BADGE of Obesity?

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We all panicked after when we found out our Nalgenes were poisoning us (or was that just me?), and exchanged all of our water carrying devices for those certified BPA-free. And now, BPA’s chubby cousin, BADGE has entered the scene. And this guy? He’s not just looking to pollute your insides with toxic chemicals invisibly, threaten your fertility, and increase your risk of heart attack. No, he wants to make you fat (which, mind you, can up your risk for other health problems too). A recent study by Environmental Health Perspectives found that BADGE, even in very low levels, promotes weight gain by turning pre-fat cells into fat, and morphing certain adult stem cells into fat cells. Accordingly, the more fat cells you have, well, that fatter you are.

So, what exactly is BADGE? It’s Bisphenol A Diglycidyl Ether found in canned food liners along with BPA (or Bisphenol A). While your risk of being damaged by consuming the chemical is greatest early in life, especially in utero, the chemical appears to affect weight in adults too. Consuming this chemical won’t necessarily make you gain weight all on its own, but it will certainly make it more difficult NOT to gain weight.

Chemicals of this kind can impact well-being for up to three generations after exposure (!!!), so reducing your exposure to them can impact not only your health, but also your future family’s health. Also on the list to avoid: MSG, pesticides and PVC plastics which all are suspected to contain obesity promoting chemicals called obesogens. To cut them out of your diet, eat organic, don’t microwave your lunch in plastic containers, and purchase food items in glass jars instead of cans. Your great-grandchildren will thank you for it.

Pets Gone Wild


It seems like everyone wants a piece of the animals doing cute things game these days, and can you blame them? No, of course not. The latest website I found collecting videos of pets adorable shenanigans came to me through Self magazine. At this site, you can watch four of the cutest things going right now, and vote on your favorite. Spoiler alert: my favorite, Norman riding a bike is above. Though, the little rolly-polly French Bulldog trying to get up off his back was a close second.

A Little Stain Goes a Long Way

Over the weekend I was making coffee, and I noticed that my kitchen cart, made of unfinished pine had some water stains on it. I had a brainstorm, why not just slap on a coat of stain and make it look all shiny new. Simple, right? Well, it actually wasn’t too bad my friends.But, whenever I take on a home improvement project there are a few things in common. First, I don’t do my research. I just figure it out along the way, which always leads a few mishaps along the way. Luckily I’ve bungled my way through enough projects like this that, it usually turns out ok, even without reading the instructions. This time around, here’s what I learned:

  • If you wear a pink dress to home depot to buy your supplies, no one will take you seriously. I got a lot of “Little Misses,” and lectures about how tricky staining can be from middle aged men
  • Middle aged men ALWAYS overestimate how long it takes to do thing. Yes, sir, I understand it would take you 3 coats and a full day to do this project. I’ll do it in half the time with 2 coats.
  • When painting, always put your hair in a bandana. It’s easier to keep polyurethane from getting in your hair in the first place than to get it out.
  • Just buy gloves.
  • Even though the sales guy said only paint thinner would get it off your skin and you chose to ignore his snotty advice, nail polish remover will get it off just as well. Rubbing alcohol too.

Voila! A few hours, half a can of stain, and a few minor mishaps later, my shiny kitchen cart.

House on top of a House

If there is one thing Manhattan is known for, it is the residential situation. Apartments are hard to find. They’re expensive. People keep pushing further uptown, and further into the outer boroughs to find someplace to live. That is, of course, unless you’re ridiculously rich. Then, why not just buy a rooftop, and build yourself your dream home right there on top of someone else’s apartment building. Why not, indeed.

To be honest, this idea had never occurred to me until very recently. I moved to a new neighborhood the beginning of the month, and on my new commute I found myself being extra observant, taking in the sights of the new streets I had never walked. Then I passed the Kiehl’s store on Third Avenue and 13th Street on my way home one day. While waiting to cross the street, I happened to look up and notice a house complete with patios, greenery, a CHIMNEY, and sculptures perched right there on top of a four-story building.

A few google searches later, and I found these photographs posted on Scouting New York’s blog. It’s a genius idea, really. You have your own private space. It’s almost like having a home in the suburbs, but with the convenience of being RIGHT in the middle of Manhattan, and who was really using that roof anyhow. What I’d like to know is, how much does a purchase like this cost, and how do we go about buying one?

Skincare Surprise

A few months back, my skin was going through a bad phase. Now, typically my skin just hangs out and behaves itself. I’ve been lucky enough that , besides being pale enough to make blush a required item in the winter, my skin and make up routine is fairly low maintenance. Until all of the sudden it wasn’t. It was breaking out with little flaws all over the place. Thinking it might be the new moisturizer I tried, I naturally turned to my bestie who has beautiful skin to find out what she uses. Her response was a little baffling, I’ll admit: Vaseline. That’s right. At night, she smoothes a layer of good old petroleum jelly all over her face before bed.

I had so many questions. Why would putting more oil on my face help an already bad (and oily) situation? Would my pillow cases get all greasy? Why in God’s name is a tub of Vaseline so expensive ($8 at duane reade?)? Doesn’t it seem like it should be around $1?

Long story short, after some investigation, I determined that this remedy wasn’t for me, and ignored said friend’s advice. Fast forward to this fall’s set of magazines. I’ve been reading all about beauty oils. I’ve heard about Rodin’s Olio Lusso for a while, but this month I’ve been hearing about more than just that. It seems every other issue is recommending a new oil product (Argan Oil! Coconut Oil! Grapeseed Oil! Tea Tree Oil! Chammomile Oil! Peppermint Oil!) for your face. Then I read on my favorite blogger’s beauty product run down is olive oil. This is also a trick my step-mom has been known to use.

Then my skin started behaving badly again with the season change. Enough already, I thought! Let’s give this oil/Vaseline thing a try. About a week ago, I started subbing in Vaseline or Olive Oil for my bedtime lotion. And you know what? Any blemishes cleared right up. Dry spots, gone! One less step of applying chapstick after I brush my teeth!

It turns out a little oil is good for an already oily face. It can add antioxidents you need to keep your face looking even or smooth, and actually can help your body regulate its own oil production. The key is finding the right oil for you, and putting it on in the right amount. I’ve heard olive oil for dry skin, chamomile to reduce redness , argan for daytime anti-aging, and tea tree as an astringent for breakouts. For those of you worried about your pillow cases, just be sure to moderate how much you put on. Start out with a couple drops and smooth over your face think more how your boyfriend applies aftershave than how you apply traditional moisturizer. Now go ahead, and get those oils off your salad and  onto your face.