Enhanced Water Is Not Your Friend!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

One of the first questions I ask my clients is how much water they drink.  And one of the most common answers I get is “well, I drink lots of tea and VitaminWater!”  Guess what guys, VitaminWater and other “enhanced,” flavored water-type beverages are NOT water, they are really no better than soda, and they have the same negative effects on your body!  Don’t believe me?  Pick up a bottle of Vitamin Water and read the ingredients.  The 2nd and 3rd ingredients are sugar!  With the additional additives of color, flavor, and “stabilizers,” you are drinking a beverage that is really no different from soda, no matter how many vitamins they add.

What about the other guys on the market? Mio Liquid Water Enhancer, Skinny Water, Propel Fitness Water, Dasani Drops are the watered down equivalents of diet soda.  Instead of sugar, they feature artificial sweeteners like sucralose, dextrose, or aspartame, which are linked to obesity, digestive problems, neurological issues, diabetes, and cancer.  These guys kill off the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which wreaks all kinds of havoc on your system, and can lead to an overgrowth of candida (read more about candida overgrowth). They’re also loaded with a whole bunch of questionable ingredients that definitely don’t pass the basic food rule: “If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.”

So-called “enhanced” waters are yet another in a long line of marketing ploys designed to get you to poison your body under the guise of health.  Be smart.  Read your ingredients.  Don’t be a victim of false advertising!  Water — pure, filtered H2O, gives your body all the hydration it needs, and does not need to be a source of vitamins in your diet.  Eat healthy, and take some high-quality supplements if you need a vitamin boost!  (Check out our Basic Supplement Guide to find out which supplements you may need.)

So what do you do if you just aren’t a big water person?  There are definitely safer and more natural unsweetened, lightly flavored waters out there, like MetroMint and Hint Water, but the safest and healthiest option is simply to flavor your water yourself!  A squeeze of lemon or an infusion of yummy berries and herbs is delicious, and gives you control over factors like quality, organics, and intensity of flavor.  Check out our review of the adorable and eco-friendly Glass Water Bottle with Infuser from AdNArt.

{Images: Choice.comPlaynormous.com, The Geeky Store}

Bikini Showdown: Sugaring vs. Wax

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

It may not be getting warm outside yet, but listen ladies, it’s time to get your business in order. When you’re taken care of, you feel prettier and sexier… When you feel sexier, you feel better about yourself… This leads to a happier relationship with your partner and/or yourself! So start shaving those legs, and get in there for some grooming.

I actually often get asked if there is a healthier alternative to waxing, and there is! Behold, a waxing vs. sugaring, a comparison:

Waxing

Ingredients

There are a lot of different waxes out there, with ingredients that include resins and chemical ingredients like dyes, fragrances, and preservatives. Depending on the quality of the wax, there may also be some harmful additives like BHT and parabens, bad guys you definitely don’t want anywhere near your special lady parts.

Method

There are a few different types of wax. Hard wax goes on hot and hardens, it can then be pulled off without the use of cloth strips. The extreme heat and hardness of the wax can be especially painful for sensitive skin. Soft wax also goes on hot, and then is removed with a cotton or muslin cloth. It can be slightly less painful, and is often not quite as scorching hot. There is also soft wax that goes on with a roller, which typically has more harmful ingredients and is less effective. Lastly, there are cold wax strips. They typically come pre-applied and do not need to be heated. They often have more chemical ingredients and are not as effective as hot wax.

Waxing Pros

  • Really effective at removing hair
  • Different types to choose from to suit different kinds of hair (from course to fine)

Waxing Cons

  • Can burn skin
  • Lower quality and chemical ingredients
  • Bacteria can grow in wax and cause infection
  • Can remove a layer of skin, in addition to hair

Sugaring

Ingredients

Sugaring is made from natural ingredients — sugar, lemon juice, and water. Sometimes essential oils or glycerin are added.

Method

Sugaring is performed in the same way as wax. Typically, the sugaring mixture isn’t quite as hot as hot wax, which can be less painful.

Sugaring Pros

  • Natural, skin-healthy ingredients
  • Effective at removing hair
  • Bacteria is not as apt to live in sugaring mixture
  • Less hot, so won’t burn skin
  • Won’t remove skin

Sugaring Cons

  • Often times slightly more expensive

Clearly, sugaring wins out with way more pros than waxing. It is also super easy to do at home! I really like Moom Organic Hair Removal Kit, which is all-natural and works really well. You can also make your own at home!

At-Home Sugaring Recipe

Combine 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 cup fresh lemon juice in a saucepan. Simmer over low heat, mixing regularly. Once it’s hot, remove from heat and let cool slightly before applying. Apply to hair, use muslin waxing cloths to remove.

CAUTION: BEWARE DOUBLE-DIPPING

If you get your sugaring or waxing done at a salon, make sure to go a NO DOUBLE DIPPING salon. Most salons will use the same application stick for a client’s entire waxing session, transferring all kinds of bacteria into the wax or sugar mixture. A salon that doesn’t double dip will use a different applicator stick every time they dip into the mixture, ensuring that no bacteria is transferred from client to client. This is crucial to preventing infection, and even STD’s!