Sugars

Sugars belong to a group called carbohydrates, which is responsible for supplying energy in our body. It is the main source of energy for us, so when we eat foods that are carbohydrates we get energy to be able to move around.
The main sources of carbohydrates are rice, potatoes, pasta, and bread. However, I’d like to talk to you about the sugars that are added to our diet, which we may not notice or are unaware of their presence or name on the packages.

Fruits are an excellent source of carbohydrates. Sugars are also present in milk, dried foods, mayonnaise, ketchup, and there are also sugars added to tea or cola or diet cola. There’s a good natural sugar called Stevia, which is from a plant origin and therefore has no known side effects so far, unlike the artificial sweeteners.
The purest and simplest form of natural sugars is glucose + fructose, which is present in honey. Molasses is formed from refining sugar cane or sugar beets and has a different composition. More sucrose, for example. It is important to remember that honey is not allowed for children of less than one year of age, as it may cause a form of poisoning called Botulism, which is caused by certain toxics, that a baby’s body might not be able to deal with.

Why should I eat sugar daily in a certain amount? As I mentioned before, sugar represents the main source of energy, and its stable level in our blood affects our mood. If you eat excess or deficient amount of carbohydrates you’ll find that your mood isn’t stable. That’s why it’s important that your blood glucose level remains stable.
So, when does you mood become unstable? That happens when you eat too much sugar and then you don’t eat it for several hours, and then eat again a lot of sugar. When the time between meals is too long and your intake of sugar decreases you’ll find that your mood fluctuates.
On the other hand, when you eat small meals containing moderate amounts of sugar – such as eating fruits every two to three hours – the blood glucose level will remain normal and stable, and you’ll be in a happier and more relaxed mood.
When we eat too much sugar, more than our body needs, the extra sugar we eat is stored in the liver. And if we consume even larger amounts, the body stores it as fats. That’s why eating sugars in excess will give us a bad mood and will add more pounds/kilograms fat to our body weight.

There are also source of sugars that we may not notice. That’s why I’d recommend that you read the nutrition facts label on your food packages always. If you find any word ending with –ose, like glucose, fructose, maltose or sucrose, these are all forms of sugar.
You will find sugars in honey, white sugar, concentrated food extract. You should be fully aware of your daily sugar intake. So always make sure that you read whether sugars are included in your food.
When reading a label you might find one or five artificial sugars added. Those artificial sugars have the sweet taste but add no calories to your diet. These names are: Saccharin, Aspartame, Sucralose, Neotame and Acesulfame K. If you notice any of these words on the label, then there is artificial sugar added to the food product. The body does not store artificial sugars but seems to respond to their intake by producing more insulin. It is said that because of the high insulin levels one may become obsessed with eating sugars later on. That’s why I’d recommend that you use natural sugars, such as Stevia or honey, to sweeten your drinks.

Some people may not feel well after eating sugars and may even get in a bad mood or become hyperactive. If you experience such symptoms I’d recommend that you consult your doctor to exclude diabetes mellitus, especially if you’re overweight or have a family history of diabetes.
Also, some people may feel sick after drinking milk, containing milk sugar (lactose). After drinking milk they might suffer of discomfort or flatulence – that’s gas forming – this is caused by a genetic condition, mostly prevalent in the Arab countries. About 97% of Asians and Africans might have problems after drinking milk. In this case I’d recommend replacing milk with buttermilk or yogurt, because in these products there is the least amount of milk sugar. If you’d like some sweet taste I’d suggest that you add honey, and that will be fine.

Excessive or deficient sugar intake is not healthy. Always maintain a stable level of your blood glucose and practise regular exercise, so that your body weight and health remain ideal.

I wish you good health!

Alyaa Gad

Bran for Weight Loss

Bran is the hard outer layer of a cereal grain. Does it have health benefits? Well, it is rich in fibres known as cellulose, which help our body regulate bowel movements and fill the stomach, especially when drinking enough water with it. This will give you a feeling of fullness and satiety. Fibres are the natural stomach balloons, because they help you lose weight by giving you a sense of satiety if you use it before or between meals. At the same time it decreases your intake of sugars and inhibits fat absorption, especially bad fats, so it would improve your good cholesterol levels.

So how can we prepare a bran snack or bran drink? You can buy it in the powdered form and add it to your favourite juice or add it to a mixture of yogurt and honey, but you should drink it or eat it as soon as you prepare it.

I will show you how it’s prepared. Take one or two teaspoons of bran powder and add it to your juice. Then stir it properly till it’s completely dissolved and drink it right away. Make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day, so that it would help the bran to expand and make you feel full.

If you do this 1/4 or 1/2 hour before meal you stomach will be full and you will feel the need to eat smaller meals. This will be really helpful to reduce your weight, besides the many other health benefits that bran will give you.

I wish you good health!

Alyaa Gad

Cat Shower!

I would like to explain to you what I would call a “cat shower”, which you can do very quickly if there is not enough water available for a full shower or if you don’t have enough time or if you’re bedridden or for a baby when the weather is cold.

You will need:

  • 2 small towels
  • Some warm water in a bowl
  • Your favourite shampoo
  • Shower gel or soap
  • Some fresh lemon juice, if you like

Now let’s illustrate how it’s done. Add some drops of your favourite body washer gel to the water. And immerse the small towel and then squeeze the water out. Wipe the face and the head and then the neck. Then expose the baby’s body and wipe the abdomen, the arms and the armpits, then the back, then the legs, and finally the genitals. Then cover up the back of the baby and you can replace the towel by a new one.

At the end of the shower you can add some drops of fresh lemon juice into the water and use this as natural deodorant and to restore the natural ph of your skin. You can use it especially to wipe the armpits.

This is a simple shower that you can do without consuming too much water. It will leave you feeling fresh and ready to go only in a couple of minutes.

My best regards!

Alyaa Gad

Head Lice

Head lice are annoying insects as small as sesame seeds. They affect particularly children and people living in big crowds. It’s highly contagious and can spread on school children and then to their families and can be difficult to get rid of. In this video I have some advice for you to get rid of the problem.

Basically lice live in the human hair on the scalp, and especially in the back of the head and behind the ears. Lice live in human hair and have a life cycle. They’re first eggs or “nits” and then nymphs and then adults. And they feed on our blood. They reproduce at high rates and stick their eggs to the hair. We are dealing with insects that reproduce quickly – every two weeks there is a new group of eggs. That’s why treatment should continue for at least one month while daily combing the hair to make sure that the lice is absent from the hair. Especially the parts in the back of the scalp and behind the ears.

With long hair lice will be more difficult to treat. Let me explain to you how to do it. As I mentioned, treatment should be for at least one month with daily combing and doing the following steps:

First we must use a narrow-tooth comb made of metal with a double row as you see here, or plastic or wood. White combs are better so you can get to see the dark lice on them.

In case of repeated infection in children I recommend that you shave their hair using an electric shaver, especially in boys. This will remove lice effectively.

After we finish combing out the lice properly you may face another problem, which is the attached eggs, or the “nits”. How can I deal with that? Another way is the manual way by which you can remove the nits by the tips of your nails. First you can spry apple cider vinegar. It will dissolve the glue by which the nits are attached to the hairs. Then leave it for about 30 minutes and then comb it. Sometimes you may need a stronger technique, if the child is old enough. I suggest that you use a tong or a hair iron, which is excellent because it burns the eggs. This will solve a big part of the problem. And you can use it once a week.

We have two main aspects concerning treatment of lice. Lice present in the scalp, which disappears when you comb properly everyday from the roots till the end of the hairs, and then we have the eggs that are attached to the hair and cannot be easily combed out. That’s why I would suggest high temperatures to kill the eggs and the combing to manually get rid of the big lice. Do not use hair irons for children less then 2 years of age, because they might move their head and get injured.

When you are using these combs for delousing I would recommend that you use a white cotton cloth, so that you can see the lice better. Make sure that the cloth can be washed at high temperatures. After delousing you can wash the cloth in hot water – 95° C or above 200° F – to kill the lice immediately and to prevent it from spreading to others.

Don’t forget to spray your child’s comb with alcohol after each use. You can also use some drops of essential tea tree oil. Add them to your child’s shampoo and this will get an odour, which is unpleasant to the lice and thus will prevent the infection to come back.

Please remember that the life cycle of the lice takes about a month. So, there’s an egg, a nymph and an adult, and all these we have to deal with them every day for at least a month, to make sure that they are totally gone. Don’t forget that the best way is to comb every day for about a month. You can kill the eggs or the “nits” using a hair iron or a tong, but that’s for older children or adults. If you have a young child – younger than two years of age – you will have to remove the eggs manually. So first you have to spray apple cider vinegar and wait for 30 minutes and then manually remove the eggs. This will take a long time, but it’s the best way for your children. Be aware that any chemicals we apply on the child’s hair can be harmful, especially in young children less than 2 years of age, because it may be affecting their nervous system. That’s why we have to prevent applying any chemicals to their body.

Treating lice requires patience and repetition. Repeat the above steps for the infected children, their siblings and their parents at the same day. Also you should clean your home and wash all bed sheets in high temperatures, clean the floor using a vacuum cleaner, so as to get rid of the lice all over the house.

It is well possible that the child gets re-infected from school. For that reason I would recommend that the school implements a week of lice treatment, so that all the children are treated at the same time.

I wish you all good health!

Alyaa Gad

Dermaroller

What is a derma roller? It’s a rolling device that involves rolling many tiny needles over the skin. “Derma” means “skin” and a roller rolls!

As we see here it consists of a roller head covered with tiny sharp needles that penetrate the skin to stimulate collagen production and help in regaining its healthy look. It’s an easy technique as it can be done at home, so you don’t always have to pay for several visits and treatments at the doctor’s office. Please note that not all derma rollers present on the market are of high quality. So make sure that you buy it from a reliable source, either from your doctor’s office or from the pharmacy.

The ones we buy are slightly different from those used by the doctors, in terms of thickness and length of the needles. If you visit your doctor he/she will apply deeper treatment and then you will have to protect your skin very well from the sun for 6 weeks.

When using a derma roller at home wash your face properly, apply alcohol to the derma roller – especially at the needles part – so that it will be completely sterile when it pricks the skin. Then once more make sure to apply alcohol on it after you’re finished. Make sure that you wash your face properly using a good soap and then dry it completely.

You will start from the right cheek, massaging up and down for 10 times. Then massage in a perpendicular direction to the previous one for another 10 times. You may feel some pain but you’ll get used to it. Then massage the left cheek up and down for 10 times. And the same in a transverse direction. Then massage both sides of the chin. Especially if you’re having acne marks you will notice great improvement after applying the derma roller. Then massage the forehead in up and down direction for 10 times. And then another 10 times in a horizontal direction.

Avoid using it around the eyes or on the neck. You can apply it to the nose, décolleté or abdominal skin and as advised by your doctor.

After finishing sterilize the derma roller again by spraying alcohol over the needles part, and then place it in its case. Never touch the needles!

You can use vitamin C serum or use the powder form and dissolve it in water that has been previously boiled and cooled down. You can also choose to add some drops of fresh lemon juice to water, and then you drink it or apply it to your skin.

Make sure when going out during the day to apply sunblock cream.

So let me show you how to prepare the powder form. You take a spoon of vitamin C powder and dissolve it in water, drink it and apply some of it to your skin.

Are there any harms that may be caused by the derma roller? Sometimes it may cause skin allergy, that’s why I’d recommend that you consult your dermatologist before using it for the first time. Avoid using it if you’re taking any medications or if you’re pregnant. Or if you get exposed to sunlight frequently or if you have active acne. If you suffer from any skin conditions, please consult your doctor.

You can get excellent results with derma roller. Just make sure to protect your skin from the sunlight and apply the derma roller frequently, and you will regain the normal beautiful look of your skin.

I wish you good health!

Alyaa Gad

Cellulite