Living a Better Life: The Science of H2O!

Hey girls, it’s GirlMogul Poppy here with a new science installment! So, you know I’m all about figuring how things work and why things happen. That’s the part I actually like about science! Ever wonder why something works the way it does? Or maybe why our bodies function a certain way? Well, then I’m your girl!

My mom always says, “Drink 8 glasses of water a day!” When I keep asking why, she just responds by saying “It’s good for you!” But, I always wanted to know WHY it’s good for you.

It turns out that you do need about 8 glasses of water a day, and that’s because water makes up a huge part of your body. Your skin, organs, and cells are all made up of a huge percentage of water, and you need to keep replenishing that level so you don’t get dehydrated. When you sweat and do daily activities, water evaporated from your skin into the atmosphere. Therefore, you’re constantly losing a steady supply of fluid that your body needs in order to function properly. Water is one of the best liquids you can drink because it is what your body is made, of, it includes no artificial ingredients, it contains no sugar, it has no calories or fat, and it is pure. Besides replenishment, water also has a ton of other benefits. It keeps the oils from clogging your pores on your face, and prevents acne. Also, it allows you to think more clearly because when you get dehydrated, you brain and organs start functioning slower in order to conserve energy.

But, one of the new reasons I’ve discovered to drink water is exercise! Health studies recommend that athletes start drinking water at least 1 hour before exercise and for at least 1 hour afterward, because of the physical strain you are putting on your body. Be careful though! Too much water (it has ot be a lot) can also be detrimental. Just make sure that if you find yourself drinking over 8 glasses a day, include drinks like sports drinks with a little sodium and electrolytes. Too much water can wash these ingredients out of your system and they are good for you too!

And don’t forget to be environmentally friendly. Tap water is often just as good as bottled water and if you use your own re-usable container like the one shown here, you aren’t adding more plastic that takes a long time to break down into the earth.

Posted by GirlMogul Poppy

The Dangers of Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are notorious. They are an addiction for Americans nationwide, including age groups from tweens to senior citizens. Unfortunately, the glowing skin everyone wants comes at a hefty price. It’s Abby Summers here, and I want to inform you about the news that’s buzzing around these beds.

Tanning beds omit both visible light and UV light, which is the light that leads to skin cancers such as melanoma. According to the New York Times, The World Health Organization (WHO), The American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Academy of Dermatology all equate the dangers of tanning beds to that of cigarettes. Lawmakers in Texas claim that cigarettes and tanning beds have similar percentages in risks of getting cancer. According to Examiner.com, the FDA, or the Food and Drug Administration, labels the UV light emitted from these beds as a carcinogen. So why even take the risk? Our society hypes us the image of a fake bake through the media, providing tons of bronzy models for women and young girls to aspire to look like. The unfortunate part is that tanning, especially in these beds, can cause serious health problems. A study done by the American Academy of Dermatology, as mentioned on ScienceDaily.com, claims that more than 25% teen girls have used tanning salon services at least once. That’s one in four! Now, law makers are trying to take action. In states like Texas and Massachusetts teens already need signed parental forms to use the tanning salon services. For teens and tweens under the age of 16, parental forms and guidance are required. Lawmakers in Texas are taking this legislation even further. They say that it is illegal for a child under the age of 18 to buy cigarettes, and since the health risk is comparable, why are kids under the age of 18 allowed to use these harmful services? So, they propose a bill that would require kids under the age of 18 to submit a signed doctor’s note to receive a tan from a tanning bed.

Still, all parties involved admit that natural sunlight is the best for you, due to the amount of vitamin D it provides you skin. BUT, you must apply sunscreen, and re-apply while you’re out there (with a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30)! Honestly, I think we should just embrace our natural skin colors, because who wants to be that “fake bake” orange anyway?
What do you think about this legislation that Texas lawmakers are going to pass? Do you agree with their intentions of protection or think there should not be a law passed about it?

Posted by Abby Summers – GirlMogul Pack Leader

Henna Expressions

Are you someone who finds herself constantly doodling in the columns on your notebook? Do you draw designs for the covers of your binders? I am totally one of those people. It’s GirlMogul Rose here, helping out Lily and Poppy with the “Living a better Life” section. I know they usually talk about maintaining physical wellness, but I had an idea about mental and emotional wellness that I wanted to share with you.

Art can be very therapeutic. A lot of people I know use it to deal with stress. But, we are not all Picassos. I love doodling and drawing, but couldn’t draw an accurate portrait of a person if my life depended on it! I was talking to my friend who does Bollywood dancing in school, and she told me that her mom and aunts all do henna, or “mendhi” in Hindi, for fun on the side. She said they put on for formal occasions like weddings, and sometimes just for fun. She knows how much I like to doodle and learn how to draw cool designs, so she let me come over her house and try the art form. Traditional henna is made from the eucalyptus plant, and looks like a thick, dark green paste. The artists use a pastry cone to pipe designs on hands, feet, and anywhere you want! They said they usually only do the hands and feet because that is where the color comes out the darkest because of the good circulation.

I tried and loved it! It was so much fun, and the design lasted in a dark brown/reddish color on my hand for almost 3 weeks! You can find real mendhi at Indian grocery stores, or by calling Henna artists in your area, who will often sell you a cone they make for around $4. They also books with traditional designs, which is what I used to copy from. Here are pictures of what I did on my left hand, with the henna still on it:

Posted by GirlMogul Poppy

Adventurous Cuisine: Tantalizing Thai Food

When we go out to eat Thai food the usual dishes are ordered. These dishes include items such as Pad Thai, Beef or Chicken Satay, and some kind of fried rice. Although the terms Pad Thai and Satay may sound foreign, we know them as the traditional Thai noodle dish and meat grilled on a stick served with peanut sauce, respectively. But, Thai food can be much more interesting than noodles and rice. In fact, I often never even venture out into the menu at a Thai restaurant, since don’t understand most of the terms anyway.

Well, that changed. I decided to just go for it. Here are some of the dishes I think are worth a shot: Watercress with bean sauce, beef with bamboo shoots, and spicy coconut milk soup with chicken. Let’s start with the watercress. Watercress, when cut and prepared, has a refreshing bite. It’s a soft vegetable after cooked, but had a nice crunch to it when bitten. Also, watercress absorbs flavors really well so the sauce it is cooked in really envelopes the vegetable and gives it depth. Beef with bamboo shoots was also a nice surprise, because the tenderness of the beef contrasts so well with the texture of the bamboo shoots. The beef is soft and well seasoned, while the bamboo shoots are crunchy and mild. Spicy coconut milk soup is less about the texture and more about the flavor. This soup can get REALLY spicy, so make sure to ask for the level you can handle! The delicious coconut milk adds sweetness to the heat, and the vegetables in the broth, like mushrooms and bamboo shoots, add heartiness to the soup. With the addition of chicken, this soup is the perfect meal.

For dessert, make sure to try lychees in syrup, a traditional Thai fruit in its own juices. Lychees are sweet and delicious. They have a soft, fleshy texture and are white in color. They make the perfect refreshing end to any meal!

And don’t forget to enter this week’s Giveaway – Best Friend Bands Bracelet Making Kit
Posted by GirlMggul Poppy