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Friday, July 25, 2014

Good Stress vs Bad Stress

You may think.... well isn't all stress the same??? And that is far from the truth. Over the years I have realized that there is actually good stress and bad stress. The key is to figure out the difference between the two and make changes accordingly. While good stress can motivate you and energize you, bad stress can actually make you ill!!

What is stress? Stress is our body's way of responding to challenge. In the past, this is what kept us alive. The urge to find food, shelter, warmth, love etc. Now days we have different types of stressors- traffic, bills, exams, lack of sleep etc. Stress causes our sympathetic system to rev up. If a tiger walked into your living room, you better believe that your heart is going to start pumping vs. using your parasympathetic system which aids in things like digestion of food. Now while it is good to vary your heart rate throughout the day through things  like exercise, it is NOT good to be primary in the sympathetic system throughout the day. Your body is "tricked" into thinking that you do not have time for things like food digestion and extraction of nutrients from the food you have eaten, and instead is too busy doing things like pumping blood throughout your body. Your body is  tricked into thinking that there is no time for things like your immune system, and instead is pumping out cortisol. The result... you are more likely to get sick, more likely to get things like cancer, more likely to have high blood pressure, more likely to become obese, more likely to become depressed. At what point do you say... is it worth it? Stress can impact your mind, body, and soul. It can affect your nerves, muscles, hormones, and immunity.


When is stress good? We are all motivated by different things... and I believe that a little bit of stress is good. It is what drives many of us to-- study harder for an exam, clean up around the house, complete certain tasks, care for our loved ones, or accomplish a certain goal. It motivates to a certain extent. The problem becomes when we are overwhelmed with stress... when we place ourselves in a work, school , relationship, social situation that becomes so toxic and stressful that it makes us prone to things like early aging, illness, mental illness, causing our minds and bodies to in essence SHUT DOWN. We are likely to get things like chronic pains, depression, irritable bowl syndrome, hair loss, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, obesity, poor memory.

The key is to learn your tolerance for stress. Create a balanced life- one that involves time to eat home cooked healthy meals, exercise, relaxation techniques, time with family and friends, and work. That should be the ultimate goal in life... not money, fame, worldly possessions.

In my quest to find relaxation techniques of my own... I have learned about aromatherapy. Learning about about Western Medicine as an allopathic physician (MD), I realized that not all the answers exist. Drugs have side effects and while large pharma companies will gladly pay for research to support their drugs, no one will pay for such research on techniques that are not hugely profitable. It it is the reason why many of those with chronic pain feel like they have no options.

I can't wait to share my aromatherapy experience with you all in the near future!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Who is Angel Merino: Mac_Daddyy?

Flawless... Is all I can say to describe the work of Angel Merino. An LA based makeup artist who has gained popularity through instagram, he is getting more and more celebrity clientele. So what is so unique about his make up technique. I think he just does skin makeup really well- contouring and mastering the J LO glow that makes one's skin look amazing. I am attracted to his looks for this reason. I'm not that big into eye makeup- just some eyeliner, highlight in the corners, and mascara, but I am obsessed with products that make your skin glow, or that aid in sculpting. Contouring is an amazing makeup technique that when done right, creates depth and angles where non exists. Highlighting can create the appearance of perfect bone structure and contouring can create symmetry where symmetry does not exists.

Watch below for a video by @mac_daddyy teaching us how to create that JLO perfect sculpted glow using mostly MAC Cosmetics products. 

A list of products will be featured below. 





1. MAC Fix Plus spray
- for an alternative, try Jojoba Oil on freshly washed skin
- For extra hydration, use Oil of Olay face lotion with SPF15 for skin protection in the sun

2. NYX Angel Veil Primer
- haven't tried any primers yet, but this seems like a fairly affordable one at $16

3. Foundation
- Mac_daddyy uses Smashbox. The new Naked Skin foundations by Urban decay work great but are expensive. My favorite foundation is Revlon Colorstay- cheap and works great for what I need.
- He adds some pigment from MAC in the shade Melon. I love this idea! It would be great for daytime as well as for a night out. I definitely need to get my hands on some of this!

4. Concealer
- Uses Mac Prolongwear.  I have heard GREAT things about this concealer and want to get some. Right now I am using Mac Studio Fix foundation in NW25 which works great.
- I also use Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX 06 after seeing it on Irene Mahmud... It's great for highlighting  and concealing, but you have to be careful and not go overboard with this product, or else it can leave you looking chalky.
- Highlight cheekbones, down  bridge of  nose, and forehead
- Use a  sponge-- doesn't have to be the beauty blender, to blend everything out!

5. Bronzer
- NARS Laguna or Casino work great. I have both, and  although I like the overall finish of Laguna  better, sometimes it is not dark enough for my skin.
- Use to contour and cut out under checks, sides of nose, and tip of nose to shorten

6. Highlight
- He uses a cream color in the shade Diamond
- I love using NARS albatross, and apply with a brush

7. For that extra gold glow...
- Add MAC mineralized skin finish in the shade Gold  Deposit




Monday, July 21, 2014

No More Harvard Debt. No More Medical School Debt.



 image via NoMoreHarvardDebt.com


I recently visited Joe Mihalic's famous website: NoMoreHarvardDebt.com and loved the message in his most recent post. It was a lecture he gave to highschool students. I think all too often this message is lost in traditional schooling. We sit in  math, science, history class memorizing facts and taking tests- but little is given in the way of REAL life. How do I save money, how much is OK to spend, how do I find the right career for me, WHAT should I consider when picking a career. It's hard to imagine what our adult lives will be like or what we will end up valuing. Joe Milaic bought a fancy place and car at the young age of 26. In the scheme of life- 26 is a baby! Just starting your career, with no real commitments or obligations. His  message is true- people will EASILY lend you money- no problem. Student loans are easy to get and hard to pay off. Credit card companies LOVE to give you that card and increase your spending limits as if you had won some award, but the truth is there is nothing in high end fashion that lasts long enough to warrant going into debt. That Chanel bag will not make you healthier, more fit, more GOD GIVEN naturally beautiful. It may give you the admiration of other fashion shallow women... but that is it. 

Now don't get me wrong.... but money is meant to be enjoyed wisely, but the problem comes when you are spending money to buy transient goods to impress people you don't even really like! I love beauty and health products but strive to find products that will stand the test of time, are worth the money, and do what they say they will do. I don't expect a cream to get rid of wrinkles, I don't need  every lipstick brand in a shade I love, I don't need 10 products that do the same thing, I don't need to buy into every trend of the week/month/ year. I don't do my nails regularly because I think it is a waste of time, effort etc. I would not go to a salon to get this done either. I value thinks like learning how to cut my own hair, DYI skincare, hollistic/ alternative medicine that helps me feel at peace  from the inside out.

Being Med School debt free and now being able to focus on what makes me happy in life, and what is right for my family is the best sense of freedom that no amount of money can buy. 
   
      ......     And they don't teach you that in school!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Red Orange Lipstick for Indian, Tan, Olive, Brown Skin!


I am usually one to shy away from bold lip colors. I tend to stick with safe neutrals, but also love corals and flattering pinks. I absolutely HATE red lipstick, but thought I would try out the red orange trend.

First I tried out a Sephora brand color: Rouge Cream Lipstick in the shade It Girl 06 described as a muted coral tangerine. It came off more red than orange on my lips and for $12, I wanted to see if MAC had anything better to offer.

Next I tried out a shade by KatVonD: Painted Love Lipstick in the shade A-Go-Go. Described as a reddish coral, it definitely comes off as in your face Orange. Too bold for my taste.

These were the options presented to me at my local Sephora, and I was starting to think the color I had imagined did not exist.

Now off to MAC cosmetics. I tried So Chaud: which I Absolutely LOVE and would recommend for those with a skin color similar to mine. I think Lady Danger would work great also but I didn't get a chance to try it.

The reason whyyy I didn't end up buying So Chaud, is that although I loved the color and consistency, I knew a shade this color would not end up getting that much love from me. I didn't think the money was worth it.

So off to Ulta I went. I had heard great things about NYX Matte Lipsticks and Soft Matte Lip Creams. I ended up finding a great shade- NYX Morocco Soft Matte Lip Cream. It is fun, cheap, bright, and just the color I was looking for- as seen pictured above. A negative would be that your lips have to be in perfect condition before application, and a lip liner must be used as well. Check out my instagram for more pictures of me wearing this shade!






Friday, July 18, 2014

GiGi Brazilian Hard Wax Kit Review

I recently purchased the GiGi Brazilian Hard Wax kit, and not for the bikini area. I have been suffering from dark underarms and wanted to switch to waxing to prevent any further damage from shaving.
I bought my kit off of Amazon.com for a great price. The kit came with an instructional DVD on how to Brazilian wax, Wax sticks,  jar of hard wax, and a warmer with lid. It also came with a gel to place on the area before waxing, as well as a lotion for post waxing.


So far I have been loving it. I have been using it for the past 3 months. The waxing technique has taken some time to master but I am slowly starting to get it down. I also am becoming better at not wasting any precious hard wax. The pre epilation oil works great and I can honestly say that waxing your underarms with this kit DOES NOT HURT ONE BIT. I have never waxed this area before, so I don't have much to compare it to. I haven't needed to use the post wax cooling gel, but I am sure it would come in handy for the more sensitive bikini area.
The only negative about waxing that I have found is that you have to let the hairs grow to a decent length in order to wax again. It can be very tempting to do a quick shave when you have a special event, but I know this will be counter productive with the lightening process.
Other things I am trying to help lighten my underarms include exfoliation, baking soda scrubs, and lemon juice. Being prego doesn't help with the hyper-pigmentation... but we will see my progress in the months to come!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Jennifer Stano Pregnancy Style for a Fraction of the cost! Maxi dress. Kohl's Dereck Heart.

 Seen here is Jennifer Stano wearing a  maxi dress in a beautiful print. Maxi's with an empire waste are great for 3rd trimester pregnancy and the best part is that they can be worn even after baby is born.

Kohl's right now has a great cheap option... almost too good to be true. 

You can get this amazing Derek Heart Maxi Dress in 5 different colors for $16.00!! Along with a 20% off coupon.... your total is about $13.00. The material is soft, with bra cups, and adjustable straps. I picked up 2 to wear for the third trimester.

Here is a link to the Kohl's website:

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-1636881/derek-heart-maxi-dress-juniors.jsp#


Happy Shopping!

Pregnant during Intern Year of Medical Residency.

Pregnancy is known to be a different experience for each woman. It is a taxing time for all woman as your body goes through various changes. Intern year of residency is also known an a grueling time, working many an 80 hour week, switching from nights to days back to nights, and working up to 16 hours in a day.
I found out that I was pregnant in January of this year- excited and scared- I knew that the months ahead would not be easy. I was working at the VA hospital, where the food is not that great at baseline, and remember driving home with the worst hunger pains, feeling as if I would pass out if I did not have a huge meal that second. I would pick up whatever I was craving on the way home and scarf it down just before going to bed. I have always been a picky eater and pregnancy only made that worse.
The first few weeks went on like this. I thought I was "one of the lucky ones" that did not have to deal with morning sickness. I thought - "thank God, because I am already exhausted." I spoke too soon... around week 9 or 10, a was struck with severe morning sickness. To call it morning sickness is a severe understatement. I was nauseous in the AM, noon, and night. I could not keep down anything at all. I tried searching for natural remedies... ginger, crackers in the AM etc. NOTHING worked. I was miserable. The smells of the VA hospital made me dread going to work. I became bitter with patients, seeing 2-3 in the AM, vomiting, seeing 2-3 more, and continuing the cycle. I was exhausted and drained. The worst part is that I was early in my pregnancy and did not tell anyone at work. I suffered quietly and put on my game face when 8 AM strolled around and it was time to round with the attending.
At a doctor's visit before a night shift, my OB told me I was not gaining weight... in fact I had lost a significant amount of weight. She started me on a medication - Diclegis, and said I really need to be on it or I might end up in the hospital. I gave it. The Diclegis helped, but did not completely eliminate the nausea and vomiting. Multiple times I became hypotensive from standing too long on rounds. How I craved for a desk job at this point! I decided to take a week of sick leave- I thought to myself... how am I supposed to take care of other people if I am not even taking care of myself.
Second trimester was a much better time for me. I could keep down some food and had more energy. I remember hearing multiple single residents talk about their pets as if they were children... and how they "had to leave to see them, walk them" etc, how they felt "horrible" leaving them in the AM for work. It made me think about how delayed real adulthood is during residency training. Even in the third trimester, I did not get any slack. I was treated like anyone else.
I know they say that Intern Year goes by quickly, but honestly for me it was the longest year of my life. I am proud to say that I made it through.