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4 Surprising Reasons to Drink Hot Water With Lemon Every Morning

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Trying to cut coffee out of your morning? A cup of hot water with fresh lemon juice is an ideal alternative that many nutritionists drink every day — and it’s not just because of its tangy flavor! Here are four compelling reasons to make this quick concoction part of your morning ritual.

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It helps you detox every day: While lemons may seem quite acidic, they’re a surprisingly good source of an alkaline food that can help balance your body’s pH; internist and doctor of integrative medicine Dr. Frank Lipman is a big proponent of a hot water with lemon habit, since the combination wakes up your liver and flushes out nasty toxins.
It wakes up your digestive tract: This simple yet powerful beverage stimulates your gastrointestinal tract — improving your body’s ability to absorb nutrients all day and helping food pass through your system with ease.
It supports weight loss: Lemon juice contains pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to aid in weight-loss struggles. And if you’ve been sipping on a cup of tea loaded with sugar or honey every morning, this beverage will slash calories from your daily diet.
It soothes an upset tummy: When you go to bed on a full stomach, pesky heartburn or a bloated belly can get in the way of your morning. Hot water cleanses your system, while the flavonoids from lemon juice may help reduce acidity in your stomach, so you feel like yourself sooner.

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Your Phone Is Covered in Molecules That Reveal Personal Lifestyle Secrets

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There are many ways your phone can provide glimpses into your personality: Your choice of apps, your music and photos, even the brand of smartphone you buy, to name a few. But new research reveals another surprising piece to the what-your-cell-says-about-you puzzle. Turns out analyzing the molecules, chemicals, and microbes left behind on a mobile device can tell a lot about its owner—including the person's diet, health status, probable gender, and more.    

The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that this type of profiling could one day be useful for clinical trials, medical monitoring, airport screenings, and criminal investigations. It also serves as a reminder of the lasting chemical residues of the foods we eat, the cosmetics we wear, and the places we visit. In some cases, researchers could pinpoint ingredients from personal-care products that the owner of the phone hadn’t used in six months!

"You can imagine a scenario where a crime-scene investigator comes across a personal object—like a phone, pen, or key—without fingerprints or DNA, or with prints or DNA not found in the database," said senior author Pieter Dorrestein, PhD, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in a press release. "So we thought—what if we take advantage of left-behind skin chemistry to tell us what kind of lifestyle this person has?"

RELATED: A Smart Guide to Scary Chemicals

Dorrestein’s previous research has shown that molecules analyzed from skin swabs tend to contain traces of hygiene and beauty products, even when people haven’t applied them for a few days. "All of these chemical traces on our bodies can transfer to objects," Dorrestein said. "So we realized we could probably come up with a profile of a person's lifestyle based on chemistries we can detect on objects they frequently use."

For their new study, Dorrestein and his colleagues swabbed four spots on the cell phones of 39 volunteers, and used a technique called mass spectrometry to detect molecules from those samples. Then, they compared those molecules with ones indexed in a large, crowd-sourced reference database run by UCSD.

With this information, the researchers developed a personalized lifestyle "read-out" from each phone. They were able to determine certain medications that the volunteers took—including anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal skin creams, hair loss treatments, antidepressants, and eye drops. They could identify food that had recently been eaten, such as citrus, caffeine, herbs, and spices. And they detected chemicals, like those found in sunscreen and bug spray, months after they’d last been used by the phones’ owners.

RELATED: 6 Ways Your Mobile Devices Are Hurting Your Body

"By analyzing the molecules they've left behind on their phones, we could tell if a person is likely female, uses high-end cosmetics, dyes her hair, drinks coffee, prefers beer over wine, likes spicy food, is being treated for depression, wears sunscreen and bug spray—and therefore likely spends a lot of time outdoors—all kinds of things," said first author Amina Bouslimani, PhD, an assistant project scientist in Dorrestein's lab. In fact, the researchers were able to correctly predict that one study participant was a camper or backpacker because of residue from DEET and sunscreen ingredients on her phone.

This was a proof-of-concept study, meaning that it only showed that the technology exists—not that it's ready for market. To develop even more precise profiles, and to be useful in the real world, the researchers say more molecules are needed in the reference database. They hope it will grow to include more common items including foods, clothing materials, carpets, and paints, for example.

Dorrestein and Bouslimani are conducting further studies with an additional 80 people and samples from other personal objects, such as wallets and keys. They hope that eventually, molecular profiles will be useful in medical and environmental settings.

Doctors might employ this technique to determine whether a patient really is taking his or her medication, for example. Or scientists could use it to determine people’s exposure to toxins in high-risk workplaces or neighborhoods near potential pollution sources. And, of course, molecular profiling could help criminal investigators by narrowing down the potential owners of objects, or understanding people’s habits based on items they touch, they wrote in their paper.

RELATED: These Personality Traits Are Linked to a Healthier Sex Life

As creepy as all this may sound, personality-specific microbes likely aren't the most alarming things hiding on your cell phone. Other research shows that our tech devices are popular spots for germs like the flu virus and antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Unless you plan to rob a bank and leave your phone behind as evidence, germs are probably your biggest threat at the moment. To keep buildup to a minimum, and harmful bugs at bay, try to remember to clean your screen and case regularly with a disinfectant wipe.

Also check out http://healthywithjodi.com

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Your Healthy Breasts From A to Z

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We admit it: We have a love-hate relationship with our breasts. We show em off when they're proud and perky, but freak the second they start to sag. We squeeze them into bras that don't fit, complain if they bob when we jog, and obsess over every little imperfection. But the minute we find a lump or feel a twinge of pain, we realize just how much we want them around—no matter their flaws. That's why we created this A-to-Z Guide to help keep your breasts——and you—healthy.

A: Alcohol

The numbers don't lie: Alcohol is to blame for 11% of all breast cancers, according to data from the United Kingdoms Million Women Study. That's because beer, wine, or cocktails—even just one or two drinks a day—hike your risk, and that risk increases with each additional drink. Scientists are still probing the alcohol-cancer connection but, for now, moderation is a must. “If you don't drink, don't start,” says Susan Love, MD, president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and clinical professor of surgery at UCLA. “If you do, three drinks a week or less is probably OK.”

B: Breast-feeding

Yes, babies are more likely to attend college if they nurse, but what's really surprising: Breast-feeding may save your life. Women's Health Initiative data suggests that moms who breast-feed 12 months or more throughout their lives have less heart disease than women who don't nurse. And a new study shows that women with a family history of breast cancer cut their risks of getting the disease before menopause if they breast-feed their kids.

C: Caffeine

You've heard theres a link between caffeine and breast cancer? The truth: About 200 to 300 milligrams of the stimulant per day—the amount in two to three cups of coffee or (strong) tea, an energy drink or two, or about five diet sodas—probably wont hurt you, says Liz Applegate, PhD, director of sports nutrition at the University of California, Davis. But to be safe, don't overdo it.

D: Dècolletage

There's a simple reason you see freckles, sun spots, and those dreaded vertical wrinkles on your cleavage—youre not using enough sunscreen on the delicate skin there. Baby your bosom with a high SPF, plus a moisturizer, says Amy Taub, MD, a Chicago-area dermatologist and assistant clinical professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Try Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30 ($13.99). It offers sun protection and spot-reducing soy.

E: Eat right

Loading up on fruits and veggies and cutting back on fatty meat keep your whole body healthy. But which foods specifically help you fight breast cancer? Recent studies suggest you eat more: Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy. They contain potential cancer-fighting compounds called isothiocyanates. Fish like salmon, tuna, and trout. They're rich in omega-3s and are a healthier protein source than meat. Bell peppers and broccoli They're full of flavonoids, a powerful good-for-you antioxidant. Kefir yogurt Its a yummy source of vitamin D and healthy bacteria (probiotics).

F: Fit

If you're like most women, you're wearing a bra that doesn't fit right. Blame the fact that your bust measurements change at least six times in your adult life. To make sure you're getting the right support, talk to a fitter in a department or lingerie store, or do your own sizing. Elisabeth Squires, author of Boobs: A Guide to Your Girls, swears by Size Me Up!, a doctor-designed system that measures the width of each breast to more accurately determine cup size. 

G: Genes

Most women who get breast cancer don't carry the harmful gene mutations known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Women who do (roughly 1 in 500) tend to get cancer under age 50 and may have multiple cases of breast and ovarian cancer in the family. Who should be gene-tested? If relatives (sisters or other women on your moms or dads side) have had breast or ovarian cancer, its most helpful for one of them to be tested before you. Testing costs about $3,000, and most insurers don't cover it. If a mutation doesn't show up, your risk is still higher because of your family history. But if your relative has the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, your risk could be elevated even more, and you may want to talk with a genetic counselor about your own test.

H: Hormone therapy

If you're on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), its probably for a good reason: The treatment, usually a combo of estrogen and progesterone, can help relieve hot flashes, irritability, and night sweats. But many researchers are now convinced that using combo HRT for five years or more can double your breast cancer risk, which is why women should use the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Fortunately, studies show that within two years of stopping hormones, your breast cancer risk goes back to normal.

I: Inflammatory breast cancer

If you don't know about IBC, you should. The five-year survival rate of this rare but aggressive disease is about half that of regular breast cancer. Symptoms can include redness and painful swelling around the breast; sometimes the skin feels warm and has the texture of an orange. If you have signs, see your doctor right away.

J: Jiggle

Too much jiggling can make you sag: According to one British study, breasts move during exercise up to 8 vertical inches, adding painful pressure on supporting ligaments. Solution: Make sure your sports bra is up to the job. Small-breasted women usually just need a compression, or “uniboob,” bra. If you're large, try encapsulating styles, which surround each breast separately. Champion makes good low-cost running bras, and sportswear companies like Title Nine even offer special rating systems for each bras support level.

K: Know em well

Take a good look in the mirror—is one breast bigger than the other? (That's typical.) Are your nipples inverted? Does anything look or feel different? You need to know your breasts well so you'll notice any changes during your monthly breast self-exam (BSE), which is an important way to catch abnormalities like lumps or swelling.

L: Lumps

The vast majority of breast lumps are benign—and more than 60% of women have fibrocystic, or naturally lumpy, breasts. Still, you should get all lumps and bumps checked, especially if they change. “Women get into trouble when they ignore lumps because they're afraid,” says Joan Bull, MD, director of the Division of Oncology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. The doc may recommend an ultrasound, mammogram, or biopsy to figure out what's up.

M: Mammograms

No one likes having her boobs squeezed flat in what feels like a refrigerator door. But its worth it: Early detection from regular mammograms is estimated to reduce the risk of death from breast cancer by at least 15%, according to a recent research review. Are there any downsides to recommended annual screening mammos? A report in the British Medical Journal suggested they could lead to overdiagnosis—detecting tumors that turn out to be harmless—and unnecessary treatment. But experts insist that the benefits far outweigh the potential costs.

N: Nipples

Smooth or bumpy, inverted or standing at attention on a chilly day, nipples seem to have a mind of their own. Together with the surrounding areola, they even change color during and after pregnancy. Here are some of the most common problems and how to, well, nip em in the bud.

O: Ouch!

About 10% of us have breast pain more than five days a month. Usually the ache (also called mastalgia) goes in cycles, since monthly hormone changes can make breasts extra achy. If the pain is unbearable, try tracking when it hurts most. Then talk to your doctor, and, if you're over 35, consider a mammogram. The doc may recommend pain pills, birth control pills (if you're in your 20s), or possibly evening primrose oil, which might bring relief for some women. Talking to your doc may ease your fears, too, since many women worry that breast pain is always a sign of cancer. It isn't.

P: Plastic surgery

Even in a down economy, boob jobs aren't sagging. But a lesser-known surgery is also on the rise: breast reduction. For top-heavy women, the surgery can bring much-needed relief from back, shoulder, and neck pain. If you want breast surgery—to get bigger or smaller—talk to the doc about scarring, healing time, and final appearance, says John Canady, MD, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Q: Number-one question to ask your doc: “Are my breasts dense?”

Women with dense breasts are five times more likely to develop breast cancer, Dr. Love of UCLA says, although its unclear why. The only way to find out density is after a mammogram—the info is in the results. Bring it up with your doc after the test or have the report mailed to you.

R: Rest 

One more reason to get your sleep: Getting enough zzzs may help protect you from cancer. In a recent study of nearly 24,000 Japanese women, those who slept six hours or less each night were 62% more likely to have breast cancer than the women who slept seven hours. Researchers think that the sleep hormone melatonin seems to regulate the release of estrogen.

S: Soy

Soy contains phytoestrogens, chemicals similar to estrogen. Docs say soy has many benefits, if you get it in natural forms like edamame. But concentrated forms found in supplements may be harmful—especially if youre at high risk for breast cancer, says Applegate, PhD, of UC Davis.

T: Tomosynthesis

Watch for the looming debut of this new digital imaging system, which allows doctors to slice and dice super-clear 3D pictures of the breast, while applying less pressure to your boobs than standard mammos (hooray!). Early research shows the new technique may more accurately spot tumors, especially in very dense breasts.

U: Underwires are dangerous (and other myths)

Relax—, your sexy new number from Victoria's Secret wont give you cancer. Experts say the notion that underwires trap toxins just doesn't hold up. Ditto for antiperspirants, living near power lines, and being hit in the chest. Theres no evidence that any of these things causes breast cancer, Dr. Love of UCLA says.

V: Vaccine

Stimuvax, a vaccine currently in testing, may help women who have inoperable breast cancer live longer. The drug is designed to juice up the immune system so it can kill malignant cells. Its also being eyed for lung, prostate, and colon cancers.

W: Weight

 

Women who gain 55 pounds or more after age 18 have nearly 1 1/2 times the risk of breast cancer compared with those who keep their weight steady. But losing the weight substantially lowers risk as you age.

X: X-Rays

Radiation can cause cancer. That's why doctors say that younger women and girls should avoid unnecessary X-rays (a typical X-ray administers radiation at a higher dose than a mammogram). If your doctor recommends an X-ray for anything, ask how having it will change your treatment plan. If it won't, reconsider.

Y: Yoga

To keep “the girls” from sagging, Health expert Sara Ivanhoe, creator of the Yoga on the Edge DVD, recommends this Plank Sequence: Start with hands and knees on a mat, hands directly under shoulders and knees below hips. Firm your abs to support your lower back; extend right leg backward, curl toes and place them and on the ground; repeat with left leg. (Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your heels.) Hold for 5 full breaths. On an exhale, slowly lower yourself to the floor, keeping your elbows tucked in. Your chest and belly should touch the floor at the same time. On an inhale, push back to lean on your hands and knees; exhale into plank, hold for a full inhale, then exhale and lower again, then up into plank. Repeat 5 times.

Z: Zero!

That's the number of new breast cancer cases we all hope to see in our lifetimes—, and a project launched by the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and Avon Foundation for Women may get us there. The Love and Avon Army of Women's mission: Recruit 1 million women to participate in life-saving research. Sign up online at ArmyOfWomen.org.

 

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Sitting in Traffic is Bad for Your Health

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If you’ll be driving on busy roads this holiday weekend, you might want to take note of a new study about traffic and air pollution: The research, conducted by the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, suggests that keeping car windows closed and fans switched off while stuck in slow-moving traffic jams can reduce your risk of exposure to toxic fumes by up to 76 percent.

Using the fan’s or air conditioner’s “recirculate” option ranked second best when researchers tested five different ventilation settings, and they say that this can also be a good choice for reducing exposure to pollutants.

The findings aren’t just applicable to weekend or vacation driving; in their paper, the study authors note that daily commuting time has increased over the years in Britain, where people spent about an hour each day driving to and from work in 2013. The numbers are similar in the United States: Americans spend an average of nearly 52 minutes on their round-trip commutes, according to 2013 government data.

RELATED: The Psychology of Road Rage

Air pollution is considered among the top 10 health risks faced by humans by the World Health Organization, which attributes it to 7 million premature deaths a year. It’s an especially big problem in urban cities, the study authors write, where traffic-light intersections are known as “pollution hotspots that contribute disproportionately higher to overall commuting exposure.” Last year, the same researchers showed that drivers stuck at traffic lights were exposed to up to 29 times more harmful pollution particles than those driving in free-flowing traffic.

In London, they note, air pollution is estimated to kill more than 10 times the amount of people as automobile accidents.  And in the United States, exposure to ambient particulate matter is the eighth leading cause of death.

The researchers wanted to study the effects of different vehicle ventilation systems on a driver’s or passenger’s exposure to both fine and coarse particulate matter—two types of pollution consisting of vehicle exhaust, ozone, and other toxins prevalent the air. So they performed readings both inside and outside a 2002 Ford Fiesta in Guildford, a “typical UK town” of about 137,000 residents, at busy three- and four-way traffic intersections during winter-season rush hours.

RELATED: 15 Small Changes for a Leaner, Healthier You

Five scenarios were studied, with different combinations of windows (open or closed), fan (off, partial speed, or full speed), and heat (off, low temperature, or high temperature). When it came to pollution exposure, results varied widely depending on the ventilation.

When driving with the windows open, particulate matter readings in the car were equal to those outside of the car. When the windows were rolled up and the fan was switched off, however, exposure to particulate matter was reduced by up to 76 percent.

"Where possible and with weather conditions allowing, it is one of the best ways to limit your exposure by keeping windows shut, fans turned off and to try and increase the distance between you and the car in front while in traffic jams or stationary at traffic lights,” said lead author Prashant Kumar, Ph.D., in a press release. “If the fan or heater needs to be on, the best setting would be to have the air re-circulating within the car without drawing in air from outdoors."

RELATED: How to (Safely) Share the Road With Bad Drivers

Kumar’s study isn’t the first to suggest that hitting the recirculate button is a good option while stuck in traffic; a 2013 study from University of California researchers also came to similar conclusions. This was, however one of the first studies to test several different ventilation options head-to-head at busy urban intersections, specifically.

 

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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4 Health Rumors You Seriously Need to Stop Believing

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Just like old habits, old medical rumors are hard to shake. Here are the facts versus fiction on some persistent health hearsay (cancerous underwear! toxic fish!) so you can stop worrying once and for all.

The rumor: It's bad to eat fish during pregnancy

The truth: Nuh-Uh! While there are certain foods that pregnant women should avoid, moms-to-be can continue eating most kinds of fish worry-free. A recent study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that eating three to four servings of fish (including tuna!) per week while pregnant was linked to increases in kids' IQs. Just continue to avoid eating the highest-mercury fish: swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish.

The rumor: Underwire bras cause cancer

The truth: Nope! Some people still claim that underwire bras could compress the lymphatic system of the breast, making toxins build up. The reality? Newer research has demonstrated that neither the style of bra you wear nor the length of time you wear it has any effect whatsoever on breast cancer risk.

RELATED: 6 Big Myths About Hydration You Shouldn't Believe

The rumor: Cracking fingers leads to arthritis

The truth: Phsaw! If the popping isn't painful, it's fine. Studies show that knuckle crackers are no more likely to develop arthritis than folks without this habit. 

The rumor: Eating soy messes with fertility

No! Animal studies have suggested that consuming more soy might affect fertility due to its phytoestrogens, but there's scant evidence that this is the case for humans. In fact, research suggests that women who get their protein from mostly soy and plant foods are less likely to have ovulation issues. 

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Top fat loss tips

 

From recovery sessions to food intolerances, trainer and IsoWhey sports ambassador Alexa Towersey shares her top five tips for fat loss.

 

1. Complete a lifestyle diary

This includes what you eat, when you go to bed, how often you go to the bathroom and how much water you drink. This will make you accountable and aware of any bad habits outside of the gym that could be hindering your results.  

2. Schedule at least two recovery sessions per week

I liken your body to a bank balance.  Every training session is a withdrawal; every recovery session is a deposit. If you are always training (withdrawing) and never recovering (depositing), you will eventually end up overdrawn and injured. Recovery practices include foam rolling, contrast showers, ice baths, massages and long walks.

3. Embrace hot yoga

The hot room allows for increased range of movement (which will translate into better range in your weight training), the heat enhances detoxification processes and the twisting movements improve digestion and lymphatic drainage in addition to massaging the internal organs.  Yoga is also great for stress management, and when you are stressed you will hold fat.

4. Test for food intolerances

Just because a food is ‘healthy’, doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you. If it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t eat it. Some of the most common intolerances include eggs, gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, corn and nuts. Intolerances can also be a result of eating too much of the same foods, so try and rotate your meal options regularly.

5. Support your liver and your detoxification channels using alternative body treatments

Think acupuncture, lymphatic drainage massage, Epsom salt baths, body brushing and infra-red saunas. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and try starting the day with a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice.

For more fat loss tips, visit our weight loss section.

 

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Detoxing: the good, the bad and the informative

 

Before you jump on the detox bandwagon, it’s important to look into the potential side affects to a full body cleanse. Here, the experts help us unpack the pros and cons to this weight loss phenomenon.

 

Starving yourself is not the way to go

Most detoxes promote a reduced calorie intake, which can quickly turn into starvation mode. According to GP Dr Fran Bruce of Wesley LifeShape Clinic, most detoxes are “low in protein which can result in fatigue, dehydration, light headedness, headaches, mood swings and constipation.

Our bodies are capable of detoxing on their own

As our liver and kidneys work together to remove toxins from our systems, our bodies naturally go through a detoxification phase. If you’re thinking laxatives are the way to go, think again. Unless discussed with a medical practitioner, they can lead to some serious complications down the track, says Gastroenterologist, Dr Phillip Chang.

Detoxing is not a quick fix

Although detoxing can promote fat loss, this weight loss isn’t always fat loss. “You can expect to lose weight, but mainly due to water and muscle loss after depriving your body of essential nutrients such as protein, says Dietitian Lyndi Polivnick.

Before you ditch the idea of the detox, there are ways to healthily cleanse your body.

Fuel your body with wholesome goodness

There’s even more reason to head to the fresh food aisle of your supermarket because the most simple detox tactic is to avoid highly processed foods, says Dr Bruce. Avoid “foods that are high in fats and sugar, reduce your alcohol intake (if it exceeds the recommended guidelines) and limit caffeine consumption for a week or so.” Keep those energy levels high with nutrient dense wholefoods.  

Go green

While most detoxes miss the mark on fibre and protein, get more from “natural, minimally process foods such as fruit, leafy green vegetables (cabbage or kale) and psyllium (natural insoluble fibre)” in you, says Dr Chang.

Don’t detox for the long haul

When it comes to intense detoxes, short term is better than long term, says Polivnick. Opt for raw foods rather than juices to help out with your fibre intake and befriend water. Lots of it. “Supercharge your body’s natural ability to clear toxins…drink plenty of water, get exercising,” she says.

A little evaluation never hurt anyone

If you’re looking to reassess your habits, you can benefit from a process of elimination. Stewart suggests, eliminating ‘all animal protein products including eggs,” which can slow down the detoxing process. The Liver Cleansing Diet focuses on high quality nutrients including veggies, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds, which are important for your metabolism.

Full article by Hannah Blamey, featured in the January edition of Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine.

 

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Must-visit spa retreats in Victoria, Australia

Want to escape the city buzz or relax in exclusive inner city getaways? There’s plenty to experience in Victoria.

 

PURE LUXE

Spa de Marrakech

The place: A traditional Moroccan bathhouse in Victoria’s picturesque Yarra Valley. There’s a steam temple, and treatments include colour therapy sessions, aromatherapy massage, radiant facials and exquisite dining. At the centre, you’ll find a Roman bathhouse where guests can relax in hot mineral spring water. It’s the perfect setting for a girls’ getaway, romantic couples retreat or solo R ’n’ R.

The experience: After your aromatherapy massage or facial, indulge your tastebuds with a Moroccan feast comprising tagines, pastries, harira soup and Persian love cakes prepared by the in-house chef.

Details: 14 Mountain Crescent, Montrose, (03) 9737 0413

Lavanya Day Spa

The place: Whether you spend an hour or half a day at Lavanya Day Spa, your experience is sure to be second to none. Nestled inside the award-winning Captains Retreat B&B, Lavanya will have you feeling deeply relaxed the moment you walk through their door. With a penchant for premium quality and local ingredients, the treatments are good for the body, soul and planet.

The experience: Indulge with their signature Paprika Power facial and full body massage and escape for two hours into a haze. Paprika stimulates the natural circulation in the skin, working to detoxify, oxygenate and rejuvenate.

Details: 2 Ferguson St, Williamstown, (03) 9681 9587

WELLNESS

Peninsula Hot Springs

The place: Soak up the tranquil bushland surrounds and fresh air at Peninsula Hot Springs, Australia’s first natural geo-thermal springs. There are 20 different bathing experiences with both a social bathhouse area and secluded private area for chill-out time. Add on a luxurious treatment – from facials and salt scrubs to hot stone treatments and body wraps – inspired by traditional Aboriginal ingredients and techniques. You’ll quickly edge your way closer to inner zen.

The experience: The hour-long Mala Mapi treatment begins with an aromatic oil massage and desert salt exfoliation followed by a warm silky and mineral-rich Mapi mud mask and de-stressing scalp massage.

Details: Springs Lane, Fingal, (03) 5950 8777

Norbu Urban Retreat at The Olsen Hotel

The place: In the award-winning Olsen Hotel, Norbu Urban Retreat is a holistic wellness centre that integrates luxuriant treatments with an extensive range of health and wellness options. All treatments are designed to boost circulation, increase oxygenation to optimise organ function and remove toxins.

The experience: Try the signature Berry Refined Firming Peel by Eminence. The exfoliation aids greater penetration and absorption of the actives, with a yummy fruit cocktail of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries infusing the skin with antioxidants to tighten tissue. After one exfoliating treatment, your expression lines appear relaxed, skin is glowing, texture is smoother and skin is plumped.

Details: Mezzanine, The Olsen, 637 Chapel Street, South Yarra, (03) 9040 1199

 

NEXT >> 6 must-have beauty products for your gym bag!

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