CHRISTA Billich was one of the first people to use Botox when it arrived here 15 years ago. She reveals what it’s done to her face.
IT’S enough to raise eyebrows. That is, if the eyebrows haven’t been paralysed.
Despite its omnipresence in pop culture and beauty mags, Botox has only been around for 15 years.
Yep, this month is the birthday of the game-changing, wrinkle-smoothing, injectable wonder, which — in April 2002 — got its official government go-ahead for cosmetic use, a move that turned it into one of the most successful pharmaceutical brands in history.
Since its introduction in Australia we’ve been ranked as one of the world’s biggest spenders on the injectable. And one of the very first Australians to undergo the procedure was colourful Sydney socialite — and both Melbourne and Sydney Real Housewives regular — Christa Billich.
“It was really just one of those things,” she remembers. “A cosmetic surgeon in LA was a collector of my husband, Charles’, work, and I remember him raving about Botox — the ease of the procedure and its little to no downtime. It sounded amazing and I was SO ready to have it done! So when I heard it was on its way to Sydney, I jumped on it.”
While admitting to undergoing various other procedures before the availability of Botox (“I wasn’t going to wait around for its miracles!”) she admits to being nervous ahead of her first injection.
“I’m not scared of needles, but I certainly don’t like them,” she says. “I had a champagne en route to the clinic — maybe two — which I’d probably not recommended, but whatever works, right?
“After the treatment, I was completely shocked when I looked in the mirror — I was expecting smooth skin right away, and instead had strange bumps where the needle had been. I was assured they’d do gown and surely enough, they did.
“It took longer for the effects to kick in than I thought, but that’s how Botox works, it needs a little time to start working its magic. Wrinkles start to soften and they don’t start coming back, as long as you keep up with the treatments.”
For Christa it marked the beginning of a 15-year-long love affair: “I was and am hooked!”
HER CHANGING FACE
Christa, 70, doesn’t want to even contemplate what she’d look like if Botox hadn’t come along when it did.
“Are you kidding, darling!” she laughs. “Never think about the what ifs. I’m very happy it arrived though. My face now looks natural, tight, smooth and youthful.”
This facial rejuvenation is also something she credits with attracting the attentions of younger admirers.
“I think younger men think I’m younger than I really am because
If you’ve got your ear to the ground you will no doubt have been hearing about cacao powder benefits. However, there’s plenty of confusion surrounding raw cacao – what is it? Are the snack bars, protein powders and spreads (read: Pip and Nut) that list cacao also healthy?
They’re all worth-while questions. Especially considering how many food bloggers, nutritionists and PTs sprinkle the brown stuff on their smoothie bowls. And let’s not forget that time Daisy Lowe shared her cacao smoothie, or when 42 Juice whipped up an exclusive sweet cacao ice lolly recipe for you.
Read on for why cacao powder benefits aren’t fake news.
First off, what is cacao?
“The botanical name for the cacao tree is theobroma cacao, which roughly translates as ‘food of the gods’,” states Motion Nutrition. In reality it’s the unprocessed chocolate superfood that’s turbocharged with magnesium flavanoids, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese to name a few. As raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans these nutritional wins aren’t lost during processing.
Four Cacao powder benefits
Raw cacao is one of the best food sources of magnesium – a mineral that many of you lack from your diet. Magnesium is essential for energy production, for a healthy brain and nervous system, for our muscles and for strong bones and teeth. Magnesium may also support a healthy blood pressure.
Cacao is a source of iron, which builds the blood and helps to transport oxygen around our body, as well as potassium, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium.
Cacao can also be high in flavonoids, which have antioxidant activity. Raw cacao and flavonoid-rich chocolate have been linked with heart health benefits including increasing the good form of cholesterol (HDL) in our blood, lowering blood pressure and even improving vascular function in patients with congestive heart failure. These effects are thought to be primarily due to the antioxidants contained in the cacao.
In addition, cacao contains a compound called phenylethylamine (PEA for short!). PEA is thought to elevate mood and
- Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, mental strength coach, and international bestselling author.
- As a therapist, Morin has counseled many couples through challenging experiences in their relationships.
- With the spread of the coronavirus, there’s a growing chance that you and your partner may be required to work from home.
- This increase of close quarters may be welcoming for some couples, and stressful for others — here’s 5 ways to handle the situation.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Being confined to a small space together can be quite stressful for any couple. But add in the stress of the outbreak of a potentially life-threatening illness, and you might find even further trouble tolerating one another.
Fortunately, there are some ways to help one another get through quarantine. Here’s what you can do to ensure that your relationship survives being confined in a small room together:
Help each other deal with the emotional rollercoaster
From anger to fear, the quarantine will likely stir up a lot of emotion. And you might experience these emotions coming in waves.
You may find yourselves laughing one minute and crying just a short time later. And of course, you’re likely to be bored and frustrated in between. This is all normal when faced with such a highly stressful and unfamiliar situation as quarantine. There’s little known about what to expect, what might happen, or when you will be able to leave.
Help one another ride this emotional rollercoaster. Rather than minimize your partner’s feelings by saying, “Oh there’s nothing to be scared about,” say things like, “I know this is a scary situation.” Just knowing that you’re listening can provide a big sense of relief for your partner.
Focus on being kind and respectful
Any stressful situation can cause you to grow a bit irritable and snarky with one another. But under normal circumstances, you can walk away and take a break. Obviously, you can’t do that when you’re quarantined in the same room.
Make it a goal to treat your partner with kindness — even when you don’t feel like it. Apologize when you are unkind, and forgive your partner for being rude at times as well.
Keep in mind that even though there aren’t a lot of things you can control when you’re quarantined, one thing you can control is how you treat one another. So make it a goal to remain kind and respectful despite feeling stressed out.
Practice healthy coping skills
When you’re quarantined, you won’t have access to many of the coping skills you’ve likely grown accustomed to in managing distress — like walking around the neighborhood or going for a drive to listen to music. Consequently, you might find yourself feeling a bit helpless when it comes to managing your mood.
Fortunately, there are some simple coping strategies you can turn to even when you’re quarantined. Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, drawing, listening to music, reading a book, or just pacing around the room might decrease your stress and help you feel better.
Work on managing your emotions so you can be the best partner you are able to under the circumstances. Talk about the skills that are working for you, and offer to assist your partner
In addition to ruining your hair, rain has a habit of ruining outdoor spring and summer dates. Cute impromptu picnic? Forget it. That outdoor music festival? Probably not. When a sudden rainstorm interrupts your plans for a date, you have some choices: (a) brave the weather and hope your hair doesn’t turn into Monica’s from the Barbados episode of Friends, (b) choose an equally fun indoor activity, (c) straight up refuse to leave the house and instead stay in together, or (d) be that person who asks for a last-minute raincheck (don’t be that person).
But if you find yourself needing a little inspiration for your backup plan, here’s a list of some classic rainy-day date ideas for when you’re sick of going to the movie theater as your only dry option.
Go bowling. A frizzy ponytail goes well with those shoes anyway.
Enjoy some art. This is the perfect opportunity to finally go to that museum’s new photography exhibit everyone is talking about so you can quit pretending you’re just as cultured as your hip friend who always manages to do that stuff before you even hear of it.
Get cultured. Find a random local performance that you probably didn’t even know was happening—a concert or a play or a comedy show—and snag the cheapest seats. You might discover a new favorite band, but even if it ends up being awful, at least it will be dry.
Act like kids. Think of the fun stuff your parents took you to do when you were driving them nuts inside the house. Playing at an arcade or visiting a roller-skating rink (so retro!) is a much more fun indoor activity than sulking.
Go shopping. We’re not talking about those awkward mall dates you had as a teenager. Go buy something you both can do together, like fun new game, or hit up an international grocery store for a new wine to try (Lebanon and Georgia—the country, that is—have some great ones).
Check out the local booze scene. Got a craft brewery, distillery, winery, in your area? See if they have any available tours or tastings that day, or make a day of hopping between them (just have Uber be your DD).
Play grown-up games. Pool halls are basically the arcades of the older set. Being inside a dingy, dark bar on a glorious spring day would be a waste, but it’s the perfect use of a cold and rainy one. If pool’s not your thing, find one that
READ MORE HERE: https://www.glamour.com/story/rainy-day-dates
If you’re a passionate yoga practitioner, you’ve probably noticed some yoga benefits—maybe you’re sleeping better or getting fewer colds or just feeling more relaxed and at ease. But if you’ve ever tried telling a newbie about the benefits of yoga, you might find that explanations like “It increases the flow of prana” or “It brings energy up your spine” fall on deaf or skeptical ears.
Researchers Are Catching On to Yoga’s Benefits
As it happens, Western science is starting to provide some concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay. Once you understand them, you’ll have even more motivation to step onto your mat, and you probably won’t feel so tongue-tied the next time someone wants Western proof.
First-Hand Experience With the Benefits of Yoga
I myself have experienced yoga’s healing power in a very real way. Weeks before a trip to India in 2002 to investigate yoga therapy, I developed numbness and tingling in my right hand. After first considering scary things like a brain tumor and multiple sclerosis, I figured out that the cause of the symptoms was thoracic outlet syndrome, a nerve blockage in my neck and chest.
“…for more than a year, I’ve been free of symptoms.”
My experiment proved illuminating. At the Vivekananda ashram just outside of Bangalore, S. Nagarathna, M.D., recommended breathing exercises in which I imagined bringing prana (vital energy) into my right upper chest. Other therapy included asana, Pranayama, meditation, chanting, lectures on philosophy, and various kriya (internal cleansing practices). At the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai and from A.G. Mohan and his wife, Indra, who practice just outside of Chennai, I was told to stop practicing Headstand and Shoulderstand in favor of gentle asana coordinated with the breath. In Pune, S.V. Karandikar, a medical doctor, recommended practices with ropes and belts to put traction on my spine and exercises that taught me to use my shoulder blades to open my upper back.
Thanks to the techniques I learned in India, advice from teachers in the United States, and my own exploration, my chest is more flexible than it was, my posture has improved, and for more than a year, I’ve been free of symptoms.
38 Ways Yoga Improves Health
My experience inspired me to pore over the scientific studies I’d collected in India as well as the West to identify and explain how yoga can both prevent disease and help you recover from it. Here is what I found.
1. Improves your flexibility
Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. During your first class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You’ll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear. That’s no coincidence. Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones. Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.
2. Builds muscle strength
Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you just went to the gym and lifted weights, you might build strength at the expense of flexibility.
3. Perfects your posture
Your head is like a bowling ball—big, round, and heavy. When it’s balanced directly over an erect spine, it takes much less work for your neck and back muscles to support it. Move it several inches forward, however, and you start to strain those muscles. Hold up that forward-leaning bowling ball for eight or 12 hours a day and it’s no wonder you’re tired. And fatigue might not be your only problem. Poor posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. As you slump, your body may compensate by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back. This can cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine.
4. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up. Without proper sustenance, neglected areas of cartilage can eventually wear out, exposing the underlying bone like worn-out brake pads.
5. Protects your spine
Spinal disks—the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves—crave movement. That’s the only way they get their nutrients. If you’ve got a well-balanced asana practice with plenty of backbends, forward bends, and twists, you’ll help keep your disks supple.
See alsoHow to Build a Home Practice
6. Betters your bone health
It’s well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight. And some, like Downward- and Upward-Facing Dog, help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures. In an unpublished study conducted at California State University, Los Angeles, yoga practice increased bone density in the vertebrae. Yoga’s ability to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol (see Number 11) may help keep calcium in the bones.
7. Increases your blood flow
Yoga gets your blood flowing. More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses, such as Headstand, Handstand, and Shoulderstand, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have swelling in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. And it thins the blood by making platelets less sticky and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. This can lead to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes since blood clots are often the cause of these killers.
8. Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity
When you contract and stretch muscles, move organs around, and come in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymph (a viscous fluid rich in immune cells). This helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functioning.
See alsoLymphedema Relief Through Yoga
9. Ups your heart rate
When you regularly get your heart rate into the aerobic range, you lower your risk of heart attack and can relieve depression. While not all yoga is aerobic, if you do it vigorously or take flow or Ashtanga classes, it can boost your heart rate into
Why are people drawn to vegetarianism? Some just want to live longer, healthier lives. Others have made the switch to preserve Earth’’s natural resources or from a love of animals and an ethical opposition to eating them.
Thanks to an abundance of scientific research that demonstrates the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, even the federal government recommends that we consume most of our calories from grain products, vegetables and fruits.
And no wonder: An estimated 70 percent of all diseases, including one-third of all cancers, are related to diet. A vegetarian diet reduces the risk for chronic degenerative diseases such as obesity, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, stomach, lung and esophageal cancer.
Why go vegetarian? Chew on these reasons:
You’ll ward off disease.
Vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States.
But the mortality rate for cardiovascular disease is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, says Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. A vegetarian diet is inherently healthful because vegetarians consume less animal fat and cholesterol (vegans consume no animal fat or cholesterol) and instead consume more fiber and more antioxidant-rich produce——another great reason to listen to Mom and eat your veggies!
You’ll keep your weight down.
The standard American diet—high in saturated fats and processed foods and low in plant-based foods and complex carbohydrates——is making us fat and killing us slowly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a division of the CDC, the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
A study conducted from 1986 to 1992 by Dean Ornish, MD, president and director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, found that overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept off that weight 5 years later. They lost the weight without counting calories or carbs and without measuring portions or feeling hungry.
You’ll live longer.
If you switch from the standard American diet to a vegetarian diet, you can add about 13 healthy years to your life, says Michael F. Roizen, MD, author of The RealAge Diet: Make Yourself Younger with What You Eat. “People who consume saturated, four-legged fat have a shorter life span and more disability at the end of their lives. Animal products clog your arteries, zap your energy and slow down your immune system. Meat eaters also experience accelerated cognitive and sexual dysfunction at a younger age.”
Want more proof of longevity?
Residents of Okinawa, Japan, have the longest life expectancy of any Japanese and likely the longest life expectancy of anyone in the world, according to a 30-year study of more than 600 Okinawan centenarians. Their secret: a low-calorie diet of unrefined complex carbohydrates, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and soy.
You’ll build strong bones.
When there isn’t enough calcium in the bloodstream, our bodies will leach it from existing bone. The metabolic result is that our skeletons will become porous and lose strength over time. Most health care practitioners recommend that we increase our intake of calcium the way nature intended——through foods. Foods also supply other nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D that are necessary for the body to absorb and use calcium.
People who are mildly lactose-intolerant can often enjoy small amounts of dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and lactose-free milk. But if you avoid dairy altogether, you can still get a healthful dose of calcium from dry beans, tofu, soymilk and dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, collards and turnip greens.
You’ll reduce your risk of food-borne illnesses.
The CDC reports that food-borne illnesses of all kinds account for 76 million illnesses a year, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the United States. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), foods rich in protein such as meat, poultry, fish and seafood are frequently involved in food-borne illness outbreaks.
You’ll ease the symptoms of menopause.
Many foods contain nutrients beneficial to perimenopausal and menopausal women. Certain foods are rich in phytoestrogens, the plant-based chemical compounds that mimic the behavior of estrogen. Since phytoestrogens can increase and decrease estrogen and progesterone levels, maintaining a balance of them in your diet helps ensure a more comfortable passage through menopause. Soy is by far the most abundant natural source of phytoestrogens, but these