How To Grow Out Your Nails

This is based on what worked for me. This information should not be taken as medical advice and if you are noticing issues with your nails, please seek medical advice from your doctor.

I am the kind of person who’s nails are always short, broken and plagued with hangnails, but that has recently changed for me. I believe this massive improvement comes in combination of a lot of changes I’ve made. That all being said, my nail painting skills have not increased much yet, but I imagine over time they will.

Eva Blakeman – White Nails

The first part is nutrition. Yes I know this is the most common advice available when it comes to skin and nail care, but there is a reason for that. Reducing and eliminating junk foods and massively increasing my water intake has done wonders for my nails ( and my skin! ). In short, I gained some weight during this period of self isolation and I had to make some changes to my diet which has led to positive changes in my health and my appearance.

Eva Blakeman – Base Coat

The second part is consistent nail care. I do not buff my nails and I avoid cutting them. I much prefer file my nails every second day or so to stop them from reaching a breaking length. I do get acrylics every Christmas and every year I regret it because they file the nail so thin that it takes weeks after removal to have strong nails again. I keep my nails painted with a base coat to protect them and often add some colour for fun. My favourite base coat is shown above. It’s the Sally Hansen Strengthening Base Coat and it is my current favourite. I’ve used the Essie base coats and the Revlon ones but this one has been taking good care of my nails.

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I avoid soaking my nails in water as it makes them soft and they tear very easily when they have soaked in water. To avoid this I keep my hands dry as much as I can while taking a bath, dry my hands thoroughly after washing and while doing the dishes I use a scrubber to keep my hands out of the water. It is not always possible to keep my nails dry, which is why painting over the tip of the nail with the base coat is very important to me, as it increases the time before my nails saturate with water.

Eva Blakeman – Cuticle Oil

I stopped cutting my cuticles. This has changed my fingers so much. I use an orange stick and the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil ( as seen above ) and it has changed my fingers from tender, rough and a little bloody to smooth and strong. I chose the Essie oil because it was inexpensive but if you know of any other great nail or cuticle oils, please let me know in the comments!

I file broken nails. As much as they have improved, I do sometimes still break a corner which leaves that sharp broken edge that drives me insane. To avoid me biting the nail off, I file down the broken area until it is smooth and re-paint the nail. This alone has saved my nails more than anything else. It does require keeping a nail file in your purse, but it is much better than me ripping my angry nail off.

I am very happy to have “pretty” nails for the first time in my life and hope to keep them healthy for a long time. I do keep my nails fairly short to avoid breakage as I am not always the most careful individual, but they are actually longer than they have ever been before.

As always, if you have tips or tricks you want to share, please do so in the comments!

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Eva Blakeman – Grow Out Your Nails

Does EMS Build Muscle?

I am not a medical doctor. This is not medical advice, and should not be used in place of a physicians recommendation. Please consult with your physician in regards to use of EMS machines.

A couple years ago I got very curious about the alternate use of electronic muscle stimulation as I was hearing claims of it being able to build muscle without exercise. I found the answer, and it is not the one anyone wants to hear.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

Yes it can build muscle, but no you should not go out and buy one for yourself and throw it on your back in hopes of getting buff. As appealing as it sounds to lay on your couch and get ripped, it is another case of “too good to be true”.

The basic function of these machines is to cause muscles to contract by stimulating them with electrical impulses. This is often used by physiotherapists in muscle recovery. Please note that a trained professional can place the pads in the appropriate place to engage the proper muscles. But an individual who is untrained might place the pad in the wrong place or set the machine incorrectly and cause damage to the muscles.

Now in a study directly related to muscle augmentation done on mice, the researchers found that with change to diet and closely controlled settings, they could cause muscle increase in the mice through EMS. Once again, these are professionals who are very careful with their placement, exposure times, diet and settings for the machines. The gains in musculature in the mice was lower than the muscle gain that would be achieve by actively using their muscles in exercise.

Products exist that claim to build muscle while you lay on the couch through the use of EMS machines, but reality is, walking and lifting weights is not only much more efficient, it is also safer, as the average individual does not have the training and knowledge appropriate to use these machines safely. Should muscle contractions be too strong, tears can occur. Should multiple overlapping muscles engage at once, strains and bulges can occur. The use of these machines should be limited to those with the appropriate training to use them safely.

Please do not engage in the use of EMS machines without the instruction of your physician, and only in the case where a physician has recommended them to you. These products are so widely available that they may seem safe, but in reality they can cause a lot of problems, and provide very little benefit to the user for muscle gain.

Photo by Victor Freitas on

If you really want to build muscle, eat a protein rich diet, exercise often, lift appropriately to your strength and ensure you stretch to maintain flexibility. Stay hydrated and have some fun working out!

Now after all these warnings, there are medical uses for these devices, and they are not inherently unsafe. There are many uses that are beneficial to the patient, and should a physician use one on you, you can feel safe that they are well trained and are doing what they can to help you with your ailment. This post was designed to educate about the risks of using them for muscle gain without the supervision of a physician, and should not be taken as an absolutist statement against the machines as a medical tool.

Dieting : Expectation VS Reality

Walking into a diet with huge expectation can be one of the most fatal things. Expecting optimal results within a week is just not achievable so it’s important to remember a few things.

A lot of people start diets every year, and a lot of people don’t lose the weight or gain it right back. It can be difficult emotionally, physically and financially to “diet” and when the results aren’t what we’re hoping for it can be down right upsetting. Below we are going to cover why diets don’t usually work and why we gain weight after them.

Why “Diets” Don’t Work

Walking into a diet with huge expectation can be one of the most fatal things. Expecting optimal results within a week is just not achievable so it’s important to remember a few things.

Firstly, losing ten pounds a week is not sustainable for your body and isn’t healthy. Losing 1-2 pounds week after week is something your body can do and do so healthily.

Secondly, any diet that requires you to wildly restrict caloric intake is probably not a good idea, as your metabolism will adjust to the limited caloric intake and the second you start increasing calories to a healthy amount per day your body will start turning it to conserved energy due to being starved for how ever long you dieted.

Thirdly, most diets don’t account for nutrition if they focus only on caloric intake. Eating the right foods is far more important than caloric manipulation.

Fourthly, diets don’t work because we look at them as short term goals and not lifestyle changes. Realistically if you ate a healthy diet based on whole foods and reasonable caloric intake you would lose weight until your body found its happy BMI.

How To “Diet” Right

Well the secret isn’t secret ingredients or magic pills. It’s eating the right foods at the right time. Make sure you are eating enough nutrients to support your body and don’t eat before going to bed. Enjoy fruits and vegetables in a fun way. The big secret is healthy living, eating well and fuelling your body. That being said, always consult a doctor before making huge dietary changes.

Salads are boring, so make them delicious with fruits, nuts, vinaigrettes and protein like chicken. Forcing yourself to eat foods you don’t like is a surefire way to cause failure in your dieting.

Having protein shakes is great, but they aren’t going to fill you up or satisfy your cravings. Click here for some great meal replacement shakes that will satisfy hunger with proper nutrients and healthy calorie intake.

Make sure you have enough carbohydrates and protein in your diet. If you’re looking for great protein and supplements click here.

Be flexible in your thinking! Eating one cookie to satisfy a craving or one double cheeseburger isn’t the end of your weight loss story. You satisfied your craving, good, now continue with your intended meals and keep losing the unwanted weight. Thinking that its all over or your day is now ruined by “cheating” a little bit leads to binging instead of just satisfying a craving.

Find support in your journey! There is no reason to go at it alone. There are so many groups and individuals who can help motivate and support you in your goals!

Have set goals in mind and track your progress. A lot of people give up because they feel like they aren’t achieving anything due to the scale stubbornly not moving! Remember to track your measurements as well as your weight and take a before picture to contrast where you are during your journey. It seems like a small thing but being able to physically see the difference can change your attitude towards your journey for the better. (Downloadable tracking sheet at the end of this article).

In the end, dieting means a lifestyle change and a commitment to your health and body. It’s not a short term project, a weekend of cleansing, its a long term relationship you build with the fuel that feeds your body. This is so important, as you only have one body in your life, so it’s worth respecting it and taking care of it from the inside out.

If you have any tips or comments please leave them in the comment section below!

Is Intermittent Fasting Good For Weight Loss

There have been a lot of fad diets, especially in the last two decades, but intermittent fasting isn’t about cutting back your calories to an extreme or doing liquid diets.

Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Intermittent fasting is by no means a new idea. Throughout history fasting has been common to elongate food supply or for religious reasons. Now days it’s more commonly known as a weight loss system.

There have been a lot of fad diets, especially in the last two decades, but intermittent fasting isn’t about cutting back your calories to an extreme or doing liquid diets. Now there are two main types of intermittent fasting. Daily fasting consists of limited caloric intake during a part of the day, whereas full day fasting consists of not eating during a 12 to 24 hour period.

Let’s start out with daily fasting. It’s about using your calories as efficiently as possible. Eating during times of the day when you will be burning more calories and not eating during times of minimal activity. If you have a very active morning but limited movement in the afternoon, you would consume most of your calories in the morning, and stop eating in the early afternoon.

For a full day of fasting may sound like you don’t eat during the day, but that is untrue, unless being done for religious ceremony that requires it. In a usual day of fasting you would take supplements (vitamins, botanical solutions) a lot of water, tea or light juices and between 400-600 calories in snacks throughout the day. Not eating anything at all in a whole day can have consequences on your digestive system. Ensure you stay well hydrated during this time.

Now both of these methods have health benefits, but for weight loss, daily fasting is a very efficient way to increase your weight loss results without cutting more calories. That being said, eating a healthy, balanced diet is important and without it weight loss is difficult to achieve no matter how you organize your calories.

If you’ve used either method for weight loss or to maintain a healthy lifestyle please let me know down below.