POPSUGAR Girls' Guide focused on fitness and fun this week! The Sync Up's Veronica Belmont proved that you don't have to hit the gym to get washboard abs; in fact, it's as simple as downloading the right health and nutrition apps to your smartphone. Meanwhile, Theme My Party host Brandi Milloy threw a tropical luau for friends, while Top That! hosts Becca Frucht and Tyler Oakley put their pop culture skills to the test in a new game we like to call Made in Canada . . . Eh? Check out the video above to see all of this week's highlights, and don't forget to subscribe to PSGG on YouTube so you never miss another exciting episode!
With the recent release of the 2013 Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), you might be confused as to how to choose the right sunscreen and whether or not the bottle you own now is safe and effective. Buying sunscreen shouldn't cause you to break out in a cold sweat, so here are a few simple yet important things to look for when it comes to sunscreen.
The number on your bottle stands for sun protection factor, and believe it or not, a higher number doesn't equal more protection. The EWG recommends purchasing sunscreens with SPFs higher than 15 but no greater than 50. Studies show that sunscreens with an SPF higher than 50 don't offer greater protection, and many doctors argue that a higher number makes many people think a sunscreen lasts longer than one with a lower SPF, causing them to reapply less often, so they're more at risk for burns.
UVB rays are responsible for burning as well as tanning your skin and are the main culprit responsible for skin cancer. And while UVA rays won't cause a sunburn, they penetrate your skin more deeply, leading to signs of aging including wrinkles, saggy and leathery skin, and sun spots. It's important to protect yourself from both types of UV rays, so look for bottles that say "broad spectrum" or "broad spectrum UVA/UVB."
If your sunshiny adventures include water or sweating a lot, then definitely choose a sunscreen that's water-resistant. Know that these aren't waterproof — they'll only protect you about 40 to 80 minutes in the water, so you'll need to reapply each time you take a dip.
Keep reading to learn which chemicals to avoid and to see a list of the safest, most effective sunscreens.
You might not give much thought to how much calcium you get (or even know how much you need), but if you're a woman in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, then you'll be glad you paid attention. Calcium is needed for building strong bones until you reach your mid-20s, and after that, it helps keep your bones healthy and slows down bone density loss to prevent osteoporosis later in life.
The RDI of calcium for women over 19 years old is about 1,000 mg per day. Dairy products are a great source of calcium, but they're not the only source, which is good news for those following a vegan diet. Check out the chart below to see if you're getting enough.
|Dairy Products and Nondairy Milks||Calcium (mg)|
|1 cup skim milk||300|
|1 cup unsweetened soy milk||300|
|1 cup enriched original rice milk||300|
|1 oz. part-skim mozzarella||222|
|1-oz. slice Swiss||222|
|1 oz. monterey jack cheese||211|
|1-oz. slice provolone||211|
|1 oz. cheddar||210|
|6 oz. nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt||200|
|1 mozzarella cheese stick||200|
|1/2 cup vanilla frozen yogurt||200|
|1/2 cup vanilla ice cream||150|
|1 oz. feta||140|
|2 tbsp. grated parmesan||125|
|1 slice organic American cheese||100|
|1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese||78|
|1 oz. chèvre||40|
|2 tbsp. cream cheese||23|
Read on to find more dairy-free, calcium-rich sources.
If you want to tone your backside with a cardio boost, try step-ups. Similar to walking up a flight of stairs, all you need is a small bench or platform to work your legs and glutes. Here are three levels of this basic yet effective exercise for you to consider adding to your next workout.
Before you start, find a step or bench that when you place your foot on it, your knee is at a 90-degree angle. The weight benches or plyo boxes at the gym work best, but a dining room chair can work too.
- To start, step up leading with the right foot, then the left, bringing both feet completely onto the bench.
- Return to the starting position by leading with the right foot to step down to the floor, then the left, until ending with both feet on the ground.
- Complete 20 steps before stepping with the left foot for another 20 steps.
This is a slight variation from the previous step-up but will challenge your balance and work your glutes even more. This works best on a step or bench lower than a chair — prepare to feel the burn!
- Start by stepping onto the bench with your left foot.
- Then, bring your right foot up and lift the right leg to a 90-degree angle (shown in the photo above); lower your right foot down to tap the floor. Be sure your left foot never moves as you bend and straighten your right knee. This completes one rep.
- Repeat for 20 reps on each leg.
Try the beginner variation explained above while holding dumbbells — starting with eight-pound weights in each hand working up to 15 pounds. If you're ready for an extra challenge, try the toe-tap version for the ultimate challenge.
As if pimples, emotional outbursts, cramps, exhaustion, and feeling bloated aren't enough, the PMS demons have to throw uncomfortable back pain your way too.
Lower back pain during your period, or primary dysmenorrhea, is caused by contractions in the uterus. Every month your body build ups a thick uterine lining (called endometrium) in preparation for a fertilized egg. If you don't become pregnant, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and cue your body to break down and detach the lining, and it does that by contracting. If your uterus contracts too strongly, it can press on nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the nearby muscles, which is the reason pain occurs in the abdomen and radiates to the lower back and even to the thighs.
Chances are if you've always had similar menstrual discomfort, it's nothing to worry about. But see a doctor if you're incapacitated for more than a few days a month or if you've noticed a sudden change in your symptoms. Meanwhile, you can ease the back pain with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, or with a warm bath or a heating pad. Avoiding foods that contain caffeine and salt can also help. And even though you have about as much energy as it takes to plop onto the couch, women who exercise regularly often experience less menstrual pain so keep up with your routine by doing some light cardio or these cramp-relieving yoga poses.
- Burn a massive 300 calories in as little as 15 minutes — Shape
- Beautiful ways to display all your healthy fruit — POPSUGAR Food
- Leafy greens to get you lean — Fitness
- Why Summer is the healthiest season of the year — HuffPost Healthy Living
- Turn old junk into your newest piece of fitness equipment — Real Simple
- Healthy Paleo snacks for all! — Greatist
- Road trippin'? The healthiest fast-food joints — Blisstree
It's that time of year again, and we're ready to reveal our seventh annual POPSUGAR 100. Thanks to your millions of votes, we've put together this list of our top 100 stars across music, movies, TV, politics, and more. There are plenty of old favorites this time — like Johnny Depp, Kristen Stewart, and Kate Middleton — but you might also be surprised to see which celebrities are making their POPSUGAR 100 debut thanks to a particularly huge year.
The POPSUGAR 100 is unlike any other fan voted contest out there. This year the four categories — Fresh Faces, Game Changers, Phenoms, and Classics — allowed for a new variety on the list. We are so proud of the 100 that you, our readers, selected. We have the people who are changing the our world as women, like Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, and Jenna Lyons, alongside the stars we've loved and admired for years such as Johnny Depp, Jennifer Aniston, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Check out where all your favorite stars ranked!
— Additional reporting by Ivana Dukanovic and Lauren Turner
Kimberly Snyder, clinical nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution, says a plant-based diet is optimal for clear skin, renewed energy, and weight loss. We asked Kimberly what one food she recommends for weight loss and why, and she suggests her signature recipe for the Glowing Green Smoothie.
Kimberly explains all the benefits of her Glowing Green Smoothie and why it is a big hit among her clients:
"In one delicious drink, we get the fuel to not only lose weight, but rejuvenate our skin, fight aging, and increase our energy. It's so easy; it's so simple; and it has worked for all my clients, from Hollywood stars to busy moms and schoolteachers.
I often work as the nutritionist on different movie sets, and this amazing thing happens when I do: I start making the Glowing Green Smoothie, and the next thing you know, you look around and all the actors and directors and producers are drinking it every day, because they love the way it makes them feel."
View the Glowing Green Smoothie recipe here.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common ailment among women in their 20s and 30s — 75 percent of women suffer from symptoms. While cramps, lower back pain, and belly bloating can be uncomfortable, one of the worst parts of PMS is when a mood swing strikes. Mayling Kajiya, plant-based-nutrition expert and founder of Girl Uninterrupted, shared some of her tips for making sure PMS doesn't take over and how to support your body's needs during this time.
Know when you're due: It seems simple, but knowing when your cycle is starting can be your best defense against major PMS mood swings. Mayling explains that anticipating your time of the month and knowing why you feel horrible will help you understand what your body is doing. When irritated feelings arise, you'll be able to connect them to your hormonal changes and not feel as out of control of the situation.
Get to the gym: When you're feeling "crappy, crampy, or annoyed" before your period, Mayling says "skip the Midol" and head to the gym or yoga class to feel better; working out is a natural painkiller, she adds. Even after a light workout, your mood will be lifted, and as a bonus, you'll feel less bloated because you worked up a sweat.
Keep reading for what to eat when PMS strikes.