Common Causes of Stretch Marks. Is Coffee To Blame?


Stretch marks may take time to appear, but they sure seem to develop overnight. Who hasn’t looked in the mirror one morning to discover a sudden onset of red, angry skin struck with the scar-like appearance of a new stretch mark? Once stretch marks appear, they can be particularly tricky to get rid of – so it’s best to stop them in their tracks rather than waiting for them to appear over the years. When you know what leads to new stretch marks, you can work on prevention before they become a permanent part of your body.

According to Symptom Find, stretch marks look like scars because that’s exactly what they are. Officially, they’re known to the medical community as striae, or scars that striate various areas of skin all over the body. Most commonly found around the stomach, upon the thighs and hips, and even over the lower back, stretch marks first appear as deep red marks caused by extensive stretching or tearing of the skin. Though they eventually fade in color and can become less noticeable, little can hide these layers-deep tears. Whenever your body undergoes a drastic change in size, stretch marks are possible, particularly in the following situations.

A Great Increase in Weight

Whether you’ve experienced one pregnancy or multiple, or perhaps recently gained a significant amount of weight for other reasons, stretch marks are highly likely to appear. Gaining a lot of weight very quickly puts great strain on your skin, and cause tearing that can result in those unappealing scars. Try to prevent rapid and dramatic weight gains, and allow your body to adjust as it changes or grows.

A Sudden Growth Spurt

Did you feel the aches and pains of growth spurts in your younger years? Middle school kids and teenagers undergo very rapid periods of growth, not just in weight but in the length of their limbs and reshaping of various body parts. Just like times of pregnancy and sudden weight gain, any dramatic change in the body may lead the skin to tear and scar.

Lifting Heavy Weights

Wondering why a swath of stretch marks has broken out across your shoulders or upper arms? You’re probably lifting way too much weight each time you hit the gym. Weightlifters often experience stretch marks even if no physical body weight is gained; by quickly increasing muscle mass in certain areas, you’re pushing your skin to its limits internally. As your muscles grow, they press against the dermis and can lead to inner breaks.

Keep in mind that any significant change in your body may be a stretch mark culprit. Whenever you experience quick changes in size in any area, any body part, your body must adapt – and whenever your skin cannot adjust over time, it splits in an effort to keep your body together.

Is Coffee Bad for Your Skin?


Coffee does wonders for every caffeine lover and anti-morning person on a daily basis. If you love sipping a steaming cup of coffee before beginning your day, or when the afternoon’s slump of exhaustion hits hard, you know all of the great benefits that can come with a daily cup of joe. As fantastic – and energizing – as coffee and its caffeine content can be for our energy, it may not be the best beverage for our skin. Here are a few ways in which overdoing your coffee habit can wreak havoc on your skin, and why you might want to consider cutting back.

You may have heard whisperings that coffee can cause you to burst out in a rash of red acne or blemishes. Perhaps the worst rumor about the damage coffee can do on our precious skin, who wants to have to give up their favorite coffee just to avoid a zit or two? In fact, the way in which coffee impacts your breakouts is a bit more complicated. Although coffee itself isn’t responsible for sudden spurts of acne, it can make any chronic skin conditions reappear and flare up. So, if you’re prone to acne, the caffeine content in coffee can make your acne appear more red, or occur a bit more often.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that any drink that features caffeine is also one that can cause dehydration. Caffeine causes your liver to work extra hard in order to process that cup of coffee, which can lead to an increase in low-level toxins within your body. This alone can cause your skin to struggle with its normal, healthy functions – and, since coffee is also a diuretic, drinking more than one cup per day will make you drain your body of all of its water. When you’re dehydrated, your skin suffers, appearing reddened and more aged due to the loss of collagen. Stay hydrated by increasing your water intake with every cup of coffee.

Finally, the last way in which coffee may negatively impact your skin is through clogged pores. Acne and blemishes of all kinds originate from excess oil, which clogs the pores of the skin and creates unattractive, unhealthy marks. While coffee itself won’t do your pores any harm, the dairy you add to every cup can. If you enjoy adding milk or creamer to your coffee, you may be clogging your pores more – milk and sugar can both trigger acne and breakouts, increasing sebum production and altering your hormones. So, keep your dairy intake to a minimum if you’re worried about your skin.

Why You Shouldn’t Drink Low-Fat Milk With Your Coffee


Milk is a fatty beverage, but it’s one that comes in a variety of options. If you’re striving to be health-conscious, you probably choose low-fat or skim milk when shopping in an effort to keep fat out of your diet. However, low-fat milk may not be as healthy as you’ve always thought – and you might want to reconsider before you add a few pours into your daily cup of coffee. According to recent research conducted by scientists and nutritionists, there are very few benefits to avoiding full fat milk varieties.

There’s very little nutritional or scientific proof that choosing low-fat milk does your body any good. Even more surprisingly, however, there is a lot of evidence that indicates fatty milk is a great choice. When milk is made and processed for sale in the United States, the cream is separated from the whey and removed; for full fat milks, the cream is added back in at the end of the process. For skim or low-fat, though, it’s kept out entirely. While this might sound great, when compared to fattier milks, low-fat and skim have more carbohydrates in every cup – and they actually contain less protein because they lack any fat at all.

Still worried that you should choose low-fat or skim milk for your morning coffee? There are even more reasons to switch to fattier milks. Although you may associate fat-laden milks with obesity, weight gain, and heart problems, those who eat high-fat dairy products actually have the lowest chance and risk of developing those health issues. Additionally, while we think fatty milk and other dairy products lead to higher cholesterol levels, this is far from true – those who drink full-fat milk have a 60 percent lower chance of developing diabetes, and have healthier cholesterol levels. Finally, fatty milks have little to do with heart health. Those who are fans of fattier milk varieties have an almost 70 percent less chance of suffering heart-related health problems.

Although you may be used to dropping skim milk, or low-fat milk, into your morning cup of coffee (or any cup of coffee), consider switching. The more fat that’s featured in your dairy, the better your body will feel – and you won’t find yourself falling ill to a whole host of health crises.

Breastfeeding Tips In Public Areas


Breastfeeding is beautiful. It is not just about nourishing your baby but it is also a way to soothe and comfort them when they become fussy. One thing that you should know about breastfed babies is that you can’t control when or where they want to nurse. Babies do not know if you are in a public place or not. What they know is that they want mommy’s milk because they are hungry.

Breastfeeding in public is a big controversy. Because the breasts are overly sexualized caused by ads, marketing and movies, not everyone is comfortable in seeing mothers breastfeeding their babies in public. As a breastfeeding mother, you have to know your rights. Know that you have the right to breastfeed your child anywhere and anytime.

Now that you know your rights, consider the following tips that can help you nurse in public comfortably and confidently.

Wear the right outfit. This is about accessibility and you being able to easily open your shirt or dress so you can feed your baby. There are nursing wears now with hidden flaps or openings however, you really don’t have to spend so much on those. Look at your closet and go for button down shirts or wrap style blouses. A hungry baby is an impatient baby so you want to be able to offer his lunch or snacks quickly.

Practice. When at home, nurse your baby in front of the mirror so you can see how much is being exposed and how comfortable you are with it. Try on different angles and positions until you find the one that works for you.

Use a blanket or a shawl. Blankets and shawls are good alternative to nursing covers. Not all babies do not like to be under the cover while nursing so you can just drape it in one shoulder so you don’t expose yourself too much. Nursing your baby on a sling is good too. The excess fabric can be used as a cover while your baby nurses and the best part is, you are hands free.

It’s all about the confidence. Know that you are not doing anything wrong by attending to your child’s needs and that you are doing a good job by giving her the best milk there is.

Real Food Snacks Every Café Should Have


Café strips abound in many neighborhoods. As it is, people come not just for coffee but for the variety of food items that a café offers. Snacks that are made from whole foods offers a better alternative than snacks primarily that are based on processed or refined foods.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Snacks that are made from fresh fruits and vegetables are the best, especially if they are organically grown and locally produced. Cafés that offer salads on their menu will certainly attract more customers in the health enthusiasts segment. Green salads are great food craving busters and keeps you full. Depending on the ingredients, salads can boost your energy, detox your body or improve your metabolism. Vegetables sticks, such as carrots and snow peas, dipped in humus is a delicious healthy snack and provide that energy. Fresh fruits slices can provide that natural sweetness while sipping your tea.

Whole Wheat Breads

Whole grains are beneficial because they contain all the parts of the grain, including the brand and the germ. They contain a lot of fiber and aids in digestion. Snacks made from whole wheat retains the proteins and nutrients that are stripped off and missing from processed flour. Whole wheat breads, rolls, buns and muffins are better alternatives to sweetened, sugary snacks made from “enriched” flour. Burgers patties, made from the meat of grass-fed cows, encased in whole wheat buns is a much better alternative gives you much needed protein in a healthier manner. Biscuits, cookies and pastries made using whole grains are also welcome alternatives to a slice of cake made from processed flour and sweetened by refined sugar.

Homemade Protein Bars

Home-made protein bars are healthy alternatives that should be served as snacks in cafés. Compared to packaged protein bars, home-made protein bars have less junk and offers the same nutrition, and sometimes more. Instead of pastries or cakes, café customers can munch on them while having their cup of coffee or tea. Healthy homemade protein bar recipes abound, and café owners can control the kind of sweeteners that they can use or regulate their amount. They can play around with the ingredients for taste and texture. Don’t forget the nuts. Protein bars should contain nuts for that energy boost.

What Makes A Café Baby Friendly?

Kids meal

When a person becomes a parent, sometimes the option on where to eat out becomes lesser. You would want to get good food or good cappuccino yet find out that the old cafe where you used to frequently visit may no longer be a good place to go to. What if the baby needs a diaper change? What if the child becomes unruly? As an owner of the cafe, you would want your place to cater to the needs of your customers.

So what makes a café baby friendly?

  • High Chairs. High chairs will help keep the child in place and this should elevate the child so he will be at the same height as the table. This will make it easier for the parents to feed the baby.
  • Baby Changing Station. You can never control when your baby will need a diaper change. A changing station available in the women’s and the men’s room is a need. A flat table or an area with a flat surface where you could put the changing mat could also work.
  • Activity placements and a cup full of crayons. This is perfect in keeping the kids busy while the food is being prepared.
  • Kid friendly menus or finger foods being offered in the café could save the parent’s time in deciding which food their kids should be eating. A big plus also if the kids’ food is being served fast since kids tend to get hungrier quickly and the place mat and the crayons can only distract them for some time.
  • I have yet to see this but nothing says baby or child friendly than the food being served in smaller plates with spill proof cups and baby utensils. Any parent would love this because they would feel that not only their needs are being considered, but their child’s as well.
  • A little activity area at the corner of the café with crayons, building blocks or Lego would also be a great distraction for the little ones.