7 Interesting Facts About Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle Cell Disease, which is commonly found as Sickle Cell Anemia, is a fairly common blood disorder that is inherited. In the United States, about 100,000 people have this disease at any given time. It’s a fairly serious disorder because instead of healthy red blood cells that can absorb oxygen and transform their shapes, the sickle cells are shaped like crescents. This creates numerous health risks for that person.

1. They’re Super Sticky

The biggest danger of sickle cell anemia is that the shape of the red blood cell isn’t flexible. This causes them to get stuck as they float through the circulatory system and they’ll often get stuck. If they get stuck in a tiny capillary, they will block it. The end result and be a lot of pain, organ damage, and an increased chance of an infection.

2. It’s Not a Trait

Sometimes this disease is associated with Sickle Cell Trait, but that’s not an accurate association. Sickle Cell Trait causes low oxygen levels, early dehydration, and trouble moving oxygen about at high levels. People with this trait do not develop the disease, but they can pass the trait onto their children.

3. Common Traits

Sickle Cell Disease overall is the most common genetic disorder that people have. About 1,000 infants are born with it every year in the United States. This is more than twice the amount of people who are believed to be living with cystic fibrosis, which is the second common genetic disorder. From a global perspective, about 500k infants are born with the disorder every year.

4. It’s Not Contagious

Sickle cell anemia is a disease, but it isn’t a contagious one. Parents may pass on this disease to their children or they may not. When both parents have the genetic trait that causes the sickle cells, then there is a 1 in 4 chance that a child will develop this disease.

5. Not a Death Sentence

In the last 20 years, a number of scientific advancements have made it medically possible to improve life with this disease. As early as 1990, the average life span of someone with sickle cell anemia was barely 18. Now people are easily living into their 40’s, living happy and productive lives that they find very meaningful.

6. It Hates Caucasians

The only race that tends to get a pass on sickle cell anemia are Caucasians of European descent. African-Americans tend to be a majority of the patients, up to 80% in some areas, but this disease affects those of Arab, Hispanic, Indian, and Mediterranean backgrounds as well. Anyone can theoretically get this disease because it is genetic, but it does seem to have racial preferences.

7. The Needs Are Comprehensive

Sickle cell anemia affects many different parts of the body at once. Daily care is often needed to manage the symptoms of the disease and a hematologist often needs to be involved. Finding a good social worker is also a great benefit because this can help families find more local resources that may be available to them.


BANTING WEEKLY MEAL PLAN 1 – No More Negative Body Thoughts

DAY 1 (was a Saturday :-))


  • 2 fried eggs
  • 2 rashers bacon
  • 1 pork sausage
  • tomato with garlic and herbs sprinkled on top


  • 1/4 chicken (leg and thigh)
  • 1/2 tub cottage cheese
  • 2 tomatoes and some cucumber slices


  • 4 brown mushrooms
  • aubergine fried in olive oil
  • spinach and feta
  • dollop of full cream Greek yoghurt
  • tomato & basil salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil drizzled over the top



  • 2 egg omelet filled with:
  • two rashers bacon
  • brie cheese
  • rocket and tomato


  • Greek salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, avocado, olives, feta is my standard Greek Salad)
  • Roast Pork




  • 2 poached eggs
  • tomato and onion relish
  • bacon


  • Greek Salad
  • chicken breast


  • Steak
  • Pumpkin with butter
  • cauliflower and broccoli
  • baby marrow with cheese sprinkled on top



  • scrambled eggs fried in butter
  • mushroom, onion, garlic, yellow pepper and tomato fried in bacon fat!!
  • double cream Greek yoghurt


  • Steak (left over from night before)
  • pumpkin, broccoli and cauliflower (also left over)


  • Greek Salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, peppers, feta, olives, balsamic vinegar and olive oil)
  • Rotisserie BBQ chicken (already cooked from Spar / Pick n Pay)



  • Omelet filled with:
  • Brie
  • the mushroom, onion, yellow pepper, tomato and garlic left over from DAY 4
  • Rocket


  • Full cream Greek Yoghurt

SUPPER (We had supper at the Ocean Basket)

  • Grilled fish, prawns, spinach, butternut and a Greek Salad!



  • 2 eggs
  • 3 rashers bacon
  • 1 tomato


  • full cream Greek yoghurt (I like yoghurt – what can I say ;-))


  • I had more yoghurt (wasn’t hungry)
  • Andre had BBQ chicken and Greek Salad



  • tomato, onion and garlic fried in olive oil
  • scrambled eggs cooked in butter
  • bacon


  • Chicken breast and salad


  • Hake fried in butter and lemon juice
  • wilted spinach with butter and garlic
  • Aubergine fried in olive oil

10 Reasons you are not losing weight while Banting/LCHF.

Its very frustrating not being able to lose weight when you think you have done everything you possibly can to stay on the straight and narrow…but have you really?
Here’s a little Checklist of what could be the issue…
1. You’re losing centimeters, but the scale doesn’t reflect it.
In the first few weeks, we often lose a lot – its awesome and all, but its often water weight.
What can you do?
Ditch the scale and use the measuring tape as your guide to weigtloss.
2. You’re overstressed.
What’s that, you say? Well, unfortunately it’s true. Stress releases cortisol which elevates cravings and hunger.
What can you do?
Take care of your body AND mind. Do something that relaxes you – go for a walk, watch a movie, meditate…and try to leave the negative behind you.
3. You’re just not sleeping enough.
Studies have been done regarding weight gain and insomnia. Its best to get a good nights rest as being tired makes us hungrier.it also leaves you feeling leas motivated to eat properly.
What can you do?
Well, that depends on what you’re currently doing. If you’re having a lot of coffee, don’t. We don’t suggest having more than 2-3 cups per day anyway, and perhaps if you’re having issue, try not to have any in the afternoon. If that’s not your issue, don’t do any strenuous activities for the last few hours before bed, and try to keep to a routine at bed time. Magnesium deficiencies are also said to cause insomnia…so perhaps that’s something to look into! (Consult your doctor).
4. You’re snacking too much.
We are all used to the habit of nibbling on something during the day. Often during lchf, that snack is nuts. Nuts is very calorie dense and can be easy to overeat on if you’re snacking on it all day.
What can you do?
Cut out the snacking. Have a glass of water if you feel the need go snack.
5. Medical issues are getting in your way.
Often, there’s an underlying medical condition we aren’t aware of. Thyroid issues is one, but that’s not all. If you’re on medication for an existing condition, have a look at the side effects of your medication. If any of them are possible weight gain, or if you feel there is an underlying cause for your weight issues, something needs to be done.
What can you do?
Make an appointment with your doctor to either have your medication changed, or get tests done to check, for instance, thyroid function.
6. You’re red listing (cheating).
If you are, its sun a bad idea – I really can’t emphasize this enough. Not only can it stall your weight loss, or cause weight gain, it can lead to health problems.
What can you do?
Don’t cheat!!
7. You’re having too much dairy.
Yes yes I know…dairy is life. This I would say is last resort, but I’ll tell you why it happens. Dairy not only has fat, but protein too. The specific protein co rained in dairy has the ability to spike insulin more than most things.
What can you do?
Well. The answer is kind of obvious, but yes. Cut down on your dairy by substituting milk for coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk and Cream for coconut cream. Butter is fine as it has trace amounts of lactose and protein in…
8. Your portions aren’t right.
We need to be getting most of our calories from fat, some from meat and little from vegetables. That doesn’t mean eating a little bit of vegetables and loading up on fats. Fats are calorie dense – your plate should look to have 70% very low carb veg, 20% protein, 10% fat on it. But calorie wise those figures should be reversed. (These portions can vary a little…but you get the idea).
What can you do?
To optimize weight loss and make sure you’re getting what your body needs, download the app called carb wise. Available on iTunes and Play Store.
9. You’re going into the orange too much.
The thing about the orange list is that it lends itself to personal interpretation. How often is “occasional”? For me, that could mean once a month, for someone else, that could mean a few times a week.   Its not so much the orange list vegetables as it is the orange list fruits.
What can you do?
If you’re going to have fruit occassionally, opt for berries. Otherwise, try sticking to the green list more often.
10. Its not only about the carbs.
Sometimes products have 0g net carbs in them so some say they’re fine. Well, they’re not- especially where it comes to things like diet drinks. Studies have been done on them – and how they can cause weight gain!
What can you do?
Cut down on the sweetness. Have the occasional banting cake or dessert, but try not to make it a part of your everyday life.


Burping, hiccups, and farting are bodily functions which make people laugh, get embarrassed, and even annoyed. The crown jewel on these is farting.

Image result for 12 Facts About Farting You Probably Didn’t Know

How much do you know about farts besides the fact that they sound and smell funny, and come out from the bum. These are some things you should know about them:

  • Men fart more than women.
  • The original meaning of fart if forth as wind from the anus. This word was coined in 1962.
  • An average person farts around 14 times a day.
  • Those 14 farts a day are enough to fill up a balloon.
  • This is not something to be embarrassed about as it means that you are healthy. A healthy digestive tract produces farts. If you are not farting at all go to the doctor.
  • Farts are made up of hydrogen sulfide that reduces mitochondrial damage. Smelling farts can be healthy, thus next time you fart take a nice deep breath and thank the person.
  • Female farts tend to be stinkier as females have higher concentration of hydrogen sulfide. Female farts are healthier to smell.
  • Farts go as fast as 10 ft/sec.
  • If you have very tight sphincter you will produce louder farts as they have smaller tighter area to squeeze out from.
  • Gum and soda make you fart more, thus if you know somebody who farts a lot and they drink a lot of soda and chewing gum, hide it from them.
  • Most of the farting happens at night when we sleep.
  • Termites are animals which produce the most fart. Camels, zebras, sheep, cows, elephants, and dogs (especially labs and retrievers) follow next.

BREAKING: Baby Siwaphiwe Mbambo’s Mom Arrested

Conflicting details during police interviews about the alleged kidnapping of baby Siwaphiwe Mbambo are what eventually led to her mother and two others being arrested for the crime, police said on Sunday.

“Too many inconsistencies emerged during the interviews, especially in terms of the initial reporting to the police of how the incident developed,” said national police spokesperson Brigadier Sally de Beer.

“Information generated from the interviews became critical in the setting up of a roadblock in Mariannhill in the early hours of [Sunday] morning.”

A car was stopped and the baby was discovered inside with a man and a woman, unharmed.

“Three people, including the 34-year-old biological mother of the baby, another woman, and a man, have been arrested and are in custody.”

The baby has been placed under the care of the Department of Social Development.

‘Selfish motives’

Initially, the baby was reported to have been taken in a car hijacking at a Durban shopping centre on Friday. She was in the back seat of a white Toyota Yaris which was then reported as stolen from her mother at gunpoint.

A large-scale search was conducted for the missing baby and a reward of R250 000 was offered for any information that would lead to her safe return.

“The South African Police Service invested a lot in this case, including members working overtime, the use of vehicles and aircraft which impacted negatively on the availability of police resources in the fight against priority crimes,” De Beer said.

As such, the use of police resources by people “with selfish motives” could not be tolerated, De Beer added.

A special prosecutor was appointed to the case on Sunday morning.

“Those who have been arrested and are in custody will appear in court soon.”

‘Dubious situation’

Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane expressed his gratitude that the baby had been rescued from “a dubious situation to say the least”.

“We thank our members, all other law enforcement agencies and security companies who stepped up to assist, as well as the civic minded members of the public who joined forces to assist in the search.

“We are a wonderful, caring society and it is disappointing when people take advantage of their fellow South Africans’ trust and belief in humanity. False claims of crimes which have an entire nation and beyond in a state of sorrow and anxiety, should be condemned,” he said.

BREAKING: Baby Siwaphiwe Has Been Found Alive

UPDATE: Police now say three suspects have been arrested in the case – including baby Siwaphiwe’s mother.

Happy 😃 News Siwaphiwe was found safe.
Thank you to all those who shared her post and to all the teams who got involved. A mother’s worst nightmare but it sure has sent ‘alarm’ bells that this could happen to anyone.
THE search for the missing baby, Siwaphiwe Mbambo, is over. This after police followed a lead about a suspicious vehicle that was intercepted near the Mariannhill Toll Plaza between midnight and 1am on Sunday morning. The one month old baby girl had been missing for more than a day after her mother was hijacked in Greyville on Friday.

Lt Col Thulani Zwane, spokesman for KZN SAPS said the baby was found unharmed in the vehicle and has been taken to a place of safety. Three people have been arrested in connection with the hijacking and abduction.

Zwane thanked SAPS, the community and everyone involved in helping find the baby. Zwane added that circumstances are pending the investigation and a formal statement will be released soon.

Hundreds of police officers, community members and rescue personnel have been working around the clock to find the one month old.

Missing baby Siwaphiwe

There is great relief this morning with police confirming that a month-old baby who went missing on Friday – has been found.

LISTEN: KZN police spokesperson, Thulani Zwane confirming the news on East Coast Radio – shortly after 4am today.

He said that a suspicious vehicle was pulled over at the Marianhill Toll Plaza in the early hours of this morning – with baby Siwaphiwe Mbambo inside.

Zwane says one suspect has been arrested.

News of the child’s disappearance sparked nationwide concern this week, and made local and international headlines – after it was reported that two armed suspects had driven-off with a white Toyota Yaris belonging to Siwaphiwe’s mother, Sibongile – with the infant still inside. The family – including an eight-year-old boy – were accosted outside a shopping centre in the Durban CBD – shortly after 11am on Friday.

On Saturday, police announced a R250 000 reward was being offered to anyone with information leading to the safe return of baby Siwaphiwe – and the arrest of her captors.

By yesterday afternoon, search efforts had been temporarily called off – due to police not having any further leads as to the whereabouts of the child or the abductors.


The Cold Truth About Coconut Oil – 10 Facts You Need To Know!


Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.” Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of coconut oil that have been experimentally confirmed in human studies.

1. Coconut Oil Contains a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated.

However, new data is showing that saturated fats are harmless. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth.

Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak.

No, they contain so-called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length.

Most of the fatty acids in the diet are so-called long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently.

They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.

Bottom Line: Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders.

2. Populations That Eat a LOT of Coconut Are Among The Healthiest People on The Planet

Coconut is kind of an “exotic” food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people.

However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.

The best example of such a population is the Tokelauans, which live in the South Pacific.

They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.

These people are in excellent health, with no evidence of heart disease.

Another example of a population that eats a lot of coconut and remains in excellent health is the Kitavans.

Bottom Line: Plenty of populations around the world have thrived for multiple generations eating massive amounts of coconut.

3. Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy Expenditure, Helping You Burn More Fat

Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.

While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too.

It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie.

The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats.

One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day.

Bottom Line: The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.

4. The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections

Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid.

When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin.

Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.

For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans.

Bottom Line: The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, potentially helping to prevent infections.

5. Coconut Oil Can Kill Your Hunger, Making You Eat Less Without Even Trying

One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger.

This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect.

In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men.

The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average.

Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch.

These studies were small and only done for a short period of time. If this effect were to persist over the long term, it could have a dramatic influence on body weight over a period of several years.

Bottom Line: The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term.

6. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seizures

A so-called ketogenic (very low carb, very high fat) diet is currently being studied to treat various disorders.

The best known therapeutic application of this diet is treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children .

This diet involves eating very little carbohydrates and large amounts of fat, leading to greatly increased concentrations of ketone bodies in the blood.

For some reason, this diet can dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven’t had success with multiple different types of drugs.

Because the MCTs in coconut oil get shipped to the liver and turned into ketone bodies, they are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet.

Bottom Line: The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children.

7. Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels and May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought.

Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype.

In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil.

There are also rat studies showing that coconut oil reduces triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL and improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status .

This improvement in cardiovascular risk factors should theoretically lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.

Bottom Line: Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.

8. Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen

Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it.

Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.

Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin.

Coconut oil can also be very protective against hair damage and one study shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays

Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath.

Bottom Line: Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash.

9. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and occurs primarily in elderly individuals.

In Alzheimer’s patients, there appears to be a reduced ability to use glucose for energy in certain parts of the brain.

Ketone bodies can supply energy for the brain and researchers have speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning cells and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

In one 2006 study, consumption of medium chain triglycerides lead to an immediate improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s.

Other studies support these findings and medium chain triglycerides are being intensively studied as potential therapeutic agents in Alzheimer’s disease.

Bottom Line: Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketone bodies, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving symptoms.

10. Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Dangerous Fat in Your Abdominal Cavity

Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight.

Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.

This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many Western diseases.

Waist circumference is easily measured and is a great marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.

A study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks.

Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day.

This number may not seem too impressive on the surface, but be aware that these people aren’t adding exercise or restricting calories. They’re losing significant amounts of abdominal fat simply by adding coconut oil to their diet.

11. Anything Else?

If you want to enjoy the immense health benefits of coconut oil, then make sure to choose organic, virgin coconut oil… NOT the refined stuff.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg. People are using coconut oil for all sorts of things with incredible success.


10 Most Effective Exercises For Weight Loss

Every woman is familiar with those tricky trouble zones that take a little extra work to tighten and tone (lower abs, anyone?). After a lot of exercise trial and error, I’ve finally found a solid set of moves that help me shape up and feel confident in a swimsuit, my favorite skinny jeans, or a sexy cockatil dress.

Read on for the top 10 exercises that I find work wonders for my stomach, inner thighs, booty, and shoulders plus tips on how to add them into your workout routine.

Single-Leg Deadlift

2 OF 12

I love this exercise because it lifts and tones the glutes and activates my entire core (which helps prevent back pain).

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand on your left foot. Lift your right foot behind you and bend your knee so your right lower leg is parallel to the floor.

Bend forward at your hips, and slowly lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push your body back to the starting position. As you come up, think about using your glutes to push your hips forward instead of lifting from your back. Keep core engaged and chest up during the entire movement.

Side Plank

3 OF 12

This exercise is my secret weapon to help tighten and shrink my waistline. It works the deep abdominal muscles (obliques, transverse abdominus) that many abs exercises don’t reach.

How to do it: Lie on your left side with your knees straight. Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Turn around so that you’re lying on your right side and repeat.


4 OF 12

I’m a huge fan of this classic exercise because it works the entire body, burning a significant amount of calories, as well as tightens my chest muscles to keep things perky in your bikini.

How to do it: Get down on all fours and place your hands on the floor so that they’re slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders, feet close together. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor and then push yourself back to the starting position. Make sure to keep your hips lifted and your core braced the entire time.

Second Position Plies

5 OF 12

This ballet move sculpts the inner thighs as well as tones the gluteus minimus (side of butt) for lean legs like a dancer.

How to do it: Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Lower your body down by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Bring arms overhead and shoulders down and back. Pause, then slowly push yourself back up to the starting position.

Cardio Intervals

6 OF 12

Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your routine to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, as opposed to long, slow endurance exercise.

How to do it: Choose any piece of cardio equipment (elliptical, jump rope, treadmill, bike, etc) and repeat the following pattern 10 times total:
3 minutes at 50 percent of your maximum effort
20 seconds at 75 percent of your maximum effort
10 seconds at your absolute maximum effort

Triceps Extension

7 OF 12

This is my favorite exercise for toning the back of shoulders and triceps. I use light weights and perform a high number of reps (25+) for this exercise.

How to do it: Come into a lunge position, with your back heel on the ground. Lean over your front bent knee as your lift your arm straight up by your side, top of the weight facing the ceiling. Lift and lower the 2-3 pound weight about an inch (30 times each side).


8 OF 12

This exercise targets the muscles of your glutes and hamstrings to create leaner, stronger legs, and a tighter, lifted rear. Stepups also work your quadriceps since they require you to straighten your knee against resistance.

How to do it: Stand in front of a bench or step and place your left foot firmly on the step. Press your left foot into the step and push your body up until your left leg is straight. Lower your body back down until your right foot touches the floor and repeat.

Keep your chest up and core engaged the entire time. Keep your weight balanced evenly, not leaning too far forward or too far back.


9 OF 12

Bridges are not only the perfect exercise for a perfectly rounded rear, but they will also help keep your back healthy and pain free.

How to do it: Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips so your body forms as straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause in the up position, then lower your body back to the starting position.

Plank with Arm Raise

10 OF 12

Adding an arm raise to an already excellent exercise like the plank improves posture and core strength, which makes me feel better, look taller, and feel more confident.

How to do it: Start to get into a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core and maintain your hip placement as you lift your right arm straight out in front of you. Draw your shoulder blades down and back as you lift your arms. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds and then switch arms.

Shoulder Stand

11 OF 12

There are so many physical and mental benefits to yoga. Inversion postures are great for helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite. I do a shoulder stand or put my legs up the wall for 5 minutes every night before I go to bed.

How to do it: Lie down on your back and lift your legs and hips off the ground, bringing your legs up over your head until your toes touch the floor behind you. Place your hands behind your back and extend legs straight in the air, creating a straight line from shoulders to ankles.

Keep your neck relaxed as your hold the shoulder stand. Try to hold it for at least one minute and then slowly come out of it.

How to Use These Moves

12 OF 12

1. Total-Body Workout
For a quick, total-body tone up, pick five of the moves and do 3 sets of each exercise 10 times (unless otherwise noted below). Move as fast as possible between moves for maximum calorie burn.

The next day, do the other five exercises. You can incorporate a few sets of cardio intervals into the total-body training session or do it separately for a longer period of time.

2. Target Your Trouble Zone
If you want to tighten up one specific area, pick the exercises that focus on those places and incorporate them into your daily routine. Just remember to continue challenging your body by gradually increasing the weight or number of reps as you get stronger.


Former Miss Jamaica Universe, 30, dies after lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia

Shakira Martin, the former Miss Jamaica Universe, has died at age 30.

Martin died Wednesday from “blood clots on both lungs,” according to a Sun-Sentinel report. The blood clots were a result of “complications” from sickle cell anemia, the report states.

According to Martin’s mother Andrea Hall, the beauty queen encouraged others who suffered from the disease to get out of their homes and enjoy the sunshine.

Her mother, Andrea Hall, said that Martin lived by these words: “If you live a dead life, what was the purpose of being alive?”

Hall went on to say that her daughter had suffered from the sickle cell disease since birth but never let her disease define her.

“She was never a slave to the disease, she was very proud, very resilient, she lived her life to the fullest,” said Hall, of Plantation. “Nothing was impossible for her, she never allowed anything to stop her from trying. She was very funny, friendly, loved music, loved Beyonce.”


Donald Trump Will Be A Disaster For Autistic People – Term Life

Donald Trump has never been a fan of disabled people. He’s got an obsession with the appearance of being “weak” or “crazy,” was hyperfocused on the idea that Hillary Clinton had some kind of neurological disorder like epilepsy, which he clearly viewed as a sort of human failing, and infamously mocked reporter Serge Kovaleski. But of all of the groups out there whom Donald Trump disdains, whom his policies will endanger profoundly, autistic people stand to suffer the most.

Trump’s coming at them from all sides. First, there’s his coy dabbling with antivaccine generalissimos like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and theVaxxed crowd. Kennedy met with Trump and claimed that Trump had invited Junior to head up a “vaccine safety and scientific integrity” commission of some kind. It would certainly be richly ironic to have avowed antivaccine irrationalist Kennedy head up a commission on anything having to do with public health. The Trump team almost immediately equivocated about Kennedy’s statements, basically categorizing them as the equivalent of a nice chat. Currently, Kennedy is reported to be saying that he will be heading up such a commission while the Trump camp has no more comment.

But that chat, according to Trump’s team, was about autism, not vaccines, and about “forming a commission on Autism [sic].” Add that to Trump’s brash and reckless pre-election assertions about vaccines and autism, one of the few public health issues he attends to at all, and you’ve got the makings for an all-out destruction of the edifices that support the autistic population. Trump’s negative attention never bodes anything good and almost invariably means he intends to lay waste to the target.

 Toying with Kennedy and bringing up autism yet again is just one way that Trump threatens this nation’s autistic population. And yes, it is a threat because every time someone raises autism as a specter and consequence to fear from vaccines, autism gets cast as the bogeyman. Trump’s own spouse seems to view a presumption of autism as an unforgivable insult. Vaccines aren’t the really scary thing in these narratives. Autism is. When you set up a neurobiological condition as something to fear, you set up the people who are that neurobiology as fearsome, too. And that has consequences ranging from social shunning and abuse to death and more death.
 In addition to doing this nonfavor to autistic people by way of coying a relationship with RFK, Jr., Trump is coming at the autistic community on its flanks. His nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, thinks that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act “undermines the educational process,” and he shows a clear ignoranceof this and other federal protections for disabled children in the classroom. Based on Sessions’ own comments, if he had his way, these protections would be gutted or ignored, leaving autistic students and other disabled children warehoused and isolated, treated like second-class citizens or worse. Trump’s choice for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is no fan of public schools, the only place where students with disabilities can receive their federally mandated educational rights.

With these attacks on the intrinsic humanity and education rights of autistic people, Trump also is coming at them on the health flank. With the collusion of most of the GOP in Congress, he plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA; a.k.a., “Obamacare”), a law that has been critical and lifesaving for the disability community as a whole and life-changing for autistic people. ACA allowed for early screening (and therefore early identification, awareness and, one hopes, understanding) without cost sharing. It removed lifetime caps and denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions. For the U.S., without ACA, 1% to 2% of the population would be considered to have a pre-existing condition called autism. Currently covered therapies for autistic people might no longer be covered. And then there are the co-existing conditions, like epilepsy, which about a third of autistic people have. And the coverage under ACA that extends to adult children up to age 26 years, critical coverage for young autistic adults whose access to jobs can be delayed or denied.

Then there are the threats to Medicaid. If Medicaid is gutted as threatened by being shifted to block grants, disabled and elderly people who received in-home care through its benefits will also be warehoused in institutions. Many of those affected will be adult autistic people. And lest you are not autistic and think that somehow will protect you, a reminder that in 2015, a total of 53 million adults in the United States had some kind of disability. That’s one in five adults, right now. How many adults do you have in your home? If you’re a family of five, odds are good that at least one of you will have a disability in adulthood. How would you like to be institutionalized and live with strangers to receive your care?