COMFORT IS BEAUTY

Why Eggs Should Be in Your Diet: Heart Healthy Benefits

Why-Eggs-Should-Be-in-Your-Diet-Heart-Healthy-BenefitsIncredible, edible—the egg is a powerhouse of protein, but did you know that it also contains nutrients that will help you fight cancer or give your growing baby a healthy boost? That’s right, eggs are a multi-faceted must for your diet. Even though eggs are known to be high in cholesterol, a new study from the British Medical Journal shows that a diet featuring moderate egg consumption won’t put you in danger. Let’s look at some of the other benefits eggs will bring to your health:

If you’re a mom-to-be, adding eggs to your diet will ensure that your baby is getting a special kind of B vitamin that is essential to brain development. Choline not only helps your baby’s brain grow, it also protects against dementia and other developmental disorders. Try mixing hardboiled eggs into a salad if the smell of fried egg turns your sensitive stomach.

How else can eggs help you stay healthy? They contain antioxidants that will help reduce your risk of developing cancer. On top of that, eating eggs with help lower your blood pressure and reduces your risk of heart disease. Scrambled, fried, hardboiled—there are a lot of tasty ways to incorporate eggs into your diet. Everything in moderation is a good rule to follow in the kitchen, and this applies to how many eggs you should consume.

Want to cut down on your food cravings? Try starting your day off with soft-cooked eggs and reap the benefits of feeling full longer. Studies show that a high protein breakfast will prevent you from wanting to snack all day and night. Even if your cravings kick in the evening, eggs in the morning will help you feel sated longer.

There’s no need to make a protein shake á la Rocky, but change up your breakfast routine with an egg or two.

 

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Wellness Tips for Improved Mental Health: Spring Cleaning Your Negative Thoughts

Wellness-Tips-for-Improved-Mental-Health-Spring-Cleaning-Your-Negative-ThoughtsYou’ve purged your closet, organized that stack of mail sitting on your counter, and have already swept the floors in every room—what else can you do to complete your spring cleaning mission? What about your mental state, have you taken a moment to clear your head and get ready for the rest of your year? It’s easy to get bogged down by work, family life, and other outside stressors, and right now is a great time to clean out some of the mental distractions that are hanging around like cobwebs in your head.

First things first: make a conscious effort to cut out the negative language we use in our everyday lives. Reducing how often you respond negatively to a question or suggestion will help you feel empowered instead of overwhelmed or resentful of decisions you have to make. This task might seem impossible at first, but being aware of how you respond to others and your own inner dialogue will go a long way in changing your thought patterns. Start with yourself; don’t allow any self-criticism for an entire day. Did you forget to change an appointment or turn in a project at work? It’s ok, mistakes happen, and they’re not unforgivable. Before you make amends with your friends or boss, make one with yourself. Give yourself the chance to recognize your mistake so you can move forward and change your behavior accordingly.

Have you been feeling like your morning routine isn’t getting you energized for your big day ahead? It’s easy to feel drained all day when you haven’t taken steps to mentally get ready before heading out to work. Try setting your alarm fifteen minutes earlier than normal and use your extra time to quietly prepare for your day. There’s nothing calmer than sitting with a cup of coffee and reflecting on all of the tasks that you have to accomplish—it’s much easier to feel prepared if you’re not frantically running through a mental checklist while struggling to get out of the door on time. If you’re looking for a physical boost, try setting your alarm back a half an hour so you can go on a brisk walk before getting ready for your day. You don’t have to put in a full, sweaty exercise to reap the benefits of this health boost.

Finally, as your day winds down, make it a point to set firm boundaries on your smart phone, email, Facebook habits before bedtime. With how much information is available at our fingertips these days, it’s too easy to become sucked into an endless feed of pictures, status updates, and trivial news. It might seem as if you have to immediately respond to the emails collecting in your inbox (and yes, sometimes you do!) but try to ask yourself: do I really have to get back to this person right now? If not, it might be beneficial to let your response wait until morning. A great way to disengage yourself from your mindless online browsing is to charge your phone in any room except your bedroom. If you use your phone as an alarm, you can buy an inexpensive alarm clock and use that instead. Without the constant buzzing as a distraction, you’ll be able to unwind with your partner or read a book in bed. These actions will help you fall asleep quickly and soundly.

Don’t be afraid to spring clean some of your pesky mental health habits this year. Breaking up with your routine can inspire positive change, and you’ll feel just as sunny as the weather if you take our tips as your guide.

 

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Shake up Your Shampoo Routine With These Healthy Hair Secrets

Shake-up-Your-Shampoo-Routine-With-These-Healthy-Hair-SecretsIf you’re like us, we used to think that shampooing your hair was as easy as lather, rinse, repeat. Not so! According to Oprah.com, women across the globe are making five big mistakes with their shampoo routine. Luckily enough, they’re easy to correct and will make your hair healthier and look better. Get ready to change up your shower routine with these simple shampoo corrections:

 

If you shampoo your hair every day

You are overdoing it! Your hair does not need to be washed every day. Most hair stylists suggest skipping a day (or even two, depending on your hair type) between washings to keep your scalp healthy. You should also switch between products every couple of weeks to ensure that you’re not creating build-up from chemicals in your shampoo. Try a dry shampoo product (sold in most drugstores) to help keep your roots fresh and grease-free between washings.

If you always start shampooing at the same spot on your head

It’s good to start the process at different points on your scalp, nape, or even the ends of your hair. Follow this tip if you notice frequent white flakes from your scalp.

If you shampoo before your hair is thoroughly wet

Take the time to drench your hair in water before shampooing, otherwise you’re not getting a proper lather. This is a time saver as well as a money saver—you won’t need to add on more shampoo if you’re evenly lathering your wet hair.

If you rinse your hair in hot water

Sure, hot water is a good way to chase away the morning chills, but it turns out that it’s not so beneficial for your hair and scalps’ health. Hot water dries out your scalp and skin, so make sure to take it down a notch before fully rinsing out your hair. It doesn’t have to be icy cold water, either—lukewarm temperatures will be just fine.

If you scalp feels sore after shampooing

Make sure that you’re massaging the shampoo into your hair, not clawing your scalp with your fingernails. You’re more likely to cause irritations and break off hair if you’re too rough while shampooing. Think of this time as a mini-scalp massage and work the shampoo gently into your hair.

 

Follow these tips above for gorgeous, clean tresses every wash!

 

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Bra Sizes Demystified: How to be Your At-Home Bra Fitter

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Photo courtesy of Treacle Tart

It’s been reported that 7 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra, and that many women go throughout life without ever visiting a professional bra fitter. We do think it’s very important that women know what bra size they should be wearing, which is why it’s our mission at Leading Lady to try and provide the best fit possible for an extended bra size range. We’re working on our own products, too, so your continued feedback and advice is much appreciated by our team!

So we’re going to share some tips today that will make you a better at-home bra fitter. We still advise getting professionally fitted (especially if you go through major body changes) but knowing and practicing these tips at home will help you space out department stores visits. Your intimates are the foundation to every outfit, and having a properly-fitted bra will make a world of a difference for your posture, clothes, and your self-confidence! Here are a few bra fit methods we want to pass on to you:

How you should measure yourself

First thing’s first—grab a flexible tape measure (trust us, it’ll be easier if you’re using one that easily wraps around your body) and stand in front of a mirror. You should be wearing a bra for your fitting, but ideally one without extra padding. It’s ok if you wear a molded cup bra, but you want your measurements to reflect your actual bust size.

For the first measurement, wrap the tape directly beneath your breasts and around your entire rib cage. You want to try and keep the tape parallel to the floor. Record this measurement—it’s your band size. Bra band sizes only come in even numbers, so if you find yourself with an odd-numbered measurement or a half-size, go up to the next even number. For example, if you’re 41 inches around, you’re going to want to try a 42 band bra for the best fit.

Your second measurement will determine what cup size you should wear. Wrap your measuring tape around the fullest part of your breasts. You want to make sure that your fit is snug but not too tight. You want to make sure that your fit is snug but not too tight. If you land between whole numbers, round to the nearest whole number. Now that you have these two measurements, subtract your band size from your cup size. For example, if you’ve determined that you’re a 42 band and your bust measures 44.6 inches (rounded up to 45), you will have 3 leftover. The general cup scale is easy to follow: Starting with A=1, go up a cup size for every whole number. With our example, your 3 would equal a C cup. Which means that after your at-home bra fitting, you should be wearing a 42C bra. Whew! That wasn’t too hard!

What else can you do to make sure you’re wearing the best-fitting bra? Consider what kind of cup coverage suits your shape and style. If you like to wear lower necklines and have breasts that fill cups from the bottom-up, you might want to try a demi cup bra style. Full coverage cups work to keep your breasts centered on your chest while different leisure, softcup style bras will highlight your natural shape. Leisure bras will not mold your breasts into a round shape, so plan accordingly if you know that you have certain bra needs for outfits or events. Browse our Leading Lady full figure bra collection to find your favorite bra style and double-check your measurements with our handy Fit Calculator just to make sure you’re wearing the right bra size!

 

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Bra Styles Revisited: The Contour Bra with Lisa Cole

In the mid 90′s, a revolution emerged in the world of lingerie…the birth of the contour bra.  I was working for a national retailer at the time and I remember thinking, what is this for?  At the time, bras were everything from super padded to light and airy and these styles were taking center stage as the new must-haves for women everywhere.  Some of my customers celebrated the contour bra’s arrival, while others complained. I decided to embrace the movement, and to my benefit and surprise, I fell in love with contour bras.

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Last month I was speaking to a group of women and demonstrating Leading Lady’s Molded Padded Seamless Underwire Full Figure Bra (style 5028) as a perfect bra style solution for spring trends which include color (bra is available in True Jade, which is trending right now for spring).  One of the women sheepishly asked, “Can I wear this? Won’t that add more dimensions to my already large bust size?”  Most of the women chimed in and agreed.  However, most of them did want to wear a contour bra and just didn’t know what works and what benefits you get from wearing the bra.  I shared the following:

A contour bra was designed to give “shaping” under your clothes.  The molded cups enhance what Mother Nature gave you without extreme cleavage. However, this should never happen if you’re wearing the right size. Keep in mind there are bras designed to “push up” and “increase size” but contour bras generally do not achieve the “plunge” look. You should put the bra on and immediately feel comfortable.

A contour bra also provides modesty.  I like to call it “dimming the high beams” (you know what I mean).  Ideal if you’re a professional woman or constantly feel like you have to wear layers to fix the issue. The totally smooth cups with no interference–what could be better? One of my favorite benefits of this bra is that you have no lines or seams and can feel confident in your clothes.

contour-bras-with-lisa-coleKeep in mind that the degree of molding you want in a contour bra is up to you. Light to medium is preferred by most women and Leading Lady Molded Padded Seamless Full Figure Bra (in both wirefree and underwire). These bras have been among top picks by my clients. Shopping your spring wardrobe? Pair signature tops and blouses that are sheer (and trending for spring) with skinny jeans and capris for a compliment-friendly look.  Wear any blouse with confidence by adding a contour bra to your lingerie wardrobe.

Lisa Cole is the Founder/Fit Expert of StyleFitSolutions.Com.  She provides advice on all aspects of style as it pertains to bra fit and body confidence solutions for women.  She is a speaker and hosts private events around the country.

Skin Cancer Prevention: Why You Should Check Your Moles Now

Skin-Cancer-Prevention-Why-You-Should-Check-Your-Moles-NowHello, sunshine! Now that spring is finally here, we’re sure that you’re ready to throw all of your thick sweaters and extra blankets back into the closet where they belong. But before you break out your tank tops and sleeveless dresses, make sure you’re up-to-date on your skin’s health.

Knowing the current state of your skin’s health is important before you find yourself outdoors all spring and summer. Currently, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Melanoma, which is the most serious form of skin cancer, is caused by ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. Avoiding too much UV light isn’t easy, though—sunlight naturally emits a couple of UV light variations. That’s why wearing sunscreen, limiting sunlight exposure, and keeping an eye on your moles are important factors in preventing skin cancer.

Anytime you’re outside, it’s a good idea to wear a sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF on any part of your skin that’s exposed. Most daily moisturizers contain between 15-30SPF, so make sure to read labels and find a brand that suits your needs and keeps your skin safe.

Now is a great time to perform a self-check for moles! If you start your spring off knowing exactly what to watch for, there’s a better chance that you’ll catch any abnormalities before they develop into a more serious problem. From the American Academy of Dermatology, here are the best tips for monitoring moles (your “ABCD’s”):

A -   Asymmetry:

Does one part of your mole look very different from the other? Your mole’s coloration and thickness should not be drastically different from one side to the other.

B – Border:

Does your mole in question have a lumpy, uneven border? What if it looks lighter and more poorly defined than the rest of the mole? These border issues may signal a diseased mole and need to be checked by a dermatologist.

C – Color:

Look at your moles—do you have any that are composed of a few different colors? Moles that are not uniformly colored should be checked out. Moles most commonly appear in shades of tan, brown, and black and have been known to show up red, white, or blue too.

D – Diameter:

The AAD recommends that every mole on your body not exceed 6mm (the width of a pencil’s eraser). Melanomas are most commonly larger than 6mm, so please consult a professional if your mole in question is on the larger side.

Have questions about moles and sun safety? Check out the AAD website for comprehensive information or make an appointment with a dermatologist to get a skin check-up.

 

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Sports Bras in History: How Title IX and Women’s Athletics Shaped the Sports Bra

Sports Bras in History: How Title IX and Women’s Athletics Shaped the Sports BraMarch is National Women’s History month and to celebrate we’re bringing you a short history of the sports bra, one of the greatest brassiere-related inventions that benefits active women around the world.

Who would have thought that two jock straps sewn together would serve as the first sports bra? When Lisa Lindahl and Polly Smith set out to create a supportive workout bra for women, they concentrated on designing a bra that reduced chafing and breast soreness as well as slipping shoulder straps.

It wasn’t until Lindahl’s husband joked that they needed “a jockstrap for women’s breasts” that the two women experimented by sewing two jockstraps together to form what they called the “jockbra.” This bra, designed in 1977, eventually was renamed the “jogbra.” Four of the original Jogbra prototypes are currently on display: one is bronzed and on display near University of Vermont’s costume shop (where it was originally created), 2 in the Smithsonian, and the last one is on display in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It’s no coincidence that the first sports bra emerged just years after congress passed Title IX, an important act that’s part of 1972’s Education Amendment. Title IX was not drafted for women’s high school and collegiate sports in particular, but its impact across women’s athletics meant that more women could participate in sports funded by universities. No longer the “weaker sex,” women competed in all available athletic competitions and fields. Once women had the government’s support to pursue athletics, the need for better breast support followed quickly behind. No wonder the sports bra became such a hot-ticket item in the late 1970s!

Once the Jogbra was purchased by a brassiere company in 1990, the original design underwent testing and was produced into the compression-style sports bra we’ve come to know today. Today, sports bras fall into two general categories: compression or encapsulation bra styles. Both sports bras are usually made from stretchy, Lycra materials that have moisture repellant and wicking properties to keep you cool through a workout.

In just a short time, sports bras have become wardrobe essentials for active women everywhere. Whether you prefer racer back sports bras or encased underwire bra styles, we’re sure that your sports bra lifts you and keeps bouncing at a minimum.

Looking for a cute and comfy cotton sports bra that’s perfect for walking, yoga, and running errands? Hop over to our wirefree sports bra page to see if we have you size in stock!

Happy National Women’s History month, Leading Ladies!

Leading Ladies We Love: Lena Dunham

lena-dunham-vogue-coverYou may not know her yet, but there’s a good chance that in the next five years Lena Dunham will become a household name. She’s a multi-talented actress who not only stars in HBO’s popular series Girls, but also directs and writes for the show which she created. At 27, Dunham is poised to become a major voice in contemporary women’s entertainment, and we’re glad to hear her point of view. With 2 Golden Globes and 7 Emmy nominations under her belt, Lena is quickly becoming a driving force in the entertainment industry.

Before launching a show with HBO, Lena released two films, Creative Nonfiction and Tiny Furniture, which were met with largely positive reviews. A native New Yorker, Dunham’s works are notable for their dry humor and stark coming-of-age scenarios. Dunham herself is the leading lady in her films and show and often writes her curvy body and unconventional look into her scripts. She is not afraid of baring it all (literally) for the sake of the show and in doing so normalizes an average female body, complete with curves and flaws. Critics of Girls have applauded Dunham for her willingness to explore the skipped-over parts of any young woman’s maturation, and we applaud her for staying true to form through three successful seasons of Girls!

Most recently, Lena appeared on the cover of Vogue and hosted Saturday Night Live. She is quickly becoming a staple in the fashion world (she’s worn some of the top designers to awards shows and has appeared front row at fashion week) and we are happy to see another curvy star in the spotlight. She is a welcome breath of fresh air and a truly successful actress and filmmaker whose career we are excited to follow.

Lena is also an advocate for stronger women’s roles in television and film. Dunham notices the dearth of intelligent women’s roles and notes that “something has to change, and I’m trying” and so we celebrate her efforts in creating roles that accurately portray women in the entertainment industry.

Exercise with a New Mix of Workout Songs

Exercise-with-a-New-Mix-of-Workout-SongsMaybe it’s been a while since you last updated your workout playlist. What kind of music do you listen to while getting your cardio on? Whether you turn to Beyonce’s newest album or Motown Pandora station, everyone has a favorite musician that gets their heart racing and blood pumping.

But what about those songs that pull at your heartstrings? They might have a strong bass line or irresistible beat, but the association you have with them is definitely on the emotional side. From Refinery 29, blogger Kelsey Miller shares why an emotionally-charged playlist might make you work out harder than your tried-and-true playlist.

Miller’s contributions for Refinery 29 have recently revolved around sharing her own weight-loss journey, and in her latest post, she reveals an exercise experience that changed the way she works out, for the better.

What does Miller suggest changing about your current workout routine? “Feelings make you move” Miller shares in her piece. So simply put, it seems like common sense but truly speaks to a response to music that we universally share but might not articulate. Miller follows up her first statement with “Perhaps it’s the aforementioned cathartic effect of exercise, or just the fact that moving music is, well, moving. All I know is when I listen to these songs, I work harder — but, somehow, it’s easier.”

Who are some of the artists that contribute to Miller’s playlist? Alanis Morissette, Adele, and Beyonce are some of Miller’s emotional picks, while brighter tunes from Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, and Cee Lo Green keep the pace high. By mixing up your workout pace, you’re more likely to naturally work out in intervals and make your heart work harder by speeding up and slowing down.

What songs will you add to your playlists? Share with us in the comments.

 

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Bra Fitting for your Wedding Dress: Tips from Lisa Cole on your Special Day

Spring marks the beginning of celebration season.  Many of you might be planning the perfect wedding happening this spring or summer. The dress, the bridal party dresses, the flowers and the location are common priorities from brides-to-be. But one of the forgotten items when wearing your dream gown is the “right bra.”  As an expert fitter (who has worked with women for red carpet and special occasion apparel solutions), I am amazed at how many times someone buys the wrong bra prior to a major event like a wedding.  Typical 911 style emergency phone calls have been, “help, my bra straps are showing!” or “help my bra just doesn’t fit!” Let’s face it, all eyes are on The Dress when you’re walking down the aisle, and you don’t want a strap misplaced.  You can have your dream gown and the perfect bra underneath, I promise.

I am so impressed with Leading Lady’s new Front Closure Racer Back Underwire Bra (5415)The style provides comfortable straps (yes!) and the front closure provides accommodates low plunges for dresses that have an open neckline in front.  The straps will not fall off your shoulder, helping you to look and feel confident all day.  Who wants to struggle with bra straps on a special day? As I tell my clients, your bra should go on once, and you should never think about it again. The right style and size will help you achieve this and more.

5042-wirefree-leading-lady-bra

If you’re looking for wirefree bra options and the color white to work with your gown, one of my other favorites is the Leading Lady Molded Padded Seamless Wirefree Bra (5042).   Ideal for full figure/full fit clients who need added support underneath it all without underwires. This bra is available in “D” to “H” cup sizes and ideal for someone who is looking for full coverage support in her gown, no jiggling or bouncing. The seamless back gives you a flawless fit, taking the fear of having “back bacon” aka back flab away. From first dance to last, feel completely at ease in your gown with the help of this Leading Lady bra.

Looking for all-over shaping solutions? I recommend shapewear for a total slimming solution.  A high waist brief with legs or without is my recommendation underneath your gown. The brief goes right to the base of the bra.  It’s also comfortable and does not require a struggle to get in and out of under your dress.

Bridal Fit Advice:  Always go bra shopping at least a month prior to your wedding.  In addition, having the right bra size helps your seamstress with alterations—get a bra fitting before your last dress fitting. You don’t want to have any surprises when preparing for your special day. Taking pictures while feeling uneasy is NOT a confidence booster for any bride. Your bra style and fit can enhance your dream dress.  Encourage your bridesmaids to do the same. Enjoy your special day in style and with the right bra fit solutions.

Lisa Cole is the Founder/Fit Expert of StyleFitSolutions.Com.  She provides advice on all aspects of style as it pertains to bra fit and body confidence solutions for women.  She is a speaker and hosts private events around the country. 

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