Tag Archives: Wellness

Top Five Fruits To Eat Now


By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”

We all know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well it turns out its not just an apple, its fruit in general that keeps one healthy, energized, and fit 4 life.

How much fruit are you getting daily? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that last year about one-third of U.S. adults consumed fruit or fruit juice at least twice a day. That’s down slightly from more than 34% in 2000 and is also less than half of what is recommended.  Here is just a short list of the benefits of fruit so you can get a sense of what you’re missing out on if you’re not eating fruit regularly:

1. Slows down aging process, 2. Weight loss, 3. Increases energy, 4. Lowers cholesterol, 5. Lowers blood pressure

Best Way to Eat Fruit

The best way 2 eat fruit is raw.  The way fruit grows is the way it should be eaten. When ripe, fruit is at its height of potency providing the most benefits.  Fruit juice is high in sugar and true it does provide vitamins and minerals but you miss out on the skin and pulp, which helps every body function.  Diced fruit is usually not as fresh as whole fruit.  Always remember this when it comes to any kind of food, “the fresher the better!”

Top Five Fruits

All fruits are good for. But I compiled a short list of the best fruits and what they do specifically, so you can go shopping today!

1. Wild Mixed Berries – (blue, rasp, straw, black, cran, goji, coffee, noni, acai, etc.) Berries as a whole are nutritional powerhouses. They can help joint health, heart health, cancer prevention, muscular degeneration along with a host of other benefits from their plethora of antioxidants and nutrients.

2. Kiwifruit – Kiwis are an often an overlooked fruit, as they almost taste too good to be so healthy!  They have twice the vitamin C of oranges, and are one of the most nutrient dense fruits on the planet.  They are very high in fiber and potassium for a healthy heart.  Kiwis have been shown to not only prevent oxidative DNA damage, but they have been shown to help stimulate the repair of the cellular damage that has occurred.

3. Cherries – Cherries are loaded with antioxidant compounds that are anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-cancer. They contain a wonderful ingredient called quercetin, an anti-cancer compound.  They also contain ellagic acid, like raspberries, a powerful anti-tumor compound that causes cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells, with no change to healthy cells. It is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial.

4. Pomegranates – Enjoy either the fresh seeds and pulp, or even indulge in a few ounces of juice everyday as this will help lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and help slow aging.  Pomegranates are also shown to help prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, help prevent blood clotting, slow the growth of prostate cancer, and improve erectile dysfunction.

5. Red Delicious Apple – This apple has the most antioxidants of any apple, mainly due to its deep red color.  Apples, like cherries, also contain quercetin, which is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that may help prevent Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Apples are also high in pectin, a great soluble shown to help lower LDL cholesterol.  Apples are also high in boron, which may help prevent osteoporosis and arthritis.

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Dropping Some “L-Bs” With P90X


By Keesha Boyd

Probably the only positive thing about the weird weather we’ve been having this year is the fact that the lack of sustaining high temperatures has bought us all some time to still get “beach body ready”. While there are a lot of ways to do this, I tend to enjoy doing activities that are challenging and have a clear goal at the end. Recently my big brother and his best friend decided to tackle the increasingly popular P90X. You’ve seen the infomercials, they’re usually sandwiched somewhere in between Hip Hop Abs and some miracle juicer. My brother’s results have inspired me and given that I’m never one to back down from a challenge, I’ve decided to give it a try.

I’m only on day two of ninety and I’m embarrassed to say that P90X is kicking my rump all up and down my condo!!!! It was as if I was an 800lb woman trying to enter a fitness contest!! I kept thinking to myself, between huffs and puffs, “Keesha, you’re an athlete! Get it together girl!” But my body was saying, “Keesha, you USED to be an athlete! Sit your behind down somewhere!”

Despite my privately humiliating first day of working out with P90X, I’m going to keep it up and here’s why, once you get past the pain, it’s actually an engaging and comprehensive workout plan that really gets results. The box set comes with 12 DVDs, resistance band, complete nutrition guide and a complete fitness guide to record progress, learn moves and explain the 90-day workout plan. Better still, each day you’re doing a different routine so the workout doesn’t get boring and you’re body won’t get a chance to plateau. And when you start feeling like you want to quick, just flip through the book to see all of the insanely inspiring before and after pictures from others who successfully completed the program.

Okay Vyne Readers…if you’re ready to drop some “L-Bs”, step up to the P90X challenge. Purchase your DVDs and join me on this 90-day journey. If you’re already doing it, let us know how it’s going for you. With a program like this, it’s always helpful to have a community of support. Let’s get “beach body” ready Vyne Readers!

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PMS in Your 30’s…a Doozy!


Somewhere around “version 2.8” of myself and the current “version 3.4” of myself, I noticed something. It only took numerous “out of the blue” attitudes, senseless arguments with that “special person in my life” and several of my “last nerves” to realize….I have raging PMS!

Dinner with some girlfriends a few weeks ago celebrating April birthdays, revealed that thankfully, I’m not alone. Turns out that each of us well dressed, smart, sensible women have at least three days out of the month when the simple things can get on, in, around and basically all up and through our last nerve. Causing us to have a decreased ability to filter virtually anything we say during this time period. Likewise, patience seems to take a complete hiatus, as does anything reminiscent of a calm, reasonable reaction. You know what I’m talking about ladies. Those instances when that co-worker of yours who usually jokes with you suddenly ticks you off with their humor? Or when you’ve decided that now is the time for you to tell that man friend of yours how mad you are about what he did a month ago? Or maybe you’re on your couch, curled up with some Haagen  Dazs crying for the “fifty-leventh” time over “fill in the blank” movie.

What ever your story is, if you haven’t yet made the connection between your wild mood swings and your menstrual cycle, let this serve as your wake up call. PMS is real and according to WebMD, 3 out of 4 women suffer from it. A total of 8% of women have the severe form of PMS known as PMDD (Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder). Generally, PMS flares up during the time of ovulation. As if breaking into your 30’s isn’t traumatic enough, PMS is said to be at it’s highest in your late 20’s to early 30’s (oh joy).

Well, we’re all about solutions here at The Vyne and while we can’t “solve” PMS, we did do a little research to compile a few tips to at least help you manage your PMS better.

Tips For Managing Your PMS

1)  iPeriod – Shout out to my aunt for telling me about the iPhone app called  iPeriod. You enter the days when your cycle starts and after two cycles it actually keeps track of your cycle, ovulation, potential PMS days, etc. If you know it’s coming, perhaps you can be more prepared…or at least let others know to be prepared!

2)   Radio Silence – Okay, so completely disconnecting from people is clearly not a healthy option, however, there’s nothing wrong with making a conscious decision to limit your amount of general conversations for a few days.

3)   Calcium and B6 – According to WebMD, calcium and vitamin B6 are helpful in curbing the symptoms of PMS.

4)   Workout – Getting your heart pumping releases endorphins, which make your mind/body feel naturally happy.

5)   Table Your Decisions – It’s usually a good idea not to make major decisions when you’re emotional. Since PMS is all about emotions, try to avoid scheduling meetings during this time that may require you to make major decisions and definitely refrain from having “the talk” with your man while you’re in the throws of PMS….outcome will not be good ladies.

6)   Aromatherapy – I’m a huge fan of aromatherapy. Lavender is a great scent for evoking calmness and tranquility. Try keeping some lavender room spray handy in your office at work and in your home. Spray it in the air and take deep cleansing breaths.

If you have other effective tips for managing PMS, do share with us!

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Smell Your Way to Health and Happiness


What if you could reduce your stress, sleep better at night, increase your mental alertness and balance your energy and moods all at the same time? According to Ayurvedic doctors and Aromatherapists, you can…just by inhaling the pure fragrance of essential oils. The impact of aroma on the brain’s limbic system has been studied for ages. Scientific research and studies continue to grow and in several cases have shown significant results linking the aroma of essential oils to positive impacts on the mind and body.

Here are a few easy ways to introduce the benefits of aromatherapy into your daily life:

1)      Chakra Spray – Loving these seven chakra sprays by Aveda. They are infused with pure essential oils blended specially to balance the energy centers associated with each of the seven chakras. Mist them on and around yourself any time of the day (I particularly like to do this before going to bed—helps relax me after a long day)

2)      Bath Time – Try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your bath water for a relaxing experience that sure to help you sleep better and de-stress.

3)      Calm Your Road Rage – If you commute to and from work try these vent sticks by Car-ma. Although they are not pure essential oils they do have great relaxing and energizing fragrances to turn your car into your own private moment of Zen. I particularly like the lavender scent.

4)      Love Potion #9 – It’s quite possible that love potion number nine contained the essential oil ylang-ylang as it has been shown to appeal to men due to its deep scent. Note to self ladies!

5)      In the Office – Keep a few aromatherapy air fresheners made with pure essential oils at your desk and spray throughout the day when you need a boost or a moment of relaxation after a tough meeting.

For more information about essential oils and their proper use/benefits, check out this site

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Holiday Health Tips


By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”

Ok so we are embarking on yet another Thanksgiving holiday. This is the time of the year where all my clients seem to fall completely off! But this year can be different for you if you follow the Chicago Fit 4 Life holiday health tips. I gave you the secret to getting a six pack   so trust me when I say you can still enjoy this time of year without putting on 5-10lbs that will take you all next year to work off.

CF4L Holiday Health Tips 

Tip #1:  Fasting – Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is usually eaten earlier in the day because we typically are not going into work on these days. Why not just take the day completely off? By that I mean, no eating the entire day until you sit down for your holiday meal. Drink a lot of water during the day. The body can process about 700 calories at once. Excess calories tend to be stored and can turn to fat rather quickly.

Tip #2: Alcohol – Most of the time holidays fall on a weekday and we don’t have to work the next day, so we tend to indulge ourselves with that extra glass of wine or a cocktail. Wrong! Alcohol consumption quickly adds extra calories, offers little health benefits, and will leave you with unwanted pounds that will take all year to get off. Alcohol suppresses the central nervous system. When alcohol is added to a meal, less fat is burned on average which causes more fat to be stored by the body.

Tip #3: Be Active – Be active on the holiday. Start the day off with a 30 min. walk, then after dinner do another 30 min walk. This will give you one hour of cardio which can burn anywhere from 200-500 calories. It will help you offset at least your dessert for that day.

Tip #4: Holiday not Holi-month! – Just eat one dinner, one day and move on. Too many times we try to re-live Thanksgiving all the way up until Christmas. We bring Thanksgiving dinner for lunch, then go home and eat the dinner again and do this day after day until all the food has been consumed. What we don’t realize is the effect this has on our body. Thanksgiving dinner is on average 3,000 calories and 300 grams of fat. So consider cooking less food this year to cut down on the obligatory “left over” eating.

Siddiqu is a personal trainer & founder of Chicago Fit 4 Life

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Stay Healthy Travel and Office Tips


doctorIf you’re a woman on the go, chances are your busy travel schedule can’t stop for the outbreak of H1N1. So in the interest of promoting health and wellness we’ve compiled a few tips we’ve come across to help you avoid those pesky travel and office germs:

1. Sit towards the front of the airplane. Ventilation systems on most commercial aircraft provide better airflow at the front of the plane.

2. Avoid drinking coffee or tea on airplanes. Monitoring by the Environmental Protection Agency has shown that water in airplanes water tanks is not always clean. Coffee and tea is usually made from this water as opposed to bottled. So stick to ordering single serve beverages.

3. Moisturize the inside of your nostrils with saline nasal gel or a good antibacterial (alcohol free) moisturizing cream. It keeps your nose from drying out on the plane and can help trap dust particals and pollutants before they enter your airway.

4. Check out these tips from Dr. Oz on how to keep your pocketbook and make-up santized and nearly germ free.

5. Stack up on your travel size hand sanitizer and use it generously. Keep a bottle on your desk at the office too!

6. Know the facts about H1N1. Learn more here on WebMD

7. This goes without saying, but pack your vitamins and herbs in your carry-on luggage or keep in your desk at work. This time of year we’re loving Airborne and a variety of great teas with plenty of health benefits like Echinacea tea with honey.

Do you have some “stay healthy travel tips” that you use? If so, share them with us! Let’s all stay healthy!

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Spotlight On: Dr. Lisa Masterson


Dr. Lisa Masterson

Dr. Lisa Masterson

You’ve heard of Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, now meet, Dr. Lisa Masterson, specialist in obstetrics, gynecology, infertility, adolescent gynecology and family planning. Currently starring as the only female doctor on the hit spin-off show, The Doctors, Dr. Lisa Masterson is anything but your typical OB/GYN. 

Lisa’s interests and talents have stretched globally to bring awareness to women of all walks of life. She credits her mother and her grandmother as her inspiration. Her grandmother, Mattie Ruth Smith, is a native of Louisiana and was the eldest of twelve children. Her grandmother’s passion for education led her to become a schoolteacher in black schools throughout the state. Lisa’s mother, La V’onne Smith, also had a passion for education and began her career as a professor at the University of Washington. It’s no surprise that her passion for education soon developed into a passion for working with the community. She served in the Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and eventually went on to become director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office in San Diego. It was then that Lisa’s education began to take off. She attended The Bishop’s School, a well-respected private school in La Jolla, CA known for it’s rigorous academic curriculum.

Upon graduating from The Bishop’s School, Lisa went on to attend Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. After graduating she moved back to CA to attend Medical School at the University of Southern California. Tragedy struck during Lisa’s first year as an Obstetrics and Gynecology intern at USC/County Hospital in 1993. Lisa’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Only a year later, Ms. La V’onne Smith passed away having left an indelible imprint on her daughter’s life and the communities she served.

Lisa says of her mother, “Because of [her] strength and independence as a woman, she was, and is, my governing inspiration.  As a private person, she gave us all the encouragement and nourishment a mother could give.  As a public figure, she was a major participant in the equal rights movement which has always been foremost in my life.”

It is likely the legacy of her mother that has propelled Lisa to excel in her field.  She has appeared on such shows as  The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Anderson Copper 360 and The Tyra Banks Show to name a few. Currently she can be seen co-hosting the new syndicated series “The Doctors”, the runaway hit spin-off from Dr. Phil McGraw and Jay McGraw. On the show Lisa and her co-hosts investigate and discuss controversial medical topics, busts medical myths and answer burning questions from viewers who are too afraid to ask their own doctors.

Apart from being on staff at Cedars-Sinai, St. John’s and UCLA/Santa Monica and running her own unconventional practice in Santa Monica , it is Dr. Masterson’s work abroad that is most remarkable. Her passion to provide global medical relief to underdeveloped regions led her to create the Maternal Fetal Care International (MFCI), a charitable organization dedicated to helping mothers and their children. MFCI brings volunteer physicians, medical supplies, equipment and training to enhance the level of medical care decrease the mother-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. She is currently creating the first OB/GYN residency program in Eritrea, Africa, and has started birthing clinics in Kenya and India. Dr. Lisa Masterson may not be a household name yet, but she is certainly well on her way.

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