Meet the Teen Youtube Sensation: xxAllieCosmeticsxx!

Daniela is a 16 year old from Miami, Florida. She enjoys helping others and writing.  Her favorite subject is psychology because one day she hopes to major in psychology.


For those of you who don’t know, Youtube is a website used for more than just searching song lyrics or music videos to your favorite songs. There are people who actually do Youtube videos for a living. I have been watching Youtube videos since around late 2009.  My favorite Youtuber has to be Allie, or better known “xxAllieCosemeticsxx”.  She is a young 16 year old girl from Montreal, Canada.  She is a Beauty Vlogger on Youtube. She started her channel in 2008 and has been making beauty and fashion videos ever since.  Now, almost three years later she has over 30, 000 subscribers on Youtube.  You might be thinking, “Oh, a makeup and fashion channel? That sounds so vain” But in reality it’s not. Allie always stresses the fact that beauty comes first on the inside.


There’s way more to Allie than just make up and clothing. She has inspired me and over 30,000 other viewers with her dramatic weight loss. As a child, I had always been overweight just like Allie stated that she was in one of her other videos “My Weight Loss Story!”. Then people started to send really mean and hurtful messages about her weight to her on the anonymous question and answer website called “Formspring”. She calls those people her “angels in disguise” because they motivated her to lose weight. According to one of her responses on Tumblr, she has lost over 40 pounds. Allie has always been beautiful but now with the confidence that she has earned from her weight loss, she has blossomed into an even more beautiful individual.

I remember the day I saw that video of hers, I felt like I could relate so much to what she had gone through. It was like finally someone out there finally understood how I felt. That video and many others helped me start my own weight loss journey.  On June 13th, 2011 I decided to get healthy. I worked out at the gym over 5 times a week and I completely changed my diet in order to accommodate my healthier lifestyle. Although, I’m not as successful as Allie I have actually lost a good amount of weight. I can see the difference in how I act and how my clothes fit and I owe a lot of it to Allie’s inspiration. As “cheesy” as it sounds, I felt like if Allie could do it than so could I. I could also relate to Allie’s anxiety issues that she has shared with her subscribers on her channel. I know how it feels to be in that position, and even though she lives thousands of miles from me it’s great to know that someone else has faced those same struggles.

I am subscribed to over 200 Youtube channels, and I could honestly say that Allie has been the biggest inspiration to me. Her videos have made such an impact on my life. She has also inspired me to make Youtube videos. I will be starting my own channel soon and I hope to be as successful as Allie. There is no one else that could ever be classified as my “favorite You tuber”.  I also enjoy other Youtubers that are not beauty related. Good examples would be “TimothyDeLaGhetto2” or Timothy Chantarangsu from Paramount, California who makes comedy videos and “CTFxC” or Charles Trippy and Allie Speed from Bradenton, Florida who make daily “vlogs” talking about their life and sharing their life with the world. Both of those Youtubers have over a million subscribers in total and I look forward to their videos every single day.

Our Toxic Food Supply and What We Can Do About It

toxic food, genetically modified food, organic food, healthy eatingThis guest post is by:  Holly Reisem Hanna is the Founder and Publisher of The Work at Home Woman, an award winning blog dedicated to helping women and moms fulfill their dreams of working from home or becoming self-employed. For more info please see:


I recently had the pleasure of seeing Robyn O’Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth speak at a luncheon sponsored by Stonyfield Farm Organics.  While I’ve always been a health conscious individual, it never occurred to me how tainted our food supply actually is and how much greed plays into it.

As Robyn says, “The landscape of children’s health has changed. No longer can we assume that our children will have a healthy childhood – certainly not in the face of the current epidemics of autism, ADHD, asthma and allergies, childhood cancers, childhood obesity and diabetes”.

As it turns out many of these diseases have increased dramatically in the past two decades and a great deal of it has to do with our genetically modified, artificially colored, pesticide grown and hormone induced food supply.

I won’t go into all of the gory details of the corporate corruption, government cover-ups and greed that have broken our system (I’ll let you read Robyn’s book for all of that), but I want to discuss with you how you can keep your family safe and healthy.


According to Wikipedia about 86% of the corn grown in the U.S.A. is genetically modified. One of the biggest threats caused by genetically engineered food is that it can have harmful effects on individuals. However, what is most troubling to me is the fact that corn has been genetically modified to contain its own insecticide. So now you have to be concerned about your children ingesting insecticide and genetically processed food – which there are no long term studies to prove the safety of genetically processed foods.

You’d think that buying organic corn would solve the problem alone – but corn is in almost everything we consume – from popsicles, cookies, juices and bread (corn syrup and corn sugar)to  mayonnaise and chips (canola oil and corn oil) and sauces, cereals and baked goods (corn meal and corn starch).

What you can do: Purchase organic corn and corn products, make simple switches from corn chips to pretzels, canola oil to olive oil and start reading labels and educating yourself on the issue further.


I’ll admit it; I thought soy was the healthier option – from veggie dogs and veggie burgers to soy milk and tofu.  But the truth is our grocery stores are filled with products that contain soy, like ice cream, yogurt, vegetable oils, baby formula, flour, sauces, margarine and shortening – that we really have no idea how much soy we are ingesting.

The issue with soy is that it has high concentrations of isoflavones which suppress the thyroid function and boost estrogen levels. High estrogen levels have been associated with breast cancer, reproductive cancers, testicular cancer and infertility. Besides this, around 93% of the soybeans grown in the United States are genetically altered. While you can find information to support either argument, I choose to live by the mantra “better safe than sorry”, especially since breast cancer and thyroid problems run in my family.

What you do: Eat soy in moderation and learn more about it. In fact this site says that babies who are fed soy formula have 13,000 – 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in their blood than babies who have been fed milk-based formula (the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day – making soy not safe for infants at all.


For the past 15 years, the majority of our milk has come from cows that have been injected with genetically engineered growth hormone. While this hormone helps the cows to produce more milk, it may hold many negative side effects like early puberty in girls, increased risk of breast cancer and increased risk of prostate cancer.

What you can do:  Purchase dairy products that are recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) free or buy organic milk which comes from cows that are fed 100% organic feed and that are not treated with antibiotics, hormones or drugs.

Artificial Color

I must admit this is one area I was totally clueless on. As it turns out synthetic colors/dyes have a significant effect of behavior – from irritability and restlessness to sleep problems. And once again artificial colors and are everything you eat from granola bars, juices, yogurt, cakes, ice cream, crackers, cereals, macaroni and cheese – and the list goes on and on.

What you can do: Again purchase organic foods, decrease the amount of processed foods that you consume by making your own cookies, breads etc  and make simple switches from items like M&M’s to chocolate chips.


I had heard the rumor that aspartame was rat poison, but I never gave it a second thought – after all why wouldn’t the FDA keep us safe from such products? Well, as it turns out aspartame has been linked to brain tumors, memory lapses, weight gain, lymphomas, leukemia and other cancers – yikes!

What you can do: Switch from artificial sweeteners to real sweeteners like honey, sugar or agave nectar or if you need a no calorie sweetener, try stevia which is natural. Read labels, low cal and diet products like yogurt and sodas contain artificial sweeteners.

By taking baby steps, learning more about your food supply and making educated decisions about the food you consume – you can begin to feel good about the food choices you make for you and your families.

Holly Reisem Hanna is the Founder and Publisher of The Work at Home Woman, an award winning blog dedicated to helping women and moms fulfill their dreams of working from home or becoming self-employed. For more info please see:


Photo: by Jung Moon from Flickr

How to Get Teens to Eat Healthy

This guest post is by Dr. Heather Manley, who in 2001 received her medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, is a practicing physician whose primary interest is preventative healthcare for families. She is the author of Human Body Detectives, her educational series for children and promotes wellness and naturopathic healthcare on her website She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with her husband and two daughters, and is currently at work on the next Human Body Detectives adventure.

With an emerging tween and teenager in my house, who are spending more time with their friends eating, it has been on my mind … what are they eating when I am not around? Instead of just pondering the thought, I decided to go straight to the source.  I asked my 12 year old daughter what she and her friends are eating at school and after school.


She replied, “green stuff mostly.”


I asked her what type of “green stuff?”


“cucumbers, apples, kiwi, edamame.”


I was impressed. But I decided to dig a little harder because as the daughter of a naturopathic physician, she knows how to answer my questions well. As I probed her a bit more, I soon realized there were no obvious signs of truly poor eating habits … except for the occasional trip to the local coffee shop for pastries and frappuccinos. I clearly needed to move on.


I proceeded to ask a 16 year old boy.


He said that he and his friends eat pretty much whatever they want. However, they do want to eat healthier foods but find it difficult figuring out what is best for them.


“The food industry is very commercial and we are just unsure on how to obtain reliable resources on what is healthy or what is not not. Plus, we don’t have much time.”


This had me thinking. Kids want to eat healthy and most kids do understand that eating healthy foods makes them feel better, allowing for more creation and more productivity. With all the commercialism with food and the easy (and cheap) assess to fast foods, they really do not have the tools to allow them to find and choose the best foods. I came up with a plan … actually an acronym that would help them.



Whole ~ Color ~ Variety

Think whole

why: Whole colorful foods contain a multitude of nutrients that boast nutrition and allow our bodies to function, optimally.  Whole foods do not have the added food coloring or additives that can aggravate the digestive system and possibly be partly responsible for food sensitivities and allergies.


how: Gravitate to the periphery of the grocery store. This is where you will find the whole foods ( fruits, vegetables, produce, dairy). The center of the store is filled with processed foods like boxed cereals, crackers and canned foods.

Think color

why? Phytonutrients, found in fruits and vegetables, give vivid color to our food and promote health by packing powerful health benefits. They help stimulate our immune systems and prevent disease.  Common phytonutrients include; flavonoids and lutein.

how? Color Thy Plate. Every time you grab a plate think about coloring it up. With a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, add some blueberries or strawberries, with a sandwich add avocados, sprouts and tomatoes.

Think variety

why? We all have a tendency to eat the same foods over and over. It is convenient and easy. However, different foods have different nutrients – more of some and less of others. Our bodies need to eat a variety of whole foods to obtain all the different nutrients that are offered in the certain food.

how? Munch on your apple but also try other fruits such as kiwis, mangos or pears. Or if you are a frequent almond eater, try cashews or walnuts instead.


And for parents, encourage healthy eating by not telling your children to eat healthy foods but to have healthy foods readily available. Keeping fruits, nuts, yogurt and cut up vegetables readily accessible makes it much easier for your child to grab.  And if chips are a favorite, have not only salsa but avocados ( guacamole), bean dip and hummus close by.


Keeping WCV in mind, tweens and teens will have a clear insight what to gravitate towards when choosing foods thus will be fully nourishing their bodies, which will both keep them optimally healthy today and in the future.


Ready to indulge your taste buds?


Be well,





Dr. Heather Manley, who in 2001 received her medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, is a practicing physician whose primary interest is preventative healthcare for families. She is the author of Human Body Detectives, her educational series for children and promotes wellness and naturopathic healthcare on her website She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with her husband and two daughters, and is currently at work on the next Human Body Detectives adventure.

This guest post is by Dr. Heather: Twitter @drheathernd ~ Become a fan of HBD on facebook!



Healthy Role Models: “As Long As It’s Healthy” [Guest Post]

This guest post is by Chuck Runyon, CEO of Anytime Fitness, sponsor of the Coalition of Angry Kids campaign to help parents be healthier role models.

This is a common phrase uttered by expectant parents when responding to the question, “Are you hoping for a boy or girl?”

But what happens after that couple is blessed with a healthy baby? Do we keep that child healthy, or do we begin feeding them a lifelong diet of sugar, processed foods, fat, sodium, fast food, and unbalanced meals?

As parents, we strive to instill positive habits, values, and education in our children that will fortify them throughout their life. But do we instill an understanding of the food they eat? Do we encourage regular physical activity and other healthy habits?

In many aspects of their lives, we challenge our children and assist them with projects—in the hope that their accomplishments breed self-confidence and a positive self-esteem, both of which are critical to living a more fulfilling life. Yet, having a poor body image and being overweight siphon self-confidence and self-esteem at an alarming rate.

We fiercely protect our kids from strangers, inappropriate images, words, viruses, and any negative external forces that could endanger them. Yet, the biggest threat to our children may reside within our own homes—in the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator and in the unhealthy habits we portray on a daily basis.

On June 10, 2010, the American Heart Association reported the following on overweight children:

Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. With good reason, childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.


“Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.”

It’s easy to blame society, the government, or the food industry for this problem. It’s easier—and cheaper—to eat unhealthy, processed foods. Along those lines, wouldn’t it be easier to let our kids set their own bed times and roll out of bed whenever they want? How about letting them decide if they should attend school or complete their homework? We’d never model behaviors that would encourage those actions—because we know our kids are observing us. Ultimately, our kids will eat what we eat. They will be active if we are active. It starts and ends with us.

So think back to that initial hope, “As long as it’s healthy.” When it comes to healthy children, it’s like everything else in life. If you want something, you have to work at it.

Picky (Teen) Eaters

So you were hoping the picky eater would grow up by now, right?  Many picky toddlers and kids do grow out of their aversion to anything green/healthy/fluffy/creamy by age 10 or 11, but not always.  Recently, I have stumbled upon more and more families who have increasingly intense fights during meals because of stubborn teen eaters.

1) Make sure it is not about being heard

At least once per week there is a battle over dinner in the Greyson household.  The daughter (14) hates pasta with peas.  The brother likes it. The mom thinks it is easy to make and has protein, carbs and veggies.  When Mom inevitably makes it for dinner, daughter blows up and refuses to eat anything.  Mom feels underappreciated and yells, “This is not a restaurant and I am not your personal chef!” The daughter gets punished and eats nothing for dinner. The night is ruined.  While working with the family I talked to the daughter about her strong disgust of pasta with peas. Instead of talking about how revolting she finds the dish, she instead shared her feeling that her mom makes the dinner when she is trying to be punishing. “If she knows I hate it so much, why would she make it?” I realized this was about her being heard and listened to, not really about the actual meal.  I explained this to the mom and then also explained to the daughter…

2) How difficult dinner can be

She had heard her mom vent about making dinner after a long day, but had not truly sat down and thought about all of the ingredients, timing the meal, making it balanced and pleasing everyone.  The mom and daughter struck a deal. No pasta with peas if she made dinner once per week.  This taught her exactly how hard dinner was and it gave mom a break.  It also….

3) Let them take ownership

Picky eaters who are older often have control issues with food.  It is true they might have a limited palate and truly do find certain foods indigestible, but more likely is they want to be in control of what they are eating and when.  Unfortunately, living at home and being a minor makes this a bit more difficult.  Yet, I have found with the picky eaters I have worked with that giving them ownership of their meal times really helps them eat.  This can be cooking a meal like above.  It can also be doing meal planning at the beginning of the week, going grocery shopping on their own or with a parent to pick out food for the house.

4) Vegetarian and vegans

When my sister went veggie, the house went under.  There was a time (maybe still) where my poor mother had to make gluten-free meals for my dad and I, veggie meals for my middle sister, meat heavy meals for my brother and cheesy meals for my youngest sister.  Even when she ignored personal preference (my sister likes cheese, my brother likes meat and potatoes) we still had dietary concerns that she had to cook for.  Many teens are now going vegetarian and vegan despite being raised in a meat loving family.  I am lumping this with picky eaters because it causes the same kinds of issues–mom feeling underappreciated, kids under-eating or eating badly and dinnertime disarray.  I think it is extremely important for vegetarians to take ownership in their meals and let them see how their decision (it is their right to decide what goes in their body) affects everyone (see tips above).

5) The 15 times rule

They say that if you try something 15 times you will begin to like it.  I think this is true with a slight amendment.  I do not like fennel, but I have eaten it 15 times and now I can stand it.  I still do not like it.  Make a deal with your picky eater that they at least have to try a bite of everything you make to be able to stick with their staples.  This expands their palate slowly.

It is completely normal to have a older picky eater.  With patience, their palates will mature and they will pick food not to be picky, but because they enjoy it and it is healthy.

Ask-A-Teen Column: The Healthy Choice

This article is by Renae, Maria Elena and Bridget, the writers of the Ask A Teen Column where readers can write in to ask our teens for advice. Email for your question.

Ask-A-Teen Column: The Healthy Choice

“What tips do you have for parents on keeping teens healthy? I want to encourage my boys to eat better but don’t want to nag. I also want to teach them balance but don’t know how to approach it with them or my tween daughter.”

Eating healthy is important because it gives kids energy that lasts throughout the day, it gives their body the nutrients they need, it helps them stay strong for sports and other extracurricular activities, and it helps them maintain a healthy weight.

Now that we know why eating healthy is important, we’re at the hard part, which is how to help kids eat healthy without our guidance. A few ways to help teens eat healthy are to teach them how to make healthy choices at a young age, find foods that are healthy but also taste good, and the best way to help them eat healthy is to have Family Dinners.

Eating healthy means having regular meals every day and small snacks in between meals. Breakfast is so important when it comes to a growing teen! It gives them brainpower to start off the day and also helps the metabolism wake up. Having Family Dinners helps teens eating as well as family communication. When making dinner for your kids, you choose what and how much is being made. Instead of letting kids take dinner to their bedrooms, set aside a dinner time every day and have dinner together. Make it a normal thing to eat dinner while getting more connected.

A few healthy snack ideas: Raw vegetables (baby carrots), fruit salad, sunflower seeds, peanut butter with apples or crackers, fruits (apples, grapes, strawberries, oranges), cottage cheese, yogurt, nuts, string cheese, popcorn, and sugar free Jello.

~Renae is a 16-year-old from Lowell, MI. She is a creative individual who spends a lot of her time reading and learning Japanese because she would like to become a Journalist in Japan.

I think the best way to approach this type of situation is by buying lots of healthy food, and starting to get healthy as a family. Begin eating healthier yourself, so that way your teen boys and tween girl can see that you are trying, so they should also try to. It’s always easiest to eat healthy when you have the  support from your entire family. Also try different things out like family outings that consist of you guys going hiking, running, etc. I know this sounds cheesy, and this may not work considering you have teen boys, but try it and if it does work you will grow as a family and also get in shape. You can always try talking to them too, but tell them it’s only for their best and you mean no harm by it. Tell them you care about them and that you are not “nagging”, only trying to help. I’m sure everything will work out, and if they don’t listen at first, I’m sure they eventually will, it just takes time. Hope this helps.

~Bridget is a 15 year old from Austin, Tx. She has a passion for writing and aspires to be a journalist when she’s older, when she’s not writing you can find her listening to her ipod or at a concert!

Keeping teens healthy is a hard task to do because we’re always on the go and convenience tends to come before calories on the list of priorities. To encourage your boys to choose the healthier option, only offer the healthy snacks after practices, games, or between lunch and dinner. Taking junk foods away completely won’t cause them psychological damage, but on the other hand a treat every day or every once and awhile isn’t too bad. Eventually they’ll get into the habit of going for healthy snacks versus the not-so-healthy snacks and they probably won’t even notice. For your daughter, stress the fact that it’s not because she needs to be a certain shape or size, but that she needs to be healthy and strong. Sometimes parents approach their daughters incorrectly about making wise food choices and it is misunderstood as an insult for their weight.

Try the following:

  • Mix up their snack foods in their lunches or what’s in the fridge or on the counter.
  • Urge being active for at least 20 – 40 minutes daily, whether it’s taking the dog for a walk, doing some chores, or playing tag with your neighbors.
  • Stray from using phrases that stem from “don’ts” and use ones that state what they should do.
  • Show that being healthy doesn’t have to be some grueling experience, it can be fun, simple, and easy with just a little bit of effort.

~ Maria Elena is a 16-year-old from Wilmington, DE. She enjoys dancing and cooking and her favorite subject is Math because she likes solving big equations.