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8 common sunscreen mistakes you’re probably making

Kate Gertner | posted Tuesday, Jul 21st, 2015

SunScreen

1. Using expired goods: Yes, sunscreen does expire! Over time the active ingredients that work to protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays deteriorate and become less effective.

2. Improper storage: Where you store your sunscreen is almost as important as how often you apply it. The glove compartment, windowsill and even your beach bag may seem like convenient places but exposure to extremely hot or cold temperatures will hider the formula’s effectiveness.

3. Light-handed application: Repeat after us, you can never apply too much sunscreen. NEVER. Slather it on often (abide by bottle’s recommended re-apply times) and liberally from head-to-toe.

4. Lingo confusion: Many foundations, BB creams and tinted moisturizers list an SPF (sun protection factor), which is a measure only of the sunscreen’s effectiveness at blocking out sunburn-causing UVB rays (but not the potentially more dangerous UVA rays). For complete and effective broad-spectrum coverage (protection against both UVB and UVA rays) you need to look for products with the circle. This year, Health Canada has introduced guidelines on the amount of UVA protection required for effectiveness. Now, if a sunscreen meets these standards, the UVA symbol will be circled on the package.

5. Playing the numbers game: Don’t be fooled There is very little difference between SPF 50 and SPF 100. Soon, high SPF numbers will be a thing of the past: 50+ will be the highest sunscreen SPF on store shelves.

6. Using only on sunny days: You might be surprised to know that some of the worst sunburns occur on the cloudiest days. UV rays are invisible and can penetrate though clouds, haze and fog — they’ll get you when you least expect it.

7. Applying protection when you are already exposed to the sun: There is a reason you’re supposed to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Creams and sprays need time to absorb into the skin in order to be effective.

8. Missing the lips, ears and top of the feet: The little bits are just as sun sensitive as the rest of your face and bod. Be sure to spritz on the sun protection to keep these sensitive areas burn free too.

5 common grilling mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, Jul 16th, 2015

GrillMistakes

Even if you’re a master of the grill, after a winter spent away from the barbecue, you may find your skills are a little rusty. And if you’re a grilling novice, these tips are a great place to start. It’s the perfect time to get acquainted with your barbecue; avoiding these common mistakes will result in a delicious summer filled with effortless eats.

Here are five common grilling mistakes, a few simple tips for avoiding them:.

1. Using the wrong grilling method.
There are two ways to grill: direct heat and indirect heat. The direct heat method cooks foods that are placed directly on the heated grates. This is the commonly used when you want a good char on your vegetables, like when grilling asparagus or green onions, or for when you want a golden crust on your meat, like burgers andsteaks. With indirect grilling you create a heated zone on one side of the barbecue and use residual heat to cook food evenly – this method works perfect for grilled pizza.

Direct heat: Cheesy sliders with red onion marmalade.

Indirect heat: Grilled margherita pizza.

How do you know which method to use? Go for the indirect method when cooking foods that require more than 25 minutes of grilling, for cuts of meat over 2 inches in thickness or for highly delicate foods that can burn or scorch quickly.

2. Overcooking meat, poultry and fish.
It can be difficult to precisely control the level of heat on a barbecue, which can lead to dry, overcooked food. The best way to avoid this is to use an instant-read thermometer to check doneness. Fish can be a little trickier; a great tip is to grill fish at five minutes per 1/2-inch of thickness.

3. Food sticking to the grates.
There are a few steps you can take to prevent food from sticking to the grates. Start by cleaning the grates before each use and follow-up by brushing them with cooking oil (this will season the grates and allow food to release). Be sure to preheat the grill for at least ten minutes before grilling and allow the food to cook long enough to form a sear before flipping.

4. Vegetables falling through the grates.
Grilling adds a unique smokiness and complex flavour to vegetables. They cook quickly, but depending on their size, they are notorious for falling through the grates. Try using a veggie basket, or a favourite trick of the Chatelaine Kitchen is to create veggie packets out of aluminum foil like in our warm potato salad.

 5. Over-marinating the meat.

Marinating is one of the easiest ways to add a ton of flavour to meats and vegetables. Unfortunately, it is also easy to over-marinate leading to tough meat. Marinating times are impacted by the cut and size of the meat, but here are a few to keep in mind:

Flank, skirt and brisket: These tougher cuts should be marinated at least two hours, but can withstand up to 12 hours (keep in mind that brisket can be marinated for up to 24 hours).

Steak and chops: These cuts of meat benefit from a shorter marinating time as they will become tough if left in the marinade too long. Thirty minutes to four hours is plenty of time to soak up flavour. Try a shorter marinating time with our tandoori lamb chops.

Chicken: If you’re tight on time, 20 minutes will make a difference to chicken, but try to marinate for two hours or overnight for optimal flavour. For an easy weeknight dinner, try this citrus grilled chicken.

Fish: The acidity will start to cook the fish, so marinate for 15 minutes and no longer than an hour. No time to marinate? Try this cedar-plank salmon recipe – the flavouring is brushed on just before cooking.

12 best sunscreens for every skin type and adventure

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Jul 7th, 2015

OSunscreen

9 little steps that can improve your health fast!

Dr. Joey Shulman | posted Tuesday, Jun 23rd, 2015

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Feeling overwhelmed about how to improve your health? If so, this article is for you! All you have to do is start small with the simple steps outlined below.

1. Eat more salads – With the summer approaching, our palate tends towards fresh, raw foods. To boost your mineral, vitamin and anti-oxidant intake, get creative with your salads! Examples to include:

  • Leafy greens: spinach, romaine, watercress, kale, butter lettuce and arugula
  • Colourful vegetables: cherry tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, peas, artichokes
  • Fruits: sliced apples or pears, dried cranberries, blueberries or strawberries
  • Healthy fats: walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, pecans, avocados and/or oil-based dressings
  • Protein: grilled chicken, tuna, salmon or goat cheese

2. Include probiotic foods into your diet – Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that are beneficial for optimal digestive health, are beneficial for weight loss and for overall immune system function. Probiotic foods and beverages include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and kombucha tea.

3. Breathe deeply – It is very hard to feel tense and stressed while belly breathing. Breathing deeply through the nose switches your nervous system into a parasympathetic response that calms your nerves and is overall good for your immune system.

4. Go nuts – Eating a handful of nuts (approximately 15) has been shown to help prevent heart disease and be very beneficial for weight loss. In fact, the New England Journal of Medicine recently published findings that eating a handful of nuts per day could possibly extend your life. Unsalted and raw walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios are all great options.

5. Get outside – Studies show the best way to lower the release of your stress hormone cortisol is to get into the great outdoors! Spending time in nature will do wonders for your overall health and your sense of wellness.

6. Love thy raw – Fruits and vegetables in raw form contain an abundant amount of phytochemicals (plant nutrients that fight disease), minerals and vitamins. Try to eat a minimum of 2-3 raw food options per day. Eating raw can be as easy as having blueberries at breakfast, an apple for snack and a big salad at dinner.

7. Strengthen your core musculature – Core strengthening exercises will tone back muscles, abdominal muscles and muscles around the pelvis. This will result in better posture and a flatter looking tummy. If inclined, a few private pilates classes can teach you how to isolate and strengthen your deep core muscles. Alternatively, the simple plank pose done at home can also isolate your core effectively.

8. Listen to music – Whether you prefer rock, country, R&B or classical music, having your own personal dance party can be good for your health! Listening to music can elicit an endorphin release which helps to lower blood pressure and improve mood.

9. Chew your food carefully – When it comes to your health, you are only as healthy as your pipes. In other words, you are only as healthy as you are absorbing and digesting. Instead of rushing through your meals or snacks, be mindful of slowing down and chewing your food carefully. This one simple step is very effective in reducing signs of bloating and to get you to eat a little bit less.

www.drjoey.com
@drjoeyshulman

10 mistakes to avoid when decorating a small bedroom

Alexandra Gater | posted Thursday, Jun 18th, 2015

chatelaine

Mistake 1: Ignoring the corners.

Use the corners of your bedroom to create more storage. A corner hanging bar such as the one below can be used for sweaters or blankets.

Bedroomcorner

Mistake 2: Buying furniture that doesn’t have a dual purpose.

Invest in a bed that has storage underneath or a desk that folds against the wall to maximize space effectively. This simple and practical storage bed frame is from West Elm.

SmallBed

See more common mistakes here

How to be a better grocery shopper

Diana Duong | posted Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

BetterGroceryShopper-Feature

Learn how to pick the freshest produce and the most fibre-rich grains  —  not to mention the best deals and the shortest lines.

Pick perfect produce

Choose fruit that feels plump and heavy for its size. The skin should be firm and smooth with no tears, soft spots or bruises. Store fruit away from veggies (some fruit produces a gas that can make vegetables spoil).

Know your grains

Whole-grain products give you the benefits of both bran and germ, which are packed with vitamins and minerals. Whole wheat products, on the other hand, have had some of the bran and germ removed, although you still get more fibre from whole wheat than you do from white bread.

Get smarter about calcium

Keep an eye on milk fat (MF) in the dairy aisle. Angela Dufour, a registered dietitian in Bedford, N.S., recommends milk or yogurt with no more than 2 percent MF and cheese with less than 20 per cent. “You’ll save calories and still get the same amount of calcium.” When baking, buy buttermilk — it contains less fat than 2 per cent milk and provides the same texture.

Buy better beans

Dried beans should be uniform, smooth and shiny (when rinsing, pick out any that are discoloured, shrivelled or broken). Canned and dried are equally nutritious, but canned beans contain extra sodium. Rinsing canned chickpeas, lentils and beans for 30 seconds has been shown to reduce the sodium by 40 percent.

Shop strategically

Check flyers to see when the sale week begins and shop closer to the start date, when stock is plentiful. The best time to shop to avoid long lines is weeknights after 8 p.m., when the after-work rush is over and some meats, baked goods and produce with a short shelf life are marked down.

Be adventurous

Shop by the season and live by the flyer, says Dufour. “Instead of stocking up on bananas, why not try the pomegranates on sale? Try a new fruit or veggie each month to add different staples to your diet.”

How to start running: A step-by-step guide for beginners

James S. Fell | posted Thursday, Apr 16th, 2015

RunningArticle

Running is the king of both convenience and calorie-burning, but it takes planning, patience and persistence to become a regular runner. I tried and failed at least four times before I finally got it to stick. I’ve been a regular runner for over six years now, and I think it might hold this time. Here are my tried and tested running tips:

1. Pick a “go” day. Give yourself a couple of weeks to get everything prepared, but have a day that is specifically marked on your calendar as the day you start running. Start getting excited about this new you who is a dedicated runner.

2. Find a friend. Or a family member. This isn’t critical, but having someone who is of similar abilities who is going to join you on becoming a runner can be a powerful motivator. They don’t have to join you for every run.

3. Get tuned up. Researcher James Annesi reported in a 2001 article in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science that for aerobic training in general “music significantly improved positive affect. The elevated emotion was considered important for new exercisers during the initial months of attempting to adapt to the demands of a regular program.” Additionally, runners were surveyed and “a preference for music while training was indicated by 87 percent of the sample. Many participants interviewed retrospectively noted a reduction in perceived exertion while running at any pace with music.”

4. Get professional help, part 1. Don’t go to a regular sporting goods store, but instead choose a store that focuses just on running and get help picking proper shoes, socks, shorts, pants, gloves, hats – all the weather-specific gear you need to start running. It won’t be cheap, but with the exception of the shoes, most of it will last a long time. I’ve put about 5,000km on my Nike running tights and they’re still in good shape.

5. Get professional help, part 2. Many running stores have clinics you can sign up for that have training groups targeted to beginners. These have the benefit of having lots of educational information about the activity, having like-minded people in the group, being regularly scheduled so that you know when you’re supposed to be running.

6. We are Borg. Resistance is futile. OK, you may need to be a Star Trek geek to get that, but there is a lot of cool running technology out there you may want to consider trying. Gadgets and apps that can track your distance, pace, heart rate and probably some other stuff I don’t know about because the only technology I use is an iPod Shuffle.

7. Go day: Start slow. Exactly how far and how fast you go will depend on things like your age, weight, injuries, and previous training. One word of caution: you may have a good cardiovascular system if you spend lots of time on an elliptical trainer, but you still won’t be used to the impact of running. You will likely have the ability to run much further but shouldn’t. Go too far, and the next day you’ll hurt from the eyebrows down.

So, what I’m going to offer is some basic advice that can apply to a broad group of people, but should be altered based on your specific circumstances. It is designed to minimize pain and chance of injury, and ease you into what is admittedly a very difficult behaviour to adopt. Note that you won’t burn many calories in the beginning.

For “go” day, run 1km. That’s it. Walk part of it if you have to. Do this twice in your first week.

Week 2: Run twice this week at 1.5km each time.

Week 3: Run twice this week at 2km each time.

Week 4: Run three times at 2km each time.

Week 5: Run three times at 2.5km each time

Week 6: Run three times at 3km each time

Week 7: Schedule a 5km race for week 10. Run three times at 4km each time.

Week 8: Run three times at 4.5 km each time.

Week 9: Run three times at 5km each time.

Week 10: Keep running, and kick some serious butt in that race.

(For a beginner-to-5km daily training guide, try this program.)

Tips to keep progressing

Nine weeks to get up to 5km three times a week isn’t that fast, but it’s getting you there. You may need to go slower, or you might be able to handle faster. Be mindful of your body in terms of pain as well as personal enjoyment. Don’t burn out, but don’t get bored either. You have an important role to play in designing a program based on your unique needs.

And you want to keep pushing your limits. Running 15km a week is only the beginning. Sure, you’ll burn some calories doing this and it will be good for your fitness, but a better weekly distance is more like 30km. That’s getting into workout warrior territory. That’s when you’re really starting to blast through fat stores and get some serious health benefits. Of course, if you keep adapting yourself slowly you can continue beyond that. I rarely go fewer than 40km in a week, and am usually above 50. I know people who run a lot more than this. If you take the time to slowly push both your distance and your speed in increments, you can reach serious mileage without hurting yourself.

This may sound daunting, but if you follow through, in time you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Runners are a special breed. We’re a special breed of awesome. Join the awesome.

James S. Fell is a certified strength and conditioning specialist in Calgary, AB. Visit www.bodyforwife.com or email him at james@bodyforwife.com

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