Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Eat and Exercise Yourself into a Beautiful and Smooth Age Defying Skin

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

by Maggie Mangiel

Maggie Blog





Skin is body’s largest organ, and the desire for a younger, healthy skin that shows no signs of aging dates back to ancient times. Queen Cleopatra used to bathe in sour milk, and women in ancient Rome rubbed their skin with fermented grapes. Fast forward to a more recent history to an even more morbid story, Countess Elizabeth Báthory of Hungary, the most prolific serial killer in history, used to bathe in her virgin victims’ blood to retain her youth. Yes, most in today’s world would go to extreme length to get that flawless skin, even if it means injecting oneself with toxins to smooth out wrinkles and burning holes in the skin with lasers to force it to regenerate. According to research, 90% of women don’t like the way they look, so it’s no surprise that they will take extreme measures to change that.

So what if I told you that the key to having younger looking skin is very simple. I happen to know a thing or two about flawless skin because I am a proud wearer of one; my skin is definitely my most prized possession. You can eat yourself into a smooth radiant skin in about 30 days. Why a month?  Scientists claim that it takes about 28-30 days for a new skin cell to generate in the deeper layers of your skin and make its way to the surface of your skin. Eating the right kind of food and adding exercise to your beauty regimen can help you improve everything from fine lines to wrinkles to dark and age spots. So in a nutshell, fitness is the fountain of youth: I guess someone should have told Ponce de León that.

Eating healthy and adopting a fitness lifestyle can solve many skin issues such as premature aging, wrinkles, dry skin, bumpy skin, acne, slow wound healing, and the dreadful cellulite. Beautiful skin, like a beautiful physique, can enhance your life and promotes self-confidence. Besides the superficial, your skin performs a wide range of important bodily functions that help keep us alive.

  • Your skin is a part of your immune system, acting as a barrier between your organs and outside world, and we all know what’s out there.
  • It helps regulate your body temperature.
  • Plays a major role in maintaining bone health.
  • Can show signs of nutritional deficiencies and sometime disease symptoms; therefore, acting as a warning beacon.

There are many intrinsic and extrinsic factors that result in problematic skin issues. I have encountered women 10 years younger than me with aging skin and wrinkles. One of the intrinsic factors of aging skin is your genes; for example your hormone level. Extrinsic aging is influenced by external factors such as exposure to sunlight, smoking, bad diet, and frequent alcohol consumption. Healthy younger skin is more than just a pretty facade. It is central to your health. Your appearance (weight, skin, and waistline) gives clues about how healthy you are inside and outside. With all of that to consider, you have more of a reason to keep your skin in perfect health. Here are few things to avoid if you wish to get rid of skin problems:

1. High GI (Glycemic Index) food. It’s quickly converted to glucose which produces AGEs (advanced glycation end products) by attaching themselves to protein in collagens. AGEs contribute to aging skin.

2. Cheese and other dairy products increase your risk for wrinkles.  Research has shown that a week of eating ice cream every night is enough to cause visible damage to the skin.

3. Cigarettes. Just one cigarette causes the constriction of blood vessels, which hampers blood flow to your skin.

4. Prolonged time in the sun.

5. Alcohol. Frequent alcohol consumption causes nutritional deficiencies; especially, zinc which is essential for collegian formation. In addition, alcohol consumption enhances the formation of AGEs and causes cell death and tissue damage.

One important thing that you have to do to get that flawless beautiful skin and get rid of cellulite is exercise. Exercise is a fundamental way to get closer to flawless beautiful skin. Exercise helps your body remove toxins and waste and flushes the skin with lysozyme rich sweat which kills microbes that cause skin inflammation. It also flushes the skin with nutrients rich blood and gives your skin the material needed for cell maintenance and renewal. But most importantly exercise helps burn the glucose and sugar products which reduce the formation of AGEs.

When it comes to diet and proper nutrition, highly alkalizing foods are wonderful for the skin. These include citrus fruits, beets, apple cider vinegar, sprouts, and dark leafy greens. Eat acidifying foods such as red meat, whole grains, most fruits, sea foods in moderation, but keep in mind, sea foods contain omega 3s and fruits have antioxidants which do wonders for your skin. If your diet is lacking, here are some supplements that will enrich your skin. Vitamins C and E, calcium, Chromium, essential fatty acids, zinc. Beauty might be skin deep, but the truth of the matter is, in order for us to see your external, you have to work from the inside it out.


Maggie Mangiel of Body on Track, for War Room Sports

Don’t be a Hater: Gossip and its Effects on Health

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

by Maggie Mangiel

Maggie Blog





What is it about women and gossip?  As soon as we hit puberty we enjoy this “epic” female-kind pastime.  Just a bunch of women without a care in the world, trading negative talk about others while giggling and enjoying themselves to no end.  But is it harmless fun? Or is there more to gossip than just talk and giggles?

We all know that bullying is wrong and can lead to some serious consequences such as death, but when we take the two genders and compare them, we find that women (girls) prefer the more covert form; emotional as opposed to physical.  Emotional bullying takes the form of rumors and gossip spreads by those the victim consider friends and acquaintances, or those dubbed by pop culture as “haters”, and the instigator is usually someone very close to the victim. So the question I was asked was: “can haters and their gossip affect one’s health?” Well you bet your ass they can!  Elaine from Seinfeld once said, “boys would give each other a wedgie, and girls will tease someone till they develop an eating disorder”.  Bullying by females is so hard to detect, therefore hard to combat, which makes its effects even more severe. But what is it that compels women to gossip, is it biology or how we’re brought up?  What makes us the judge of others’ lives and their choices, and deem them unacceptable? Well I think the answer to that could be a long dissertation by some psychology/sociology grad student…it’s way above my pay grade.  However, a point that is worth noting is that female aggression is closely related to abuse and trauma suffered at home, so in this case the perpetrator is also a victim, and nurture obviously plays a big role here.

gossip_450x200Women tend to employ passive aggressive behavior in their attacks, unlike men who would use a fist to solve their problems, so we could call that biology then.  They would form a clique of friends a là the movie Mean Girls, and torment their victim by way of spreading vicious rumors that would eventually lead to the destructions of the reputation of their “frenemy”.  They would feel a sense of superiority over their “subject” and set out to “out” her “bad behavior” to the masses. They truly believe that they are in the right, so can we blame some kind of mental disorder here? It is safe to say that the aggressors might suffer from negative self-concept, body image issues, and poor relationships ties (Canadian Mental Health, 2009). The victim, of course, is not getting away without a scratch here (meow, no pun intended).  She might fall into depression, develop eating disorders, her relationships will deteriorate, and in some worse but real instances, take her own life.  Yeah this is some serious stuff, so gossiping is not so harmless after all is it?

So what can we do to eliminate this kind of ill behavior?  First, remove yourself.  If you find yourself participating in this is sort of thing, stop and repeat this; “happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”- Mahatma Gandhi.  Be mindful of what you say.  Your words can be deadly.  Gossiping can rob you of your own happiness, not to mention, destroy another’s life. Try to address the underlying emotional issues that compel you to do this.  Research has shown that most women who participate in gossip are victims of abuse, whether as children at the hands of their parents or as adults in unhealthy romantic relationships. (Canadian Mental Health 2009).  You are the solution.  If you see your friends/family take part in this, be vocal! Call them out on it! Educate them! Let them know how dangerous this behavior is. Hell, start an intervention if you must.  Friends don’t let friends gossip!  Assess the connection that you have with said person and see if you can build and better that relationship.  They might be hurt, suffering, or feeling neglected and that why they are resorting to this behavior.  Also find better things to do.  Engage in new hobbies, maybe even join a gym (yep you knew that fitness plug was coming, didn’t you?)

If for whatever reason beyond your control, you have to gossip, well then why don’t you engage in positive gossip?  Compliment someone in their absence, whether by stating what wonderful act they have committed, how beautiful they are, or how their mere company delights you, and remember, “strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and weak mind discuss people”.  Don’t be weak-minded!!!


Maggie Mangiel of Body on Track, for War Room Sports

Discrimination and Your Health: What to do to Protect Yourself from the Health Hazards of Prejudice

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

by Maggie Mangiel

Maggie Blog







In a diverse environment such as ours where everyone interacts on a daily basis with people from all walks of life, some of us have discriminated or have been discriminated against.  Being a woman of color who lives in a part of the country with a deep-seated bias against people of different backgrounds, I sure have had my share. I have been refused service at a coffee shop and asked to leave for no apparent reason.  I have had my occasional uncomfortable encounter at a workplace.  Many or some of you can relate to such instances. Discrimination comes in forms of gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, and most prevalent, race. Even the rich & famous encounter instances of discrimination.  For example, Oprah Winfrey has had few such encounters in her lifetime with the latest being in Zurich at the Tom Ford store.  Let us not mention what the winner of 2014 Miss America, Nina Davuluri, went through in the hands of social media from racist and ignorant tweeps.  With that being said, how does such experience impact our health and well-being?  Does discrimination go beyond a distasteful experience and a ruined day?  Experts say yes.

Perceived discrimination has been studied with regard to its impact on several types of health effects, both mental and physical. Being mistreated based on things beyond one’s control can lead to mental distress such as anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem.  A study at Princeton University has shown that stress is directly and indirectly related to many diseases and disorders such as high blood pressure and inflammation in artery walls, which is the cause of heart disease.  Experts also explain that for the discrimination to be effective, it need not be explosive or emotional.  Accepting discriminatory, unfair treatment has been proven more harmful.  In a study conducted in 1993, participants included 831 Black men, 1143 Black women, 1006 White men, and 1106 White women 25 to 37 years old; results were that systolic blood pressure among working-class black adults reporting that they typically accepted unfair treatment and had experienced racial discrimination was about 7 mm Hg higher than those reporting that they challenged unfair treatment and experienced racial discrimination in one or two of the situations.  Even subconscious prejudice can be deadly, literally.  Researchers have shown that middle class, college educated African Americans have less life expectancy.  They also earn less money and have less access to healthcare than their white counterparts, all due to systematic bias.  African Americans receive 35% less pay than Whites for doing the same job with the same qualifications.  Earning less means not affording the best of food or health insurance coverage, and also living in less than ideal neighborhoods.  It also means not affording top education for your children, which perpetuates the cycle.  In addition, people who have taken an oath to do no harm have shown prejudice because of race and age.  Nurses and care givers in emergency rooms have been observed to keep young men of African or Hispanic backgrounds, with traumatic injuries, waiting longer and without offering them painkillers.  Elderly non-whites reported being ignored and not treated for their pain and suffering.  Furthermore, white women who have been discriminated against due to their gender or age tend to have higher levels of visceral fat, which is associated with higher risks for developing diabetes and heart disease, just as in black women who experience racism.  Besides, women on average earn less money than men due to gender discrimination.

With all of that aside, discrimination is hard to prove at times, and you cannot always take your case to customer services, human resources, or a court of law.  You just know it and feel it, but what can you do to protect yourself and your health?  Here are few ways in which you can combat subtle prejudice as suggested by a professor at Harvard School of Public Health:

  • Take care of your health, manage what you eat, exercise and meditate.  Doing so can help minimize your need for health care services.
  •  Learn as much as you can about your health condition so you can ask intelligent question and provide informative data to healthcare givers if the situation ever arises, that way you would get the full attention of your physician and you will not be ignored and rushed during your session.
  • If you are an elderly, have a relative, a family friend, or a church member accompany you on medical visits.
  • Understand your own strength and value.  Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.
  • Do not give in to stereotypes.  You are not a loud-mouth, angry person nor a drunk just because of your racial background. So when in a situation and you feel that you are being pushed to act in a stereotypical manner, reject the urge to give in.
  •  Choose a refined language when addressing the matter, you make the situation worse by your choice of words.  For example, instead of saying, “is this because I’m black” , say, “I feel that I’m not being treated like everyone else” or “please explain to me why I’m receiving less than ideal service”.
  •  Last but not least, address the issue when it happens.  Avoiding the situation leads to bigger health risks.

To discriminate is a failure to relate to another person’s humanity; hence not treating them with dignity and respect.  If you ever feel that you are being prejudiced against someone due to their race, gender, age, or religion, try to picture yourself in their shoes.  Reject all stereotypes.  Discrimination reflects the cultural feeds that people get, and the only way to fight it is by refusing to give in.


Maggie Mangiel of Body on Track, for War Room Sports