoto S, Tampubolon G. Premature natural menopause and cognitive function among older women in Indonesia. J Women Aging. 2019;:1-15.

Løkkegaard E, Jovanovic Z, Heitmann BL, Keiding N, Ottesen B, Pedersen AT. The association between early menopause and risk of ischaemic heart disease: influence of Hormone Therapy. Maturitas. 2006;53(2):226-33.

Purdue-smithe AC, Whitcomb BW, Szegda KL, et al. Vitamin D and calcium intake and risk of early menopause. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(6):1493-1501.

Sapre S, Thakur R. Lifestyle and dietary factors determine age at natural menopause. J Midlife Health. 2014;5(1):3-5.

Boutot ME, Purdue-smithe A, Whitcomb BW, et al. Dietary Protein Intake and Early Menopause in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Am J Epidemiol. 2018;187(2):270-277.

Szegda KL, Whitcomb BW, Purdue-smithe AC, et al. Adult adiposity and risk of early menopause. Hum Reprod. 2017;32(12):2522-2531.

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My Makeup Favs + Five Minute Face

Oh haaayyyy!!!

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the Beautycounter makeup, so here is the post I promised. While the Beautycounter skincare has been a refreshing change, the makeup has been FUN! I am so not a makeup diva, and that is exactly why you should read this post. Because anybody can wear these shades and look natural and put together in five minutes without needing uber contouring skills or feeling like you’re going to leave glop behind when you hug and kiss your kids.

Here’s My Everyday Makeup

  • Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer in shade #2. I put this on everyday when I get out of bed. It’s a little moisture, a little coverage, and a little SPF all in one.
  • Concealer pen in Light. I love the clickable pen style, and the color and coverage is a good match for me.
  • Satin Blush in Melon. Makes me look alive! Melon is the perfectly pink shade, but I have heard Nectar is awesome as well. I want to try that next!
  • Necessary Nudes Eyeshadow Palette – I am obsessed with this palette and find that all of the shades look good. I wear a different one each day! It’s laid out so that the top row are all the base colors, the middle row is for your crease, and the bottom row is for dramatic accents. I generally wear a top row shade (my favorites are the Blush and Slipper, which comes in a mini duo) everyday and use the middle and bottom rows when I’m going out.
  • Lengthening Mascara – I love how delicate the wand is – it will not clump! It feels very light on my lashes, which is exactly what I want for everyday, while giving them a nice pop of color and length. I add the Volumizing on top for nights!
  • Eyeliner – Still using up an old one before I switch.
  • Sheer Lipstick – I am obsessed with the Rose color! These go on like chapstick and have a hint of vanilla essence. I am not a lipstick person because I find I just smudge it all over things (like my kids cheeks!) so this is the perfect sheer look + feel.

{Organizer from Target}

And Here’s What I add on when I’m going all out

  • Tint Skin Foundation – I have it in Linen for normal and Sand for the end of summer. I have used CC creams for years because I really don’t like a heavy foundation, but this one is not heavy at all!! It does provide a bit more coverage than the Dew Skin, and it goes on very smoothly. I never worry about looking cakey.
  • Volumizing Mascara – I bought both kinds so I could give my take on them. I prefer the Lengthening for everyday, but I like the Volumizing for extra oomph and layer it on top of the Lengthening. The Volumizing brush is thicker – more like a caterpillar – compared to the more comb-like style of the Lengthening.
  • Necessary Nudes Eyeshadow – I blend in darker shades from the middle and bottom rows mentioned above.
  • Brow Gel in Light- It has taken me a while to get into brows. But if all the pros say they are important, then they must be! I tried a pencil, which I like, but the Gel is where it’s at. It’s like a little mascara wand for your brows, and I DO think I look more ‘put together’ when I wear it.
  • Color Intense Lipstick + Gloss – My favorite shade of the Color Intense is Backstage! I also have Garden Party (hot pink!) for party nights, Brunch (neutral pink) for day time events, and 9 To 5 (the boldest) for formal events. I like these all with gloss on top!
  • Mattefying Powder – This is something I normally would have thought was kind of pointless, but I actually like it so much! I saw a few other people using it and decided to order it with some product credits I earned, and I’m so glad I did! It’s great for summertime and has so many uses: drying a sweaty face, absorbing oil, setting makeup. I use it at the beginning and end of my makeup to prime + set.
  • Bronzer in Dune. (I use this sometimes instead of blush.) I recently got this and wow does it really bring out a tan glow! Just a little tiny bit goes a very long way. Perfect for summer!

Bundle and Save: Flawless in Five

If you’re looking to overhaul your makeup, the Flawless in Five set comes with many of the above, and you save 20% off by buying it as a set. You get to pick all of your shades and choose between Dew/Tint Foundation, Lengthening/Volumizing mascara, and Brow Pencil/Gel.

If you’d like any help sorting through the products, feel free to drop your email in this little quiz and I will personally email you back!

Other Beauty Links

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