Knowing some important numbers, and truly understanding what these numbers mean, is an extremely important step to healthy living. Check with your doctor or calculate these numbers yourself in order to determine how you can adjust your eating and exercise habits for a healthier and improved lifestyle.
1. The top (systolic) number represents the pressure while the heart contracts to pump blood to the body.
2. The bottom (diastolic) number represents the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats.
Diastolic high blood pressure refers to the blood pressure in between muscle contractions. Doctors and medical experts have stated that diastolic high blood pressure should be taken seriously because it causes more harm to the body than systolic does. Higher rates of diastolic pressure cause adverse effects on the brain, heart and kidney. Individuals with high diastolic blood pressure should try to maintain this number below 90.
If you find that your pressure is above 140 systolic, (the top number) then you have hypertension. If your pressure is above 90 diastolic, (the bottom number) you have hypertension. Many people do not have symptoms until something “bad” happens, however, by then the damage has been done. Hypertension is often referred to as the silent killer, and leads to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness. If you have high blood pressure, be sure to take your medication as your doctor has prescribed it.
Check your cholesterol. Your total cholesterol should be below 200. Your HDL is your good cholesterol, and the number is raised by exercising. The HDL cholesterol should be about 50, and the higher the better! Your LDL is your “bad” cholesterol, and this cholesterol should be under 100. To help you remember which is which, your HDL is happy and your want it to be high. Your LDL is your loser cholesterol and you want it to be low. Silly mnemonic, but it works!
Check your blood sugar. Fasting sugar should be under 100. Any isolated level over 200 grants you access into the wonderful world of diabetes. Diet and exercise as well as maintaining an ideal body weight are the first steps to avoid diabetes!
Check your Body Mass Index (BMI). Many websites offer a BMI calculator; all you need to do is enter your height and weight and it will compute your number. Under 18.5 is considered underweight. Normal is 18.5 to 24.9. Over weight is 25 to 29.9 and anything over 30 is considered obese. Check out this simple BMI calculator provided by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute!
Knowledge is power, so know your numbers. If you know them you can control them, and if you don’t then the numbers can control you!
One of my favorite restaurants suggests in bold letters at the bottom of their menu “18% gratuity is appropriate and recommended.” With restaurants suggesting how much to tip before you even place an order, appropriate tipping etiquette may be confusing. When do you leave a generous tip? Is it ever acceptable to leave no tip at all? We’ve created a little cheat sheet of the modern guidelines when it comes to gratuities and tipping etiquette.
Restaurant Dining: Tipping used to show an individual’s appreciation for exceptional service. Restaurants now factor in tips as a way to lower wages, and therefore it is customary to leave:
- 15% gratuity for average service.
- 20% is recommended for exceptional service.
- 10% gratuity is appropriate for less-than-mediocre service.
It is never appropriate to leave a nickel or dime out of spite, and the manager should be confronted privately if the service does not deserve even 10% gratuity.
Tip Jars: Many small establishments, such as coffee bars and ice cream shops, have a tip jar next to the register. Because these tips are shared between all employees, it is not necessary or expected to leave a tip.
- Frequent patrons should drop in a few bucks from time to time.
- This guideline can be applied to bar service as well.
Private Parties: It is not recommended to tip servers or bartenders at private parties, unless the server has provided extraordinary service.
- Etiquette experts suggest a small tip of appreciation in special circumstances, such as help when you spill on your shirtfront.
There are a few other situations when it is customary to leave a small tip:
- Valet parker: $2-$5
- Doorman: $5 for hailing a cab (more generous tips are recommended around the holidays for doormen you encounter regularly)
- Coat check clerk: $1-$2
- Hairdressers, barbers, manicurists, etc.: 10% of total bill (more is recommended during the holiday season)
- Taxi driver: 15% of total bill
- Skycaps at airport: $1-$2 per bag
- Grocery loaders: $1-$3 depending on the number of grocery bags
Sources: How to be a Gentleman, John Bridges
Essential Manners, Peter Post
If you have ever spilled on your favorite shirt, you know the disappointment that ensues when you take the shirt out of the washing machine and a huge stain still remains. However, there are steps you can take to treat a stain before washing to aid the removal and make certain that you will wear your favorite shirt once again!
- Treat stains as soon as possible! The longer a stain sets, the harder the stain will be to remove.
- Don’t immediately run to the bathroom and start scrubbing with a bar of soap; basic soap and rubbing will only drive the stain further into the fabric.
- If you are rinsing a stain, stick to cold water since warm water can also make certain stains permanent.
- Gently blot with a sponge when treating stains since scrubbing or vigorously rubbing could also set the stain.
- Check all garment instructions and tags before you bleach, launder, or treat any article of clothing.
- Keep a Tide-To-Go pen in your purse or car to pretreat any stains that might occur when you are out and about.
Here are a few remedies for common stains:
Berries/grape juice: Mix liquid detergent and 5% diluted ammonia and apply to the stain.
Blood (dry): Mix liquid detergent and 5% diluted ammonia and apply to the stain.
Butter: Butter is a protein so try using acetone on the stained item. Do not use warm water on these stains, and check the laundered item before throwing it into the dryer; you may need to treat the stain again, and heat from the dryer may set the stain permanently.
Coffee: Mix liquid detergent and white vinegar and apply to the stain.
Grass: Pretreat the stained area with detergent, and then bleach the stain. BE SURE to read garment instructions fully to be sure the item can be bleached.
Ink: Try acetone then detergent on ink stains. If the ink is stubborn, you can also try paint remover.
Wine: Mix liquid detergent and 5% diluted ammonia and apply to the stain.
The Date Kit:
By Andrea Lara
There is a lot of thought and speculation about what goes into the perfect “Emergency Beauty Kit.” Most of this pertains to a kit that will come in handy on a red carpet. Well, I’m not sure about you, but I am not in the habit of frequenting awards shows and movie premieres – much to my chagrin. Nevertheless I do need an Emergency Beauty Kit with me on a date, at the gym, and at work. It is only partially about vanity, these kits help keep me comfortable.
We need to think about the essentials here, and what is absolutely necessary, since the bag you will be carrying is going to be small. Whatever lip color you have on you are going to want to bring with you – on most dates food is involved, which means sayonara lipgloss. I am a fan of the Buxom glosses, they are highly pigmented, have great staying power, and a minty scent – excellent for those upclose and personal moments. Bonus – they have mini sizes sold in sets of four.
Keeping with the mini theme, Altoids Smalls. The tin is tiny as well as the mints inside of it, this makes it easy to sneak one under your tongue in a flash and not annoy the heck out of you. I enjoy gum as much as the next girl, but I have an unfortunate habit of smacking it – not so sexy – a mini mint is much safer for me.
Floss. I like to think that I have good dental hygiene but this is not the primary reason for the floss pick in my clutch. Ever get a piece of spinach or steak stuck in between your teeth and have it be so distracting and uncomfortable that you can’t stand it – or worse yet – have it be visible? Story of my life. The floss picks are small and versatile – floss on one side, tooth pick on the other. What’s not to like?
Fragrance always makes me feel sexy or flirty depending on which one I choose to wear. Tucking a roller ball fragrance in my bag is a great way to revive how I want to feel on my date. It’s an easy way to freshen up in the ladies room after dinner. My latest favorite is Citron de Vigne by Fresh: summery, light, and sexy.
Hopefully now we can keep the emergencies to a minimum and the troubleshooting to a maximum. We’re savvy, we can do it.