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HEALTHY HABITS: You Too Can Light Up a Room with Betty Grable Legs, Bette Davis Eyes and a Brad Pitt Smile — by Peter Bennett

August 4, 2011
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You can light up a room just like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie by investing in some easy health and lifestye essentials.

You can light up a room just like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie by investing in some easy health and lifestye essentials.

To look and feel like a Hollywood star, you simply need to start treating yourself like one. Follow these tips and you’ll light up any room you enter, like a modern day Clark Gable or Greta Garbo.

For a more radiant smile …

Life Lessons of a Harvard Reject

Do you want to have a million-dollar, megawatt smile like Cameron Diaz or Brad Pitt without the million-dollar investment? Then take care of your teeth, using these easy tips from La Verne Dentist Andy Alas:

Snack on crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples, celery, carrots and broccoli, which are high in cellulose, a compound that works a little like a natural toothbrush.

Eat hard cheese. It’s high in phosphates, which help neutralize enamel-eroding acids, as well as calcium and vitamin D.

Get nutty. Nuts possess lots of acid-reducing phosphates and are also loaded with restorative calcium and magnesium to further strengthen your teeth.

Chew sugarless gum after meals. It stimulates the production of saliva to help clean the mouth. Xylitol in some sugarless gum raises your mouth’s pH level, which helps prevent acid from damaging your teeth.

Floss daily. Dental floss is so cheap you can get yards of the stuff for a couple of bucks. Flossing will help arrest bacteria before it turns into plaque and tartar and more serious conditions like gum disease (gingivitis) and bone loss (periodontitis).

Visit your dentist twice a year. Semi-annual visits give your dentist a chance to catch cavities early and spot signs of illness that could be affecting your whole body.

Out of toothpaste? Not a problem! Mix 6 tablespoons baking soda, 1/3 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons glycerin and 15 drops peppermint or wintergreen extract. Mix together to form a paste and store it in a container you can dip a toothbrush into. Most pharmacies and health food stores carry glycerin.

For a more glowing, gorgeous complexion …

To get Nicole Kidman’s or Halle Berry’s creamy complexion, you need to know a few beauty secrets, which Glendora dermatologist, Dr. Laurie Woll, shared with LaVerneOnline:

Halle Berry

Halle Berry

Sleep on your posterior. Sleeping on your stomach or side smashes your face into the pillow, folding, crinkling and creasing it into a relief map, especially around the areas of the eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth and brows.

Reduce bacteria breeding grounds that can cause acne breakouts. Clean your cell phone with a disinfectant wipe, change your pillowcase often and keep your hands away from your face. In the event of a blemish, dab it with a drop of Brazil nut oil, which contains selenium and zinc, two known antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Increase your body’s natural sunburn protection. Brightly colored vegetables rich in carotenoids are full of free-radical-fighting antioxidant properties that may make your skin more resilient to the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun.

By the way, zinc is nature’s ultimate sun shield, but, of course, it leaves a white mask. Today, there are invisible zinc products that block the sun and won’t irritate the eyes, so now you can cover up without anyone knowing it.

For leaner legs …

Betty Grable’s shapely legs helped U.S. GIs win a World War. You can have gorgeous gams, too, by following this easy 15-minute workout recommended by Lance McCullough, owner of Fitness Results in Upland, Calif. Exercise three times a week, working up to two or three sets, resting for 60-second intervals between exercises.

Betty Grable's legs inspired a generation.

Betty Grable's legs inspired a generation.

Half Step-Up

With your hands on your hips, put your right foot on a step or a bench and push yourself up until your right leg is straight. Then rock your left leg backward as far as you can go without arching your back, squeezing your glutes as you go. Alternate and work up to two sets of a dozen reps.

Reverse Lunge with Front Kick

With your abs tight, step back with your right foot and lower into a reverse lunge. From this position, squeeze your glutes as you push down through your left heel and thrust your right leg in front of you as you straighten your left leg. Repeat a dozen times, then switch legs.

Lateral Leg Lift

Keeping your hands on your hips and your feet hip-width apart, slowly squat down. Pause, then stand and elevate your right leg out to the side as high as you can. Alternate legs until you complete a dozen reps.

Plie Squat Jump

Drop into squat position, with hands on hips, toes turned out and your thighs parallel to the ground. Then spring up before landing softly on your toes. Work up to 20 reps in quick succession.

For silkier, superstar locks …

If you want Fabio’s magnificent mane that will set you apart on the red carpet, here’s a little hirsute help:

Skip daily washing. Hair pros agree that chlorinated water, which rains out of most shower spouts, can strip your hair of natural oils.

Keep your hair hydrated. Fill a spray bottle with distilled water and a few drops of hair-relaxing grapeseed and lavender oils. To tame your tresses, squirt a little in your palms, then run your hands through your hair.

For more radiant eyes …

They communicate, convince, conceal, convict, smile, pierce and probe. Like Bette Davis’s eyes, they inspire hope, mystery, wonder and intrigue. They are your passport to the world and your windows for others to peer into your soul.

Here’s how you can help protect these priceless treasures:

Bette Davis' eyes were mesmerizing.

Bette Davis' eyes were mesmerizing.

Feed them well. A diet rich in vitamin A, such as papaya, eggs, fish, milk, cilantro, etc., will help your eyes sparkle. Eat lots of green, leafy vegetables, like kale, collard greens and spinach, which are rich in lutein. Also, eat more foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, including cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and halibut.

Protect your eyes from the sun. Before facing the sun, don UV protected glasses , both regular and sunglasses. UV protective glasses guard against not only cataracts but other eye diseases, which can appear as yellow bumps (pterygium) on the eye’s surface and decrease vision.

Step away from the computer. Every 30 minutes or so, look at a distant object and blink several times. At frequent intervals, take your eyes for a spin, rolling them clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Splash water on your eyes during breaks to cool your eyes. Take short walks as well to increase blood flow to your eyes.

Don’t smoke. Smoking damages blood vessels, causing them to constrict and form atherosclerotic plaques, depriving the eye tissue of oxygen.
 
Get checked. Frequency will depend on family history and individual risk of eye disease. If you’re 65 or older, see your specialist annually.

Glowing eyes, satiny skin, shimmering hair, lean, sculpted legs and a super smile have been Hollywood’s stock and trade for more than a century.  Follow the health and fitness regimens above and you’ll shine, too, whether you’re in front of the camera, behind it, or simply a TV and movie fan who wants to lead a long, healthy, vigorous life.
 
As always, before starting any health regimen, consult with your doctor or health care specialist to make sure you’re undertaking the right program for your needs and current state of health and fitness.

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