Beauty, Medical & Health Public Relations
POSTED ON THURSDAY, APRIL 06, 2017 AT 12:45 PM
It’s officially high summer and people are taking to the skies for vacation and business travel. You know the drill. You’re given some peanuts, the drink cart makes a couple of rounds and then before you know it it’s wheels down. You're regretting not drinking more water and feel your skin tight. However drinking water on a longer flight is a double-edged sword, if you don’t your entire epidermis dries up; if you do your lower body retains the liquid. So how can you fly without the ankle swell or skin dehydration?
Dr. Christopher Calapai DO, an anti-aging and stem cell expert and long time health advisor to the New York Rangers hockey team, tells us how to fight post-flight dehydration with foods.
“Watermelon is one of the most hydrating foods there are,” says Dr. Calapai “Its a great alternative to plane snacks which have large amounts of sodium, which in turn make you more dehydrated.” Pack big thick slices in a large plastic baggie and take them in your handbag, they won’t be taken away at TSA and will help you avoid the salty peanuts.
“Cucumbers are about 96 percent water,” says Calapai “They also contain no saturated fat or cholesterol and are high in Vitamin B6 which helps in the production of serotonin which is the brain chemical that controls mood.” You can slice them or cube them and also bring them along in a baggie or small container. Try making small cucumber-watermelon bites, they are pretty delicious!
When the airplane cookies come around say no thanks and reach for some strawberries instead! “Strawberries have the highest water content of any berry, 92 percent to be exact,” shares Calapai “You can enjoy the tart-sweet flavor without consuming too much sugar.”
4. All in one salad
If you’re the type of person that needs an actual meal to feel satisfied bring along a salad with tomatoes, juicy chicken, plenty of lettuce and goat cheese. Lettuce is 96 percent water and tomatoes are 94 percent water. Go easy on the salt when seasoning your chicken and grill it or steam it instead of frying it to retain moisture. Make up for flavor and texture with some goat cheese! All the ingredients stay good at room temperature most of the day and there’s no heating required when it’s time for lunch/dinner.
5. Coconut Water
Ok so you can’t totally avoid drinking liquids! “Coconut water is low in calories and high in naturally occurring hydration replenishing electrolytes, which regular water does not contain. It’s a better option than sports drinks which have artificial flavors and more calories,” advises Dr. Calapai. After you’re past security grab a bottle of coconut water from any of the airport mini-marts.
POSTED ON THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2017 AT 11:06 AM
Just as an unhealthy diet can have a negative effect on your skin and health, a healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can help protect your body, even from the sun. Since antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals, loading your diet with them will go a long way against sunburn and skin damage as a result of UV rays. We connected with Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine for his list of foods that help prevent sun damage.
To be clear, Dr. Calapai is not saying you should completely replace using daily use of sunscreen with food, but what you eat can offer additional protection for your skin. So if you’re looking for some ingestible sun protection, add these six sun-friendly foods to your next shopping list.
1. Berries & stone fruits
Strawberries, blueberries and cherries contain high levels of vitamin C, which can reduce free radical damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production, important for skin’s youthful appearance. As a bonus, cherries contain melatonin, which protects skin from UV radiation and repairs sunburn damage.
2. Leafy greens
If it’s green and it’s got leaves, chances are it’s good for sun protection. According to one study, spinach, kale and swiss chard can reduce the risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 50%. Broccoli is also a good choice: it’s full of sulphoraphane, an antioxidant that helps your cells protect themselves against UV radiation.
Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, sage and rosemary are also packed with free radical-fighting, skin-protecting antioxidants. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to cruciferous vegetables.
3. Red & orange produce
The antioxidant lycopene has been shown to protect the skin against sunburn and is at least twice as effective an antioxidant as betacarotene when it comes to blocking UV light. It also helps rid the body of free radicals. Chow down on tomatoes, papaya, guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit. Watermelon is an especially good choice: it contains 40% more lycopene than tomatoes.
Spirulna has been dubbed “the next great superfood,” and for good reason. This micro-algea, along with chlorella, contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which has been shown to protect the skin and eyes against UV radiation. It also fights free radicals and inflammation to prevent sun damage by preventing UV-induced cell damage.
If micro-algea isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can find this powerful antioxidant in shrimp and salmon.
As long as it’s dark chocolate you’re eating, you’ll be ingesting plenty of flavanoids, which can improve your skin’s ability protect against sunburns and other UV-induced issues.
Research found that people who ate about one ounce of high-percentage dark chocolate every day for three months could withstand twice the amount of UVB rays before their skin started to turn red, compared to those who didn’t.
6. Green & black tea
The myriad health benefits of tea are well known, but it’s nice to know that the cups you’re drinking can also help protect against sun damage. Green and black teas are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area. Green tea can even help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.
POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2017 AT 12:49 PM
The plethora of vitamins on the market reads like the alphabet- literally from A- Zinc. Do we, as women need to guzzle 50 a day to be healthy? How do we make heads or tails from what the media tell us? And at what age do we need certain vitamins? Here’s your guide to vitamins at every age according to Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O. an NYC anti-aging physician who has been called, “The Stem Cell Guru.” Dr. Calapai has been testing vitamin levels throughout his career. Each of his patients receives a blood test to find out what they are deficient in.
In a perfect world, all of our nutrient needs would come from the best source: Food. However if your diet isn’t text book perfect then take your “nutritional insurance” a.k.a. a multivitamin, suggests Dr. Calapai. “Research shows taking a well-balanced multivitamin throughout your lifespan helps fill in nutritional gaps in your diet.”
In your 20s and 30s
• Calcium: These are the decades to bone up, as in, maintain your bone mass. Dr. Calapai recommends adults aged 19-50 years take 1,000 milligrams of calcium, daily. If you don’t receive enough calcium from your diet, you may need to take a supplement containing elemental calcium. Elemental calcium refers to the actual amount of calcium in a supplement that's available for your body to absorb—the rest are compounds making up the supplement. But when supplementing your calcium, read the labels carefully, cautions Dr. Calapai . “For example, if you buy tablets such as calcium carbonate, each tablet contains 1,250 milligrams of calcium,” he says. “Unfortunately, only 500 milligrams is elemental calcium.”
• Vitamin D: The reason we're severely lacking vitamin D nowadays, much more so than even our parents were, is because we're missing out on the number-one source of vitamin D: The sun. "Vitamin D is a pro-hormone made in the skin upon exposure to sunlight, and production of it is rapid and robust," Calapai says. "Within 10 to 20 minutes without wearing sunscreen, people make between 10,000 and 20,000 IU. But because of widespread sunscreen use, total sun avoidance, and our increasingly indoor lifestyles, our vitamin D levels have fallen drastically." Dr. Calapai says, “Take at least 2,000 IU per day year-round. And although you technically don't need to supplement on the days that you know you'll be outside when the sun is high, it's just easier to take it every day than to try to remember when and not to."
• Folic Acid: For women in their childbearing years, folic acid is recommended if you’re planning on conceiving anytime soon. “You should take it before you get pregnant to ensure your levels are high because low rates of folic acid can cause a number of birth defects,” says Dr. Calapai. “The recommended dosing of folic acid is 400 micrograms per day if you are age 14 or older.”
• Iron: Iron is another key consideration for menstruating women. “Iron deficiency commonly occurs in pregnant women, causing anemia, which can result in fatigue and weakness,” says Dr. Calapai . “Iron enables red blood cells to carry oxygen and deliver it to body cells.” If you’re pregnant and not getting your daily 27 mg. of iron from sources such as iron-fortified cereals and eggs, then look for it in a supplement containing 16 to 20 mg, or speak to your physician about iron supplementation specifically.
In your 40s
• Calcium: Beginning at age 19 and continuing until age 50, women should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, according to the Institute of Medicine. This is also the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for women above age 19 who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Once you turn 51, the RDA increases to 1,200 milligrams. As long as your daily diet provides enough calcium to meet your RDA, you probably don’t need a supplement unless it’s under the advice of your health care provider. *Note: Never take more of a calcium supplement than is recommended. It could lead to kidney problems or renal failure.
• Vitamin D: Recommendations for vitamin D intake in your 20s and 30s (as explained above) still apply in your 40s. If you are unsure how much vitamin D you actually need, ask your doctor about taking a vitamin D test.
• Folic Acid: Pregnant? Up your daily intake of folic acid to 600 mcg. To meet this need, women should continue taking a multivitamin containing 400 mcg of folic acid throughout their pregnancy.
• Iron: As in your 20s and 30s, be sure to get 27 mg. of iron daily if you are pregnant, whether through your diet or a combination of diet and supplements. Non-pregnant women should aim for 18 mg a day of iron.
In your 50s
• Multivitamin: It’s time to switch to multivitamins designed for adults 50 years and older, says Dr. Calapai. “These multivitamins have significantly less iron than multivitamins for younger women, he says. “For example Centrum Forte for women up to the age of 49 years has 10 mg of iron per tablet and Centrum Select 50+ designed for those over 50 has only 4 mg of iron per tablet, but has additional vitamin B12 to reflect changing nutrient needs.”
• Calcium: For women over 50 years, Dr. Calapai recommends bumping your calcium intake to 1,500 mg. daily.
• Vitamin B12: “Your vitamin B12 needs increases after 50 because the gastrointestinal tract does not absorb vitamin B12 as well as a younger digestive tract,” says Dr. Calapai. He advises those older than 50 get 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily, mainly by consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12 or a supplement containing vitamin B12.
In your 60s
While the overall needs are similar to those in your 50s, check your multivitamin again to be sure it’s meeting all your nutrient needs because newer health issues such as eye health and heart disease might be manifesting. “Some multivitamins contain key antioxidants such as lutein which may protect against age-related macular degeneration, and lycopene, which may help prevent heart disease,” says Dr. Calapai.
Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O.
Anti-Aging Physician and "The Stem Cell Guru"
Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, anti-aging medicine and chelation therapy. Proclaimed as the "The Stem Cell Guru" by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S.
His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer's, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson's.
Dr. Calapai started his practice in New York City in 1986 and for over 25 years he has hosted nationally syndicated radio shows, including his two weekly call-in shows on WABC 770-AM, where he offers health and medical advice. He has a show on Saturday morning 8-9am and Sunday evening from 6-7pm. He has consulted with numerous high-profile individuals including Mike Tyson, Chris Noth, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Fox series Gotham's, Donal Logue and worked as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers hockey team as well as various modeling agencies.
Dr. Calapai received his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and he consults in Manhattan with practices on Long Island, in East Meadow and Plainview. He has appeared on News12 and in the pages of 25A Magazine and Social Life Magazine.
POSTED ON TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2017 AT 11:52 AM
We set the clocks ahead for daylight savings and many of us woke up to a darker sky feeling sluggish thanks to a one hour loss of sleep. If you hit the snooze, pulled the covers up over your head still feeling bummed out about your waistline, bank account, career or love life, you’re not alone. Despite more daylight our worries will still be there. So how do we spring into spring, a season that’s all about new beginnings and rebirth? For practical ways, to cultivate optimism in our lives we turned to Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services who shares these tips and tools.
1. Focus on the good.
“A daily exercise I often have my patients do is keep an appreciation or gratitude journal. When you focus on all the things to be happy for in your life then more great things come. Think generally and use your senses. What do you appreciate seeing, smelling, touching, tasting, listening to? Write it down. Within a few weeks you'll train the mind to pivot to an appreciate thought when a negative thought comes,” explains Dr. Hafeez.
2. Make plans.
Making plans to see relatives, to see a new exhibit a movie or to travel gets our mind moving forward towards something positive that we can be hopeful and optimistic about. Dr. Hafeez suggests making plans to do 3 things per month for the next 3 months. “Choose things that you know will bring you joy and then go do them! Feeling excited about what is coming and talking about how fun it will be keeps us optimistic and forward moving,” says Dr. Hafeez.
3. Control what you can, delegate the rest!
We get pessimistic and worry about the worst possible outcomes when we realize that we cannot control every detail. This leads to anxiety and an even stronger feeling of having to control conditions, and even others. According to Dr. Hafeez, this is a trap. “Figure out what needs to get done. What actions you can take. Then let go of anything else that is beyond your control with faith that everything will turn out fine. Envision the desired outcome,” advises Dr. Hafeez.
4. Limit your news watching and avoid it before bed.
“There is a very common pattern I see people falling into,” says Hafeez. “People awaken and immediately reach for their smartphone for news headlines. They then turn on the TV news as background noise. They listen to news in their cars, have news alerts going off on their phones all day, catch the evening news and then the 11pm news before bed. No wonder they're less optimistic! What you choose to look at will impact your mood. Remember, good news doesn’t get ratings,” she adds.
5. Don’t snooze. Instead just breathe.
When the alarm goes off give yourself a few minutes to just lie there, eyes closed focused on your breathing. Breathe in counting to 4 and then breathe out. Do a mental scan of your entire body from head to toe thanking your cells for restoring you as you slept. “Deep breathing is a form of meditation and in the morning, you have a small window of opportunity to decide what kind of day you want it to be,” says Dr. Hafeez.
6. Distract yourself with something that requires focus.
The key here is to pick something you truly enjoy doing and do it daily. It can be painting, coloring, yoga, a 20-minute walk or jog, listening to music and dancing around your living room. “When you are fully engaged in something, you can’t ruminate which leads to pessimism,” explains Dr. Hafeez.
7. Make feeling good top priority.
When you commit to feeling good you instantly start to think more optimistically. According to Dr. Hafeez, when you’re mindful of your own negativity and shift to a better feeling positive thought you feel powerful. You’ll feel like you can conquer anything when you can master your own mindset.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens.
Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.
Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com
POSTED ON TUESDAY, MARCH 07, 2017 AT 12:25 PM
With more and more people turning to dating apps and websites to meet people, we see a relatable pattern. You see someone’s photo. You’re attracted. You read their profile or brief description of who they claim to be. You reach out. You exchange emails. You text. Maybe you’ll speak briefly and then, you meet. You’re hitting it off. Things seem great. However, it seems almost too good to be true. Is it?
According to Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, narcissists are everywhere and in varying degrees. She explains that the current “swipe right” dating culture only feeds their agenda, it’s important to understand who they are and how to spot them.
What is narcissism?
Many mental health specialists agree that narcissism is basically an individual who has an excessive interest or admiration of a false self they created to cope with early hurts as children. “Narcissists are disconnected from their true selves and are constantly working to appear better than others. They have an idealized self-image and are in love with that image which hides their true wounded self,” says Hafeez.
Dr. Hafeez shares some “red flag” characteristics of narcissists along with tips and insights that can spare many people the heartache and mental anguish that comes with dating a narcissist.
1. Narcissists are off the charts charming. They are incredibly upbeat and bombard you with compliments. Immediately you are captivated by them and their focus on you. They have quick wit, can read people and know what to say to make them feel good. “Narcissists are great at building rapport quickly; however, they are doing so to serve themselves first and foremost. In other words, they feed off the attention, admiration and validation of others so they charm with an agenda,” cautions Dr. Hafeez.
2. In their mind, it's really all about them.
The interesting thing about the narcissist is that they make it seem as if they are interested in you however they will always turn the conversation and back to them. “These are not team players. They look to their partner to be the source of their happiness and much of that happiness comes from getting approval or even sympathy,” explains Dr. Hafeez. “Early on in their childhoods the narcissist didn’t get the nurturing they needed to feel secure. They were neglected or made to feel as if they were bad, so they spend their time and energy showing how great they are,” she adds.
3. Rules don’t apply to the entitled narcissist.
They’re most likely to have a handicap tag hanging from the rearview mirror of their Porsche. When asked about the handicapped tag they'll launch into a descriptive, detailed 20-minute story about how they injured their knee, entitling them to the handicapped tag. They want to gain your sympathy. Other rule breaking behaviors, disobeying traffic laws, parking illegally in front of places leaving you waiting as they quickly "run in," cutting lines, and even stealing. “They truly believe the world revolves around them and expect others to cater to their needs. This is due to needs being unmet earlier in life,” says Dr. Hafeez.
4. They disrespect boundaries. Be mindful of your boundaries! Narcissists will do things like invade your physical space, borrow or take belongings or even money without returning or repayment. They break promises without remorse and may even blame the victim. “Protecting your boundaries is incredibly important when dealing with a narcissist. When over stepping is permitted, it leads to codependence and a lost sense of self,” warns Dr. Hafeez.
5. They look great on the surface.
Their desire to impress others may lead them to a lot of time and money on their physical appearance. They are all about status and achievement. They’ll brag about their education, their possessions, who they know, their accomplishments and typically, it’s exaggerated. “This again stems from the desire of approval. They care what others think of them so much that they use people and situations to fuel the false self they created,” explains Dr. Hafeez.
6. They’ll disappear like a ghost and you’ll feel discarded.
Narcissists will put you on a pedestal as they complement and charm you. You will feel incredibly special, caught up on their intent gaze upon you. However, once they see you’re just as interested in your own well-being, that you’re protective of your boundaries, that you have other interests and put them in their place; they swiftly move on. When they see you won’t allow manipulation, they disappear and will be incredibly cold. They may even give the silent treatment and blame you.
7. Their past relationships are all drama.
They will make it seem like their exes were all crazy, will share horror stories and make you feel as if you are the best thing they found. They paint themselves as the victim and may add that their ex still wants them. “Pay very close attention to how the person speaks about their past relationships,” advises Dr. Haffeez. “Narcissists typically won’t keep answers brief, positive and forward moving when it comes to past relationships,” she adds.