IF YOU SEE A CHILD SITTING IN THIS POSITION, STOP HIM BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

If Your Child Is Sitting Like This, Here’s Why You Need to Stop Them Now

My daughter’s just over a year old, so there’s really not much she’s doing “wrong” yet. (Trust me, like all of us, she’ll get there.) If she smacks our family pet, it’s less hostility and more that she doesn’t have full control of her arms. If she throws her food, it’s not an act of insubordination but just her method of communicating that she’s done eating. So, when a family member alerted me to something my child was doing that she needed to stop at once, I was taken aback. Especially because, at that particular moment, she wasn’t stealing her playmate’s toys or eating an expensive coaster as she’s sometimes known to do. She was just sitting there.

Turns out, the way she was sitting — with each leg splayed at her side, knees in front and feet behind, to form a “W” shape — was all kinds of bad.

According to a vast majority of physical therapists, there are several key reasons why:

W-sitting limits core strength because it gives kids a wider base of support. Because they don’t have to engage their abdominal or back muscles in this position, kids often prefer it to more challenging, tiring positions, like with legs in front, at their sides, or crisscrossed.
W-sitting causes muscle tightness, particularly in the legs and hips but also knees and ankles.
W-sitting aggravates neurological issues such as low muscle tone, which means when kids aren’t actively using their muscles, those muscles are floppier and softer and have a harder time holding their bodies upright.
What this all means, most therapists agree, is that prolonged W-sitting throughout childhood can lead to a delayed development in gross motor skills like coordination and balance. For those parents hoping to raise a star athlete, this position’s effect on postural muscles can also be cause for concern.

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Why do some kids sit like this? It’s by far the steadiest way for children of all ages to sit, and aside from that innate tendency to achieve the most stability, it’s also been attributed to time spent in infant carrier devices, like swings, bouncy seats, and car seats.

Seeing as my daughter had graduated from infancy, I was immediately concerned that the damage was already done. I had tried my best to limit her time in her baby swing and the oversize, overpriced ExerSaucer that I had bought under the assumption it was actually good for a baby’s development, but here she was, W-sitting at every turn. I had never noticed it until now.

What can be done? Well, the somewhat alarmist recommendation is to get them to stop doing it immediately — that, whenever you see your child W-sitting, you either physically move their legs into a suitable position (if they’re too young to understand) or tell them to do so.

So, with a watchful eye, I adjusted her legs every time she sat incorrectly, and my husband and I instructed our child’s caretakers to do the same. Occasionally I’d correct her, and it’d be fine, but plenty of times, adjusting one of her legs would make her cry and most times, doing so annoyed her to the point that she was no longer interested in sitting and scooted off to go do something else.

She wasn’t the only one getting fed up, and it had only been a week. I dug a little deeper and found that a few pediatric occupational therapists out there don’t view this seated position as a problem necessarily. There’s not much evidence that shows causation. That is, yes, children who W-sit often have orthopedic issues and muscle tightness. But W-sitting hasn’t been proven to be the cause of those issues, which makes one wonder: could tight hamstrings and hip dysplasia lead to W-sitting, not the other way around?

One such unconvinced therapist, Rachel Coley, happens to be the mother to a W-sitter and maintains it’s perfectly normal for kids to sit this way.

She notes that it’s a simple sign of flexibility and aids in fine motor control because you need to assume the most stable seated position possible when engaging in tasks that require “coordinated, controlled movements of the hands and fingers.” Coley also noted that, for babies in particular, W-sitting provides a convenient, “natural transition” from crawling or kneeling to sitting.

However, based on how strongly most certified therapists feel about W-sitting, I’m not taking any chances. I’m going to keep my eye on it, and I’ll encourage other parents who were unaware of this issue to do the same, especially if they have older kids showing some of the negative side effects. But, if my child is having the time of her life smacking two wooden blocks together, I’m not going to spoil the fun if she happens to be W-sitting.

8 Important Actions That Will Make You More Successful

Each day I see more and more chronically unproductive, unsuccessful and unhappy people and wonder why they choose to be miserable when they can take a few actions to become more successful. You will never know the true joy of happiness and success if you don’t admit that you chose the wrong path in life. There are many successful people who consider themselves unhappy and unsuccessful because they are not grateful for what they already have and they are stuck in their own negative thoughts, which prevent them from reaching their full potential. Stop living in misery, here are 8 important actions you can take today that will make you more successful.

1. Love your job


Successful people always do what they love and this actually makes them so happy and successful. Spending 8 (or more) hours at work you don’t like is one of the worst things you can do in life. When you love your job, you are more productive and eager to reach success. Never stop looking for your favorite job and you will definitely find it.

2. Cultivate your creativity
Just don’t tell me that you are not creative. I believe every person in the world is creative, but the problem is that most of us don’t explore and cultivate that creativity. If you have any creative ideas, share them with your coworkers or boss. Even if they don’t love your ideas, don’t give up. Learn how to think outside the box, cultivate your creativity daily, train your brain and be open to new ideas. It’s one of the most important actions that will make you more successful.

3. Focus on one goal at a time
Multitasking is a common thing these days. Whether it’s good or bad, but it will get you nowhere. Trying to reach a few goals or accomplishing a few tasks at once will never make you successful. You will end up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed out. When you have a huge to-do list, take a deep breath to calm down (when I see a long list of tasks I should accomplish, the first thing I usually feel is panic), prioritize your tasks and focus on accomplishing one task at a time. This will help you stay productive, avoid stress and meet all your deadlines.

4. Believe in yourself
No matter what you do, believe in yourself. If you made a mistake, admit it, learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell on your past mistakes. Believe that you will be successful, happy and healthy. Believe that you can make your dreams come true. Faith is a crucial part of life, remember it.

5. Ignore negative criticism
There’s a huge difference between negative criticism and constructive criticism. When you see that people give negative and rude criticism that has no sense at all, ignore it. We can’t avoid toxic people in the workplace, but we can ignore their rude comments. Don’t let people’s negative criticism affect your mood, productivity and success.

6. Never stop learning
The majority of people stop learning once they graduate from college or university. Highly successful people never stop learning, no matter the age. You may know a lot of useful things and have fantastic abilities, but they won’t make you more successful. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take new responsibilities. Read books and share your knowledge with others.

7. Don’t lie
If you don’t have fantastic computer skills, let your potential employer know about it. If you can’t accomplish a project, let your manager or boss know about it. Be honest and ask for help when you really need it. It’s impossible to know everything in life, so it’s okay when someone helps you. Successful people can’t do many things, they admit it and their honesty help them reach the true joy of success.

8. Take care of your health
Wealth is nothing without health. When you have numerous health issues, it’s hard to enjoy your success. You should never forget to take care of your health. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and stay hydrated to be more productive and have more energy to accomplish any project and achieve any goal.

I hope these tiny pieces of advice inspired you to take some actions to improve your life and reach the true joy of success. Stay motivated and productive during the day, learn and try new things, believe in yourself and you will never feel unhappy again. What actions are you going to take to become more successful?

8 Tips Every Procrastinator Swears By

Being slow isn`t a sin, of course, and sometimes it`s even better than being in a rush. However, it may prevent you from doing everything you need on time and, as we all know, time is a highly important thing in life. To be fair, life is an amount of time of your existence so the more productive you are, the brighter your life is. Here are some tips procrastinators use that`ll hopefully help you manage to do more without exhausting yourself.

1. Multitasking isn’t helpful


You may think that doing a few tasks at a time will help you be more productive but it`s far from truth in reality. It can be useful only when you`re able to do one task automatically and take another one that you`re good at too. Otherwise, multitasking kills your time and energy. Furthermore, when you do everything you need at the same time, the results are much poorer.

2. Don’t think but do
Most of us spend more time thinking whether to do some task or not than getting it completed. If your task isn`t an essential thing that defines your further life way, you shouldn`t think about it more than a couple of minutes only. It`ll make your results more reasonable and efficient. “More time for doing, less time for thinking,” write it down on a piece of paper and hang it on the wall in front of you in your workplace to better the results.

3. The first is the hardest
More and more studies prove that people are the most productive in the early hours of the day. That`s why you`ll be able to do more if you start a day with coping with the most mentally challenging tasks and then go to easier ones. In the afternoon our mental activity lowers so don`t forget to plan your daily work in order to have the hardest tasks at the beginning of your to-do list.

4. Block online distractions to control your actions
If you can`t avoid checking your mail, visiting social networks or watching YouTube novelties hundred times a day, it`s a serious problem for your productivity. But you can get rid of it easily thanks to website blocking tools. It`ll save lots of your time that can be spent doing something more useful than texting someone online. Every procrastinator knows how to get rid of distractions, and you?

5. All the mess causes stress
It has been scientifically proven that chaos in the workplace interferes with your attention and can even cause chronic stress. If you want to come with a good job, try to declutter your work space. You won`t be distracted then and it`ll be easier to do all the tasks on time. Think what workplace would be more comfortable for you to work at and make all necessary changes to be a better employee.

6. Deadline shouldn’t make you blind
Lots of people suffer from procrastination because they know that the deadline isn`t coming yet and it makes them think that there`s a free minute to relax. Your deadline shouldn`t be something that interferes with your productivity so you can impose shorter ones on yourself. It`ll make you feel that there`s no time to play fool and you won`t worry to be late at the same time because you know that everything is under control.

7. Take regular breaks
Don`t forget to take regular breaks from work. It means a lot to your productivity because our brain needs 5 minutes recharge after a really hard work. This way, you`ll be ready to work hard again. But if you work non-stop, your productivity will gradually decrease till the end of a work day and you`ll be totally exhausted then.

8. The better health, the more tasks you get done
Most people have problems at work that are caused by poor health. If you don’t get enough sleep, eat fast food only and can’t handle stress, it`s not a surprise that you can`t work productively. Take care of your body because it plays one of the leading roles in your work. Mental and physical health are tightly connected so if one of them is in trouble, the system stops functioning properly.

Procrastination is the thing that doesn`t let you be a successful employee but it doesn`t mean that there`s no way out of this problem. Don`t worry, everything will be better because now you know what to do to boost productivity. There`s no need to hurry up and work non-stop. Take regular short breaks, keep everything in apple pie order in your workplace and don`t try to do everything at once. These rules will make your work easier and your results more successful. What doesn`t let you do a good job?

This Woman Hit the Beach with Loose Skin After Losing 350 Pounds. Here’s Her Message to the Haters

Blogger Jacqueline Adan used to weigh 500 pounds. She avoided bathing suits at all costs and wouldn’t dream of wearing one in public without a cover-up. So when she dropped 350 pounds by exercising and eating clean, she finally felt ready to step into a swimsuit again.

The only problem? Obnoxious onlookers who snickered at her loose skin, a common side effect of dramatic weight loss.

“I was nervous to take my cover up off and to walk into the pool or walk on the beach,” Adan wrote in the caption of a photo she posted on Instagram this week. In the picture, she’s wearing nothing but a wetsuit and a big smile while vacationing in Mexico. Even after undergoing skin removal surgeries, Adan still has excess skin on her body.

In the photo, Adan looks elated. But “I still felt like that same 500 pound girl,” she continued in her post. “Then it happened. A couple sitting by the pool started laughing and pointing at me and making fun of me as soon as I took my cover up off.”

The body positive icon, who has 47K Instagram followers, could have let their obnoxious reaction ruin her day. Instead, she took a deep breath, smiled, and made her way into the pool.

“That was a huge moment for me,” she wrote. “I had changed. I was not the same girl anymore.” While she confessed that the teasing bothered her, the experience showed her how far she’d come not only physically but also emotionally.

“I am not going to let what other people think of me stop me from living my life,” she vowed in her post. “They do not know me. They do not know how I have worked my ass off to lose 350 pounds. They do not know how I am recovering from major surgeries. They have no right to sit and point and laugh at me.”

So Adan unapologetically rocked her wetsuit and went on enjoying her vacation. “What matters is how you react to it,” she said. “How you feel about yourself. Loving yourself just the way you are is hard. Others might not like that. That’s ok. I hope you love yourself. Love your body. I hope you keep doing you and just keep smiling!”

9 Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Most of you have probably heard of the numerous health benefits of hemp seeds. It is a popular superfood that is worth your money and time. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein, and they’re also great for detox and health. Hemp seeds are easy to use; you can add them to any dish you usually make. One or two tablespoons of hemp seeds is all you need to reap all of the health benefits of them. Read on to find out 9 amazing benefits of hemp seeds.

1. Improve your digestive health
Rich in fiber, hemp seeds help prevent slow digestion and constipation. This is necessary for detox because your colon is an important body part to care for. Hemp seeds are also easy to digest and they don’t give any problems to those who don’t tolerate seeds.

2. Boost mood
Hemp seeds are a great mood-booster and they really work for any low mood you may have. They are also great to combat PMS symptoms. Thanks to their omega 3, protein and magnesium content, hemp seeds can boost your mood in no time.

3. Relieve inflammation
Hemp seeds are one of the highly alkaline seeds you may add to your diet. Sure, pumpkin seeds are also alkaline, but hemp seeds are better. Hemp seeds have more chlorophyll than other seeds, making them good for detoxifying and purifying your blood and reducing inflammation.

4. Rich in magnesium
One of the most essential minerals for our health is magnesium. Nowadays a lot of people are deficient in this mineral without knowing it. Magnesium deficiency can lead to numerous health problems such as slow digestion, poor sleep, depression, anxiety, muscle pain, low energy, headaches and low thyroid function. Magnesium is also a great mineral for PMS symptoms. It is fortunate that hemp contains 45% of the daily recommended values of magnesium.

5. High in protein
I’m sure many of you know that protein is important to the body. When you are eating clean and detoxing, your body needs good sources of protein to maintain your immune system working well and boost your energy levels. To say nothing of lean protein that is the best friend of your metabolism. Hemp seeds are high in essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

6. High in omega 3 fats
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of omega 3 fats, some omega 6 and even omega 9 fats. You might hear some terrible things about omega 9 and omega 6 fats, but when they are in reasonable doses, they can actually be good for you. Omega 3 fatty acids are good for your heart, metabolism, and they can help boost your mood. I think it’s a wonderful reason to include hemp seeds to your diet.

7. Rich in potassium
If you suffer from bloating, potassium may be your best friend. It is also an essential electrolyte in the body. Most seeds and nuts are rich in potassium and hemp seeds are no exception. Potassium helps combat bloating, cramps, muscles pain, and help reduce headaches.

8. Rich in B vitamins
B vitamins are essential for your skin, hair, nails, mood, energy and digestion. Hemp seeds are rich in all B vitamins. However, you should know that hemp seeds are not a high source of vitamin B12, so you may want to consider taking spirulina or using a supplement, especially if you are vegan.

9. Delicious
Unfortunately, many health foods are not tasty, but hemp seeds are a delicious superfood you can use in any dish. This is because of their a bit sweet, nutty taste, and I love adding them to my yogurt and smoothies. I also like using them in salad dressings, vegan versions of stuffed mushrooms, and in other savory dishes. Give it a try, you will like it.

When buying hemp seeds, make sure you buy organic, raw, and non-GMO brand. Hemp seeds are really good for your body and they’re also one of the best seeds that can help you lose weight. What’s your favorite way to use hemp seeds?

This Rare but Deadly Complication of Liposuction Almost Killed a Woman. Here’s What Doctors Want You to Know

Liposuction is big business: A recent study found that it was 2016’s second most popular type of plastic surgery in the United States (after breast augmentation), with an average cost per procedure of $3,200. Overall, about 235,000 fat-sucking operations were performed last year.

And while the procedure is generally safe, a new article in BMJ Case Reports highlights a complication that nearly cost one 45-year-old woman her life. The paper details doctors’ experience diagnosing and treating a patient who developed a rare but serious condition called fat embolization syndrome shortly after a routine nip and tuck.

Fat embolization occurs when globules of fat break free from surrounding tissue and travel through the body, becoming lodged in blood vessels or the lungs and blocking the flow of blood or oxygen. It’s common after bone fractures or major trauma, but it has also been documented—at least two other times in medical literature—after liposuction.

Unfortunately, the doctors wrote in their report, the condition is “notoriously difficult to diagnose,” and many plastic surgeons don’t know that they should be on the lookout for symptoms.

In their paper, the doctors recall the case of an obese British woman who had undergone lower leg and knee liposuction two days earlier at a local hospital. “The surgery had been planned to remove some of the bulk of her lower legs to help her mobilize and subsequently begin the weight loss process,” they wrote.

The procedure itself was uneventful, and about 10 liters of fat were removed from the woman’s lower body. About 36 hours after the operation, however, the woman became drowsy and confused, and doctors noticed her heart rate was unusually high.

The woman’s condition worsened, and she was transferred to the intensive care unit, where doctors determined she had dangerously low oxygen levels in her body. After further tests, doctors realized that her symptoms were caused by fat embolization.

Once a diagnosis was made, the woman was treated with oxygen and drugs to help restore her oxygen levels, heart rate, and breathing to normal. She recovered fully and was released from the hospital after two weeks. But if not for her doctors’ quick thinking, things could have been much worse.

Fat embolization is not only hard to recognize, say the report’s authors, but there is no standardized set of criteria to help physicians make an official diagnosis. Although liposuction is not usually considered a high-risk procedure, people who are morbidly obese, who have fluid retention, or who have large volumes of fat removed are more likely to suffer from complications, they say.

Anyone considering liposuction or any other type of cosmetic surgery should talk with their doctor about the potential benefits and risks; it’s also important to interview surgeons carefully and choose one who’s certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Make sure he or she operates in an accredited hospital or medical facility. Don’t fall for non-licensed “pros” who tout cosmetic surgery on social media.

If you do choose to go under the knife, following your surgeon’s post-op instructions can help reduce your risk of dangerous complications. But as with any medical procedure, always speak up if something doesn’t feel right.

5 Awesome Smash Book Ideas

Many people complain that they would love to start scarpbooking but do not have the time. That is why so many people have started creating smash books as an alternative. A good smash book can be encouraging, inspiring, and a functional journal. It can also serve as a place to keep fun, exciting, and meaningful memories.

You do not have to be super creative to make your own smash book. With some simple supplies, you can make a smash book you will treasure for many years to come. Have no ideas where to start? Read on and find out what you can create this year:

1. Travel Smash Book


Travel Smash Book
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One of the main reasons many of us like to travel is to collect memories and try new foods. Since we usually have to eat the food at the restaurant, a travel smash book will help you store some memories.

Some of the things that you can include in your travel smash book are plane tickets, photos, and restaurant recipes. The cool thing about a traveling smash book is that you can create different themes: adventure, 50 states, romance etc.

2. Musical Inspiration


Musical Inspiration
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Isn’t it great hearing a song come on Pandora or Spotify that you have not heard in a while but brings back memories? Teenage summers, those evenings hanging out with friends and even breakups; many of us associate a period of time in our lives with music that we have heard. Your smash book can contain lyrics to a song, album cover, or possibly the playlist to your favorite album.

3. Health and Wellness


Health and Wellness
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Whether you are trying to lose weight or just live a healthier lifestyle, a health and wellness smash book can help remind you of your journey or inspire you to keep reaching for your goal. It is always nice to have a book with healthy recipes to choose from.

You can also add pages that list daily or weekly weigh-ins or before and after photos. Whatever you decide, a health and wellness smash book can encourage you to continue living a long and healthy life.

4. Creative Smash Book


Creative Smash Book
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Writers and artists are always looking for ways to express themselves. Even though we do it through our work and music, a creative smash book can help us get our creative juices flowing. We tend to throw a lot of care into our work. You writers and artists will be inspired by these smash books. A great book will spark creativity or cure writer’s block in a jiff.

5. Motivational Smash Book


Motivational Smash Book
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Feeling good about your accomplishments and looking for things to motivate you is all a part of life. A smash book that can do both is a great thing to have. A motivational smash book can help inspire you to “try one more time” if you are discouraged. It can also remind you that you are awesome. There are many ideas for motivational smash books out there, but you can always come up with your own ones.

Smash books are not for children only. It is for everyone looking to create memories and keep them alive forever. I highlighted some of my favorite smash book ideas. However, I know everyone can come up with their own ones. What are your smash book ideas? Let us know.

7 Treatments and Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Dry Eyes

How to treat dry eye

Millions of Americans suffer from stinging, burning, blurry, and gritty-feeling eyes due to dry eye syndrome. While everyone can have dry eyes once in a while, those folks have a chronic problem due to inadequate tear production. Some people are at higher risk of dry eye than others. (Here are some of the most common dry eye risk factors).

The good news is that there are several ways to treat dry eye, including natural remedies you can try at home, over-the-counter drops, and even prescription products and procedures that get at the root of the problem. What is important is to not ignore your symptoms. Because tears contain antibodies, lubricants, and nutrients that protect the eye, leaving these eye symptoms untreated for too long can damage your eyes.

Consider your medications

Often dry eye is a side effect of medication, everything from allergy meds to painkillers to blood pressure drugs. When you seek treatment for your eye symptoms, tell your doctor about any other meds you are taking. She can tell you if one of these (here are 14 dry eye-causing medications) could be triggering your dry eye. You might be able to switch to a different medication that doesn’t cause dry eye. If that’s not possible, read on.

Try OTC eye drops

The first line of treatment for dry eye is often eye drops known as artificial tears, which are available over-the-counter. These can be especially helpful if you have mild dry eye or if the symptoms only appear once in a while. Don’t confuse them with red-eye drops, which contain medications that can lead to rebound redness and won’t treat the dry eye. And the trick is to find the right products, and use them correctly. There are many types available over-the-counter, and a doctor can help you pick the right kind to address your problem.

“They’re actually really effective but you have to be consistent,” says Janet Cushing, OD, a clinical optometrist with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health in Madison. “Some people say they tried it once but it didn’t really work. Consistent use really works.”

If you find you need the drops more than six times a day, consider using a product with no preservatives, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, or talk to your doctor about other treatments.

Wash your eyelids

Oil (meibum) is a necessary component of tears, and is produced by meibomian glands found on the rim of eyes, near your lash line. Blocked meibomian glands can lead to dry eye. Washing your eyelids regularly and using a warm washcloth as a compress can help keep inflammation under control and restore the flow of oil to the eye.

“With your eyes closed, wash along the lash line,” instructs Cushing. “You can use commercially available lid cleansers or baby shampoo. It really helps.”

Some doctors may advise doing this every day, even if symptoms have subsided.

If the at-home version of this remedy doesn’t work, ask your doctor about unblocking your oil glands in his or her office with a procedure called LipiFlow. This device provides pressure and warmth to the eye to clear blocked meibomian glands.

Plug your tear ducts

Tear ducts or puncta are located at the inner corners of your upper and lower eyelid. Their function is to drain tears away from the eye into the nose. Plugging the ducts with sterile lacrimal plugs or punctal plugs can keep both your own tears and artificial tears in the eye.

“Basically you’re just closing the duct that drains tears out of your eyes,” explains Cushing. “Usually it’s reversible with a silicone plug but you can actually cauterize and close the punctum permanently.”

Wear therapeutic contact lenses

Although regular contact lenses can actually cause dry eye if worn over the long-term, special contact lenses called scleral lenses or bandage lenses can fix the problem by protecting the surface of the eye and keeping moisture from seeping away.

Eat more omega-3s

Adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet may also help relieve dry eye. Dietary sources include salmon, sardines, tuna, walnuts, and flaxseed.

Ask about prescription meds

In addition to over-the-counter preparations, there are prescription remedies available. There are eye drops that contain the anti-inflammatory compound cyclosporine (Restasis) and in 2016, the FDA approved a new type of dry eye treatment called lifitegrast ophthalmic solution (Xiidra). Corticosteroids, which also control inflammation, are also available in eye drop form, although these are generally not recommended for long-term use.

Which Teas Are Healthiest?

You know that a cup of tea can do you good, but are there different health benefits to the different varieties? Black, green, oolong, and white teas all come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis). It’s how they’re processed that sets them apart and gives them their distinctive flavors. Black is made from leaves that have fully oxidized; their chemical makeup changes when they’re wilted, bruised, and exposed to air (kind of like a cut apple that sits on the counter). Oolong is partially oxidized, while green is not oxidized. White is also not oxidized, and it’s made from young leaves or buds. And they all will deliver a slightly lower buzz than a cup of coffee: it takes up to four eight-ounce cups of black tea to deliver roughly the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.

Black tea

Black tea may be a heart helper. While black tea is not quite as high in flavonoid antioxidants as its green counterpart, it is good for your heart and may help reduce cholesterol levels. And it can also help boost your energy levels. Feel free to tackle your afternoon slump with black tea, which tends to have a higher caffeine content than green tea.

Green tea

Green tea is packed with good-for-you antioxidants that may keep you in great form long-term. It may also help fight certain diseases: “The polyphenols found in green tea not only reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering your total and LDL cholesterol but may also reduce your risk of breast cancer,” says Sonia Oyola, MD, of the University of Chicago.

White tea

Sipping white or green tea may help with weight loss, thanks to caffeine and antioxidants called catechins. It’s also a plant powerhouse. “White tea is the least processed,” notes Dr. Oyola, “so compared with other teas, it has a higher amount of polyphenols, which are known to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.”

Kombucha

Kombucha—tea that’s fermented using sugar and a starter culture from (good) bacteria and yeast—can be an excellent source of probiotics, which may help reestablish a balanced gut microbiome and improve the health of your digestive system, says Dr. Oyola. Just be aware that some varieties may contain alcohol (though usually less than 0.5 percent).

Weight loss teas

Are so-called “detox teas” for weight loss worth a try? Nope—here’s why: Some slimming teas combine caffeine with a diuretic, causing you to shed water weight, not actual fat. They may also contain herbs like senna, a natural laxative that can come with undesirable side effects (think stomach cramps and diarrhea). If your aim is fat loss, a clean diet and exercise are a safer bet, says Cynthia Sass, RD.

Veteran Kirstie Ennis Lands a Cover of ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue: ‘The Hardest Part Was Dropping the Robe’

Kirstie Ennis is used to facing challenges head-on —and her latest has her baring all on a cover of ESPN Magazine‘s Body Issue.

The Veteran Marine — who survived a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2012 that resulted in severe injuries and required more than 40 surgeries — had her left leg amputated above the knee at the end of 2015.

“I was intimidated at first,” Ennis admits of the prospect of stripping down for ESPN. But the thought of making a difference for other people going through similar struggles convinced her to say yes.

“I really thought about it and thought about the demographic and the people that would see it and I really realized that it wasn’t about me anymore,” she says. “Any man, woman, or child facing some sort of adversity has a potential to be inspired by these pictures and seeing somebody who only has been missing their leg for a few years go out and do things that she wasn’t doing with two legs.”

And though she says the first moment was the most nerve-wracking, she felt at ease by the end of the process.

“The hardest part was just dropping the robe,” she says. “At a certain point, it’s like, ‘Realistically, this is pretty badass. I don’t know of anybody else in the world that has ever climbed at Joshua Tree with no clothes on.’ “

Badass is an accurate description of Ennis, whose pursuits post-amputation are impressive. While her above-the-knee amputation came as a shock and slowed her recovery process, she didn’t let it stop her.

“That truly flipped my whole world upside down,” she says. “I didn’t think that I’d ever go back to snowboarding, I damn sure didn’t think I’d be climbing mountains or rock climbing. But I figured it out.”

Ennis is now one of the top Paralympic snowboarders in the world, and is looking forward to (hopefully) competing in PyeongChang next year. She’s also a mountain climber: She took on Kilimanjaro in March, Carstensz in a few weeks, and after that, Everest. Denali is on her schedule for the fall.

Despite these incredible accomplishments, Ennis’s recovery battle continues: Last November, she had to go back into the operating room to have two more inches of her leg removed.

“Curveball after curveball,” she says. “I’ve been blessed with a pretty strong body and I went right back into training as soon as they cleared me to get back up on two feet.”

Her injuries present not only physical hurdles, but mental ones, too. This is where the MVP Foundation — headed up by sports commentator and coach Jay Glazer — comes in. The program supports retired NFL players and combat veterans in their transitions to a life outside of professional sports and the armed forces. The group meets weekly, and after a 30-minute workout session, they all sit down for a “fireside chat” and talk about the importance of living.

“I said, ‘Show of hands, if this group wasn’t here, if we didn’t have this team, how many people in this room probably wouldn’t be alive right now?’ ” Glazer tells PEOPLE of a recent meeting. “And we had about 40 people raise their hands, including Kirstie.”

He says: “It’s just giving them a message of, ‘Different is good. Don’t be afraid to be different. You don’t need to blend in with the rest of society.’ Be proud of every battle scar you have, inside and out, wear that proudly.”

And even in a room of inspiring people who have overcome so much, Glazer says that Ennis stands out.

“She is one of the biggest game-changers of a person you’ll ever come across in your whole life,” Glazer says.

Ennis has inspired countless people, including Prince Harry, who she met at a Walking With the Wounded event in 2015. Following the event, Harry called Ennis his “hero,” and she went on to compete at the 2016 Invictus Games. Ennis won’t be competing in this year’s Invictus Games in Toronto, but hopes to participate in next year’s event, in Sydney, Australia.

“He is a good man with a big heart,” she says of Harry. “He’s definitely his mother’s child.”

Her personal accomplishments mean a lot to Ennis, but nothing has a more of an impact than helping others. She recalls one moment in particular when she was able to inspire a young girl who also wears a prosthetic.

“I like to think I’m pretty tough but kids will bring me to my knees pretty quick,” she says. “There was a little girl at the prosthetics office who had never seen another girl with a prosthetic, let alone a grown-up. She was going into her first day of second grade. And she was just so in awe of me, calling me a princess. I still stay in touch with all of them. Her dad got ahold of me and he’s like, ‘You’ll never know what you just did for my daughter just by being there with her and walking with her.’”