|Posts from December 2012|
The Mayans were right, the end is near...the end of 2012 that is! Now that the Christmas decorations are all put away and we gaze into the potential Fiscal Cliff thanks to an inert Congress, we can stay positive with the ringing in of the new year. Most new year's activities revolve around adult parties with libations late into the night. But here's some ideas on how to celebrate the new year with children that doesn't involve drinking or late hours!
Change Your Time Zone
There's no doubt that the best and most festive way to celebrate the arrival of the new year is watching the ball drop in Times Square in New York City, but we all know that keeping little ones up until midnight will make for a very rough start to the new year! So consider watching London, England ring in the new year. It's a night filled with fireworks and fun. Not to mention the fireworks shoot out of Big Ben! Although it will be midnight in jolly 'ol England, it will be at 7pm here and you should be able to watch it live on the Internet as it's broadcast live on BBC1. It's a bit tricky to get but LiveTVCafe.net offers a stream after downloading Real Player.
Break Out The Glitter
Use today to take down your Christmas decorations — if you haven't already — and put up some New Year's Eve decor! Cover plain party hats with glitter by spraying them with spray glue and then letting the kids go to town sprinkling glitter on them (may we suggest doing this in the garage?). Prepare for the big countdown by making paper poppers that can be filled with confetti, use a toilet paper roll and wrap it in a couple sheets of tissue paper, closing the ends with curling ribbon.
Make A Time Capsule
You don't have to dig a hole in the backyard to create a memorable time capsule with your kids. In fact, this can easily become a fun and special New Year's tradition for your family! Print out a survey that every family member needs to complete, with questions such as these: What's your favorite food right now? What is the best thing you did this year? Include the survey and a photograph of each family member and put them all in a special box. Add to the time capsule each year with the same survey of questions. It will be so fun to read from year to year and even five or 10 years down the road!
Throw A Family-Friendly Bash
Remember all those friends that you used to spend New Year's Eve with, pre-kids? Well, now that you're all in the same parenting boat, there's no reason why you still can't get together to celebrate the new year! Invite them all over with their kids and throw a big, family-friendly New Year's Eve bash, complete with champagne... and juice boxes. Tell your friends to bring pajamas for the kids and set up movies, popcorn and sleeping bags for the little ones so that everyone can stay as late as possible.
The simplest but also the most memorable thing you can do with your kids on New Year's Eve is to sit down as a family and make a plan for the year to come. Get a big piece of poster board and go crazy brainstorming things you want to do as a family, places you want to travel, projects to conquer and goals to accomplish.
Being a guy who has always suffered allergies,I've always looked at keeping my home's air clean as possible. I buy those extra fine filters for my HVAC system and vacuum my floors every other day but it still doesn't seem to be enough. Leave it to the good folks at NASA, who did a study over 20 years ago to find out which plants were best to filter the air of the space station, and the agency's findings are available to all. So load up on these house plants that work best to filter the air, by not only producing oxygen from CO2, but also absorbing benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
I love the names of these plants, don't you?
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your friends and family. Now it's that limbo week between Christmas and the new year where most of the staff here are on vacation, which means the one's that are working aren't really doing much! Part of my gift to us working is to make breakfast for the staff. I have an electric griddle that will be frying up bacon and sausage, eggs, has browns and whatever else we want!
Another gesture of good will came to the police department of Newton, Connecticut. Between police work and funerals, officers have been working pretty much around the clock since the Sandy Hook school rampage on December 14th. So neighboring police officers from nearby communities stepped in to patrol the town on Christmas so all of the Newton Police Department officers had the day off. The grassroots campaign was a welcome salute to a wary force. Way to go!
Thanks to Woman's Day magazine for this gem on 9 good habits that are actually bad for you. See what they are and why.
1. Compulsively Using Hand Sanitizer.
If you reach for hand sanitizer any time you make contact with the outside world, you might want to take pause. Unless you're in an especially germ-prone place like a hospital, soap and water will work just fine, says Richard Gallo, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Dermatology at the University of California-San Diego. When you're not near a sink, hand sanitizing gels can help, but be sure to read the label first. Recent research has shown that those containing triclosan may promote bacteria and virus resistance to antibiotic medications (this goes for antibacterial hand soaps that contain triclosan, too). Instead, choose brands like Purell, that contain at least 60% alcohol, which will kill 99% of bacteria on contact.
2. Experimenting With Skincare Products.
Who isn't tempted to buy the latest skin creams and serums promising to shed years from your face? While looking for something that works for you is a good idea, overhauling your routine every few weeks in search of the fountain of youth isn't. "I've always encouraged my patients to create a daily regimen and stick with it," says Jody Levine, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. "Women get easily bored with their beauty routine, especially if they don't see results right away. It can take between six and eight weeks to see changes; if you're using a product to increase collagen, expect to wait six months to see results." She often cautions patients against constantly changing products, noting that it may cause adult rosacea (a condition that results in red, patchy and sometimes inflamed skin). "People may be forming sensitive skin by trying out too many different products with high levels of fragrance and other sensitizers," Dr. Levine says. In lieu of always trying something new, stick with what works for you, or see your dermatologist to develop a new routine. And manage your expectations — according to Dr. Levine, a consistent regime should "keep your skin clear, clean and smooth. Make that your rule of thumb and don't expect miracles, especially when it comes to over-the-counter antiaging products."
3. Wearing Flip-Flops.
Forgoing work shoes for the freedom of flip-flops is giving your feet a much-need break, right? Not exactly. Turns out, your summer shoes aren't doing you any favors. According to Jordana Szpiro, DPM, a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Boston, "Flip-flops and other unsupportive sandals, which have no arch support and give no structural support to the foot, can lead to stress fractures since your uncushioned feet become strained when they try to support too much weight," she explains. "Extensor or flexor tendinitis is also a common problem that happens as a result of trying to keep your flip-flips on — the muscles on top or underneath your feet overexert themselves while trying to grip your shoes." She also advises against walking around shoeless, even if you're by the pool or in your gym's locker room. "Aside from not giving your feet any support, going barefoot can also be challenging for those prone to infectious skin diseases such as plantar warts and athlete's foot, which are easily spread poolside, in pedicure salons and in gyms." But that doesn't mean you need to spend your summer in closed toe shoes. Dr. Szpiro recommends comfortable sandals that also provide plenty of support, like styles from Fit Flops, OrthoHeel and Mephisto.
4. Brushing Your Teeth After Every Meal.
Rushing to brush immediately after every meal may seem like a great way to keep your oral health in check, but according to Greg Diamond, DDS, a New York City periodontist, it's better to hold off. Food can leave acid on your teeth, which can weaken the enamel, "and brushing while the enamel is in a weakened state can actually scrub the enamel away." To dislodge any food particles that may remain after eating, he recommends simply rinsing your mouth out with water and saving the brushing for morning and night. Then when you do brush, be sure to do so in a circular motion. According to Dr. Diamond, this will improve your chances of removing harmful bacteria between the teeth and gums. Brushing up and down or back and forth, on the other hand, can leave behind harmful bacteria, causing gum disease; while applying too much pressure can lead to receding gums.
5. Doing Only Cardio When You Work Out.
It's easy to assume that the best way to lose weight is to stick to the same cardio workout, but "if you only do cardio, your body will become so accustomed to the routine that you'll start to burn less fat over time," says Joseph Ciccone, DPT, CSCS, a physical therapist at ColumbiaDoctors Eastside Sports Therapy in New York. Plus, going through repeated motions on the treadmill or elliptical machine can create tight muscles and lead to injury. Trade in a few of your cardio workouts for circuit training, which involves doing a number of different strength training exercises with little rest between moves in order to keep your heart rate up while also working out your entire body, ensuring that you'll burn the most calories — without burning out. Integrating resistance training into your routine will create muscle mass, which will help you burn more calories throughout the day, even when you're at rest, says Jennifer Fleischer, exercise and nutrition coach and owner of Holistic Fitness in San Francisco. She also recommends revamping your cardio routine by mixing in interval training once a week. Try doing 30 seconds of high intensity motion, whether you're on the treadmill, elliptical machine or in the swimming pool, followed by 90 seconds of recovery at a moderate pace, working your way up to 10 repetitions. The bursts of intensity followed by recovery will effectively and efficiently blast calories and fat.
6. Skipping Meals To "Save Up" For Later.
"[People] have gotten into the habit of saving their calories for the fun stuff later on," says Danine Fruge, MD, associate medical director at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Miami. For example, many women will hold off on eating lunch so that they can have a few glasses of wine to unwind at the end of the day. Not a problem as long as you're carefully allocating your calories, right? "Unfortunately when you don't eat breakfast or lunch you can develop cravings and irritability, which can lead to overeating later on in the day," she explains. A smarter approach to eating: Fill up on protein-packed meals and nutrient-rich snacks that'll keep your satisfied all day, so when dinnertime or cocktail hour rolls around you won't be tempted to fill your plate with calorie-rich and high-fat foods.
7. Drinking Only Bottled Water.
By reaching for a bottle of H20 you may think you're doing your body some good by avoiding tap water, which can be filled with who-knows-what. But that's not the case. "Bottled water contains no fluoride, and we're seeing more and more adults suffer from a fluoride deficiency, which can lead to tooth decay," says Dr. Diamond. "Instead, fill your glass with water purified by a Brita or PUR water filtration system" which will keep your water free from impurities commonly found in tap water, but still allow you to reap the benefits of fluoride.
8. Cleaning With Disinfecting Products.
While keeping your home pristine and germ-free may seem like the path to perfect health, using cleansers that boast antibacterial or disinfecting properties could have the opposite effect. "These products haven't been proven to be any more effective than regular cleaning products, and there is significant evidence that the chemicals in these disinfecting cleansers — called quaternary ammonium compounds — can lead to asthma," says Rebecca Sutton, PhD, senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group. Other cleaning product chemicals to avoid include 2-butoxyethanol, which the Environmental Protection Agency considers a human carcinogen and has been linked to cancer; alkylphenol ethoxylates, which can disrupt hormones; and ethanolamines, which can cause asthma. But because cleaning product companies aren't required to list most ingredients on their product labels (you can call or go online instead), it can be tough to know what to buy. However, Seventh Generation, an eco-friendly company, clearly lists their ingredients on their labels, so that's one option. Another, which Dr. Sutton recommends, is cleaning with a mixture of one part water and one part vinegar, or scrubbing surfaces with baking soda, both of which have natural antibacterial properties. She emphasizes that when it comes to ousting germs, the key is cleaning often and thoroughly—not blasting every surface with the harshest cleaner you can find. "Your goal should be to clean regularly," says Dr. Sutton. "That way you'll get rid of dirt, so there's no place for bacteria to grow."
9. Loading Up On Nutritional Supplements.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, more is better, right? Not always, says Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, professor emeritus at Georgia State University. "People often take nutritional supplements without really understanding what they're consuming, or if they really need them." Because so many foods are fortified these days, she notes that chances are many of us don't have any major nutritional deficiencies. If you are already getting enough of what you need, the best case scenario is that the supplements will have no effect on you. But there are more serious side effects of carelessly popping pills: Vitamin A in large amounts can be toxic to a developing fetus, vitamin C in large doses can cause gastrointestinal distress as well as interfere with glucose readings in people on diabetes medications and too much vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage. Since a 2009 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that in the absence of a deficiency, eating food instead of taking supplements should be the primary way to fulfill nutritional requirements and deliver health benefits, Dr. Rosenbloom suggests visiting MyPyramidTracker.gov where you can input the foods that you eat daily and the site will tell you what you need to add to your diet. If you find out that you need to up your intake of, say, calcium, "try integrating calcium-rich foods into your diet, like a glass of skim milk or a spinach salad," before making a beeline to the supplements aisle. If you do learn that supplements are the best choice to remedy a deficiency, look for "USP" printed on the label, which signifies that the pill meets the standards of the testing organization U.S. Pharmacopeia.
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Tags : Topics : Health_Medical_PharmaSocial : Health_Medical_PharmaLocations : Boston, California, Connecticut, Miami, New York, New York City, Newton, San FranciscoPeople : Christine Rosenbloom, Danine Fruge, Greg Diamond, Jennifer Fleischer, Jody Levine, Jordana Szpiro, Joseph Ciccone, Rebecca Sutton, Richard Gallo
What will drive the U.S. workplace as the calendar flips over to 2013 in a few weeks? These workplace trends are the fastest moving and have the best chance of sustainability:
Online Entrepreneurs Will Change The Corporate Culture.
The Web-based staffing service Elance is already calling 2013 “the year of the freelancer.” And why not? The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm says online freelancing should double next year. "The staffing industry is ripe for disruption and the fundamental drivers of online work's growth — instant access to high-quality talent, speed of hiring and cost savings — align with business needs of all sizes," explains Fabio Rosati, chief executive at Elance. "When you pair the category's fundamentals with recent trends were seeing, it's clear that online work is primed for explosive growth." Look for the most robust growth in online, sole-proprietor staffing in the legal and accounting sectors, Elance says.
More College Graduates Will Bypass The Traditional Corporate Job Market.
That is, if there is a corporate job market for recent graduates. Elance says 25% of graduating college students will forgo the full-time employment market and go to work for themselves. The firm says these lone wolves will set up shop online and aim for a “stable living” as they examine their career options out of school. The amount of millennial freelancers jumped to 47% from 26% this year, the firm says.
Obamacare Will Move Workers Out Of The Corporate Sector.
Another potential blow to the corporate sector is health care reform. If health care becomes more affordable for independent contractors, that’s one less reason to work for corporations – many of which are cutting back on health insurance and pushing staffers to join government-run health care exchanges. As independent contractors pay for their own health care, that makes them more attractive to corporations, which get the talent without the added expense of paying their health insurance.
Telecommuting Will Flourish.
Working from home will increasingly become the norm for more full-time corporate employees. Marty Nemko, a San Francisco-based career coach, says companies view telecommuting as a potential belt-tightening move that will also make those firms more attractive to workers – who save big bucks in gas and tolls from telecommuting.
The Government And Health Care Job Markets Will Intensify.
Nemko says the current political climate, which he describes as “leftward ho,” should open up plenty of opportunities for jobs in the federal government, especially in the intelligence community, which needs top-flight talent overseas. He says another sector – health care – should see an uptick in demand for workers as Obamacare makes its way into the corporate sector. His reasoning? With 40 million previously uninsured Americans covered by health care, and no discernable rise in health care staffing to meet that demand in 2012, the sector will need more workers as government-managed health care strides into the spotlight.
Of course, these predictions, not guarantees. But look for all of the above to gain higher visibility in 2013, affecting the U.S. workplace and maybe even your own career.
We joke all the time that Christmas get earlier and earlier every year but it isn't not the only shopping event that is jumping the gun. The Consumerist is reporting that a K-Mart store in Ohio has already put up their Valentine's day displays! Honestly, if I bought Valentine's day gift now I'd forget where I placed in when needed in February!
Less than a week until the big day...the day we've been stressing out about for weeks! From shopping crowds to planning the perfect Christmas dinner our blood pressure skyrockets to astronomical highs in December. But blood pressure isn't the only indication of being stressed. Take a few moments to check in with your body to make sure you're not sacrificing your health and mental well-being at the expense of a picture-perfect holiday. Physical symptoms of stress, such as dry heaving, can manifest themselves in weird ways when the affairs of life get too overwhelming. And sometimes, you may not even realize that stress is the cause.
In his recent book, "On the Brink" (Business Plus, 2010), former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson admits to getting so stressed out during the height of the 2008 financial meltdown that he would start to dry heave, sometimes in private and other times in front of Congressmen and staffers. He's not alone. Dry-heaving (or retching, in medical terminology) is one way that stress can rear its ugly head, more often as a sign of anxiety. Stress and anxiety can also trigger vomiting and a condition called "cyclic vomiting syndrome," a condition in which people experience nausea and vomiting over an extended period of time — often, starting at the same time every day. Dealing with anxiety-induced dry heaves or vomiting starts with getting plenty of rest and drinking water (vomiting can cause a loss of electrolytes), and then finding ways to calm down or eliminate the source of your stress, such as practicing walking meditation.
2. Hair loss.
There are multiple reasons that your hair could be falling out, from genetics to medications. But stress is one of them. Among the conditions associated with stress-induced hair loss is alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder in which white blood cells attack hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. Another condition triggered by stress that has even more extreme results is called telogen effluvium, which is basically characterized by a sudden loss (up to 70 percent) of hair. This condition can be difficult to link to stress because the hair loss can occur months after a stressful event, for instance, a death in the family or childbirth, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. However, the organization notes, it's usually a problem that corrects itself once the stressful event is over.
There is some debate as to whether nosebleeds are triggered by stress, but studies have shown that, in some cases, patients who experience nosebleeds get them after finding themselves in stressful situations. A 2001 article in the British Medical Journal suggests that this could have something to do with the spikes in blood pressure that are very common when you're stressed out. Keep your blood pressure in check by drinking hibiscus tea. Simply escaping the daily hubbub for a while to brew it could be enough to lower your stress levels a bit.
4. Memory loss.
If you notice you can't seem to remember the details you just discussed during a stressful meeting, it could be an effect of your shrunken hippocampus, says Jeffrey Rossman, PhD, psychologist and director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Mass., and Rodale.com advisor. Chronic stress can expose the hippocampus, the area of the brain that controls your short-term memory, to excessive levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And that can inhibit your brain's ability to remember things. Dealing with the root cause of your stress is the best way to get your memory back, but until that happens, write down important bits of information and find other ways to supercharge your memory.
5. Weakened immunity.
Perhaps the most noticeable effect that stress has on your body is a weakened immune system, and that happens for a couple of reasons. First, stress triggers the release of catecholemines, hormones that help regulate your immune system; prolonged release of these hormones can interfere with their ability to do that. Second, says Rossman, stress shrinks your thymus gland, the gland that produces your infection-fighting white blood cells, and it damages telomeres, which are genes that help those immune cells reproduce. A good way to deal with stress and boost your immune system is to exercise; if you're so stressed out that you can't fit in those 30 minutes a day, try these other tricks for boosting immunity.
6. Excessive sweating.
Everyone knows that you sweat more when you're stressed out, but some people suffer from hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, particularly of the palms and feet, says Rossman. Yoga and meditation can help reduce stress-related sweating, and if you think you might be suffering from hyperhidrosis, find a physician who specializes in the disorder. You may be helping more than just yourself. A study published last fall in the journal PLoS One found that stress sweat can give off certain signals that people around you can detect, possibly causing them to be stressed out as well, as a result.
In a survey commissioned by Scotch Tape, adults "rapped" about their own personal gift-wrapping behaviors and trends, and revealed who they think is the more gifted wrapper -- men or women. Below are some of the findings from the survey:
One in four people wrap their holiday gifts one or two days before giving the gift (27%). Another 22% wrap three to six days before the gift giving occasion.
When it comes to wrapping this year's holiday presents, nearly three in four adults (71%) are most likely to purchase gift wrap supplies and wrap the presents themselves, while one in five (19%) will put items in a gift bag instead of wrapping them. Just 3% said they will have gifts professionally wrapped at a store.
Nearly a quarter of adults surveyed (24%) list not having the right supplies on hand as the most common gift-wrapping mistake, second only to not knowing how best to wrap the gift (32%). 20% cite wrapping with too little paper as the culprit, while another 20% say using too much paper is the big mistake.
Just over half of the adults surveyed (53%) have saved and re-used gift wrap paper, with women (61%) more likely than men (44%) to recycle used gift wrap.
Battle of the Sexes: Men vs. Women
Nearly three in four adults (71%) believe that women are better gift wrappers than men, based on the overall appearance of the gift.
Nearly three in four adults (74%) say that the female head of household is most likely to wrap the majority of holiday gifts in their home, while just 19% say the male head of household wraps the majority of the gifts.
When asked what they would be most likely to give their spouse or significant other in return for wrapping all the holiday gifts, men say that they would buy them an extra gift (33%), watch the latest chick flick or action movie (18%) or take out the trash for a week (nine%). Half of women (49%) claim "it wouldn't matter because they would never agree to it."
While the average number of presents wrapped by adults in a typical December holiday season is about 15 (15.3), women wrap an average of 10 more gifts than men (20.3 women, 9.9 men).
'Tis the season, colds and flu. This year for the first time ever I got a flu shot and to be honest it was a cake walk. It was painless and I didn't get sick or achy, so consider getting one soon as the supply of flu shots is limited. You know that many of the foods we eat can give you an advantage in fighting sickness. Take a look at these twelve disease-fighting foods.
Beans are the cheapest healthy food you can buy, and their high isoflavone content wards off heart disease, improves bone and prostate health, and eases some symptoms of menopause. Being low in fat and high in protein, beans are easy swaps for red meat, so add them to soups, stews, dips, and even pasta sauces (pureed white beans can be used as a substitute for high-fat Alfredo sauces).
Garlic and Onions
Members of the same plant family, garlic and onions do so many things for your heart and immune system, it's hard to list them all. Garlic's 70 active phytochemicals may decrease high blood pressure by as much as 30 points, and it lowers rates of ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Onions are the single best source of quercitin, a flavonoid shown to keep your blood healthy and prevent clots. Both are must-haves for natural allergy prevention.
Addicted to coffee? In love with chocolate? That's good. Caffeinated foods, including coffee, chocolate, and tea, have high levels of polyphenols, dubbed "super" antioxidants for their ability to fight everything from cancer to depression. A Harvard University study even found that drinking five cups of coffee daily cuts the risk of developing diabetes in half. That much coffee could give you the jitters, though, so most experts recommend limiting intake to two cups a day, or switching to decaf. Whether you prefer tea or coffee, studies seem to suggest that decaf versions contain just as many antioxidants as the regular stuff. And, of course, dark chocolate is better than sugary milk chocolate or white.
Next time you need a crunchy afternoon snack, reach for the celery, not the carrot sticks. Rich in minerals, vitamin C, and phenolic acids, it wards off cancer, cold and flu, and allergies. Compounds called phthalides make it a good cholesterol-lowering food remedy, too. The more the better, most research suggests. Eat at least four stalks a day. Because its flavor is relatively mild, you can dress it up with peanut butter or use it in place of chips or crackers for your favorite dip. Celery is also one of the rare veggies that don't lose nutritional value when cooked, so add lots of it to stocks, soups, and casseroles. Use the leaves, as well, because they're rich in calcium and more vitamin C.
Cinnamon's most notable and studied benefit to the immune system has been its ability to lower blood sugar. A U.S. Department of Agriculture study found that the Christmas-y spice could lower blood sugar by 13 to 23 percent. The author of that study suspected that had to do with cinnamon's antioxidants, which activate insulin receptors in your cells. A German study showed that it could suppress Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, the cause of most urinary tract infections, and Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections.
The stars of the fall and winter fruit season, citrus fruits contain close to 200 cancer-fighting compounds, cholesterol-lowering fiber, and inflammation-lowering flavonoids. An Australian review of 48 studies on diet and cancer found that consuming a daily serving of citrus fruit may cut your risk of mouth, throat, and stomach cancer by up to one half. Grapefruits are also high in lycopene, a cancer-fighter usually found in tomatoes, which are out of season when grapefruit is at its peak. To get the most benefit, eat your fruit whole, not in the form of juices, so you also get all the valuable fiber. Many of the healthy compounds hide in the rinds, too, so use citrus marmalades, which contain bits of the rinds, and use the zests of oranges, tangerines, and lemons in your cooking.
Though widely used as an effective antidote to queasiness, it can also keep cholesterol levels under control, lower blood pressure, and help ease the inflammation associated with arthritis. Researchers have also found that ginger helps kill the influenza virus, plus it helps the immune system fight infection. A study at the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Miami found that ginger extract significantly reduced pain related to osteoarthritis of the knee. About an ounce a day will bring benefits. Using it in stir-fry dishes or meat marinades will give you enough to help. You can also grate gingerroot and steep it in hot boiling water to make an herbal tea.
Forget the mints your associate with gum or mouthwash. There are actually hundreds of plants in the mint family that you may have never realized were technically classified as mints, including basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lavender, sage, and lemon balm. When used in teas, these herbs can soothe an upset stomach, but emerging research suggests that their individual compounds can prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps keep your memory sharp.
Whether hot and spicy or sweet and crunchy, there are enough peppers out there to suit anyone's taste, and they're all equally healthy for you. Spicy chili peppers have high levels of capsaicin, which interferes with your mind's pain receptors, and therefore act as natural painkillers. Capsaicin, which gives peppers their heat, has also been found to aid in weight loss by keeping your metabolism in check. Sweet peppers have a similar compound called dihydrocapsiate that comes without the spicy kick of capsaicin but with the same effects on pain and weight loss. They also contain loads of vitamin C and beta-carotene. Toss a few spicy peppers into your next batch of tacos or Asian stir-fry; bell peppers retain most of their vitamins when eaten raw.
Pomegranates have been used for centuries in the Middle East, Iran, and India as a folk remedy and for good reason. They're a good source of potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants that ward off cancer. They could also help fight Alzheimer's disease. Loma Linda University researchers discovered that mice that consumed pomegranate juice experienced 50 percent less brain degeneration than animals that drank sugar-water. A final benefit? Pace University researchers found that pomegranate juice can kill the S. mutans bacteria, one of the main causes of cavities. Pomegranate juice is a good way to get the most out of these sometimes-messy fruits, as manufacturers use the entire fruit, as opposed to just the edible seeds.
A relative of ginger, turmeric is the spice that gives curries their vivid golden hue and yellow mustard its bright color. For thousands of years, people in India have considered turmeric a healing herb. Studies show that it protects the stomach, helping to prevent ulcers, and it aids in the digestion of fats. The spice may also fight Alzheimer's disease. Researchers have found that elderly villagers in India appear to have the world's lowest rate of the disease, possibly because of the anti-inflammatory compound curcumin in turmeric. Incorporate turmeric onto your chicken, turkey, rice, or vegetables to get used to the different taste.
Few foods are better for your brain than walnuts. They're a great source of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that curbs your appetite, as well as vitamin E, magnesium, folate, protein, and fiber. Walnuts boast more heart-healthy omega-3 fats than salmon, making them a good antidote to seasonal depression. This wonder nut is also packed with anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Many of the compounds in walnuts, such as vitamin B5 and folic acid, can be destroyed by heat, so it's best to eat them raw. If you find them too bitter to eat whole, use them in place of pine nuts in your pesto or grind them up and sprinkle them over cooked vegetables.
Ok, I sensationalized today's blog title but I found an pretty compelling idea that can surely make your savings account grow. .Living off of significantly less money requires extreme dedication and willpower. It requires being honest with yourself about your finances and making sacrifices. Here we provide some ideas for how living off of 50 percent of your income (or as close to 50% as possible) can be done.
Put Half Your Check In Savings, IMMEDIATELY
Challenge yourself to put half your check in savings for three months. The key is to do this immediately, before you spend a dime out of that check. How many times have we wanted to save money, but didn't transfer the money right away, and it ended up gone? I'm guilty! Put the money in savings right away. If an emergency comes up, you can always take it out, but it's best to put it in there so you can save for a rainy day.
If You're A Couple, Live Off One Salary
If you're in a partnership, instead of saving half of your checks try living off of one person's salary and saving the other's. You will have to cut back, but so many of us overindulge without even realizing it. Live in five bedroom houses when we have a small family? own three cars yet have only two drivers? have television sets that aren't even watched? The lesson here is to be prepared. If one of you lost your job, could you survive? Well, you'd have to. Try to survive now off of one income so you're prepared if times get tough. This forces you to cut back, and gives you a huge cushion of cash in case a job loss happens.
The next three months could be very interesting if you try to live on half your paycheck. If anything you'll add to your savings account and perhaps really find out what you need and what you thought you needed to live!
Happy Friday! Before I dive in to todays blog topic, take a look at what the experts say about our sneeze!
If you sneeze like this: "itchoo" you're probably the sensitive type. But if you let rip with one that sounds like this: "Waaa-choo." then you're probably a leader of men and women. How you sneeze honks out loud about your personality, says behavior expert Patti Wood. Wood analyzed sneezes and came to the conclusion that they can be broken down into four different personality types:
It's scary that the price of college continues to increase every year; way beyond the growth of inflation. A terrifying problem for many graduates is finding a job that offers a large enough salary for them to pay back their student loans. That fear is keeping many from pursuing the dream of a degree or masters.
"Sensitive Sneezers" are never loud and they're friendly, outgoing people.
The "Be Right" sneezer is careful and accurate and only sneeze once.
"Get It Done" sneezers are fast and decisive and try to hold in their sneeze.
The "Enthusiastic sneezer really lets it rip. He or she sneezes loudly many times -- a sure sign that this person is a charismatic, born leader.
But what if there were a system of unlimited learning for one flat fee, similar to a cell phone plan?
Come to find out there are two online universities that are doing just that. Patten University and New Charter University, both based in California are offering a flat fee of $199 per month ($796 per term) for unlimited classes. Straighterline charges $99 per month of enrollment, plus $49 per class.
All of these schools are accredited but courses may not transfer to every university (more about that later). The real news of this set up is the cost savings. For around $1,700, you could take 10 classes over the course of a year at Patten and/or New Charter University. Straighterline would run you about $2,400 for the year. Regardless, both are significantly less expensive than the national average of $8,655 for a public, four-year college; and less than 1/10 the price of attending the average private, non-profit school.
If successful, these schools could be leading the shift in thinking on for-profit college tuition, especially as a growing number of established universities jump into the online education pool.
Of course, all for-profit college and online education programs come with the caveat. Although they are accredited institutes of higher learning, earned credits and coursework may not transfer to a four-year program. So if that is your goal, you should check with the schools you intend on applying to before you ever sign up for a class at any other college, or you might just be throwing money at a class that won’t count toward a degree.
But a degree is a degree when it comes to landing a well-paying job. Considering it takes a traditional state university graduate nearly 11 years after graduation to make the financially break even point and outperform their non-college counterpart, lower online options are a realistic alternative to aerning your degree, making it in the workforce and making more of it sooner.
Cyber-Scrooges are working overtime to make sure your Christmas is not very merry. Be smart and beat them at their own game. Antivirus software company McAfee has identified the top 12 scams of Christmas that criminals are using to try to steal from you as you shop online this holiday season. Before you hit the "buy now" button, beware the number one risk of online shopping!
1. Social Media Scams
Cybercriminals know social media networks are a good place to catch you off guard because we're all "friends," right? Scammers use channels, like Facebook and Twitter, just like email and websites to scam consumers during the holidays. Be careful when clicking or liking posts, especially while taking advantage of raffle contests and fan page deals that you get from your "friends" that advertise the hottest holiday gifts. Also be wary of installing apps to receive discounts. Remember, your friends' accounts could have been hacked and so are sending out fake alerts. Twitter ads and special discounts utilize blind, shortened links, many of which could easily be malicious.
2. Malicious Mobile Apps
As the popularity of applications has grown, so have the chances that you could download a malicious application designed to steal your information or even send out premium-rate text messages without your knowledge.
3. Travel Scams
Before you book your flight or hotel for holiday travel, keep in mind that scammers are looking to hook you with too-good-to-be-true deals. Phony travel websites, sometimes using your preferred company, with beautiful pictures and rock-bottom prices are used to get you to hand over your financial details.
4. Holiday Spam/Phishing
Many of these spam emails now have holiday themes. Cheap Rolex watches and pharmaceuticals may be advertised as the "perfect gift" for that special someone.
5. iPhone 5, iPad Mini and Other Hot Holiday Gift Scams
The kind of excitement and buzz surrounding Apple's new iPhone 5 or iPad Mini is just what cybercrooks dream of when they plot their scams. They will mention must-have holiday gifts in dangerous links, phony contests (example: "Free iPad") and phishing emails as a way to grab computer users' attention to get you to reveal personal information or click on a dangerous link that could download malware onto your machine.
6. Skype Message Scare
People around the world will use Skype to connect with loved ones this holiday season, but they should be aware of a new Skype message scam that attempts to infect their machine, and even hold their files for ransom.
The threat appears as a Skype instant message with the scam line “Lol is this your new profile pic?”. If you click on the included link, a Trojan downloads onto your hard drive, blasts the dangerous link to all of your contacts, and can even try to extort money from some PC users to regain access to their files.
TIP: Never click on a suspicious link, even if it appears to come on from someone you know.
7. Bogus Gift Cards
Cybercriminals can't help but want to get in on the action by offering bogus gift cards online. Be wary of buying gift cards from third parties; just imagine how embarrassing it would be to find out that the gift card you gave your mother-in-law was fraudulent!
8. Holiday SMiShing
"SMiSishing" is phishing via text message. Just like with email phishing, the scammer tries to lure you into revealing information or performing an action you normally wouldn't do by pretending to be a legitimate organization.
9. Phony E-tailers
Phony e-commerce sites that appear real try to lure you into revealing your credit card number and other personal details, often by promoting great deals. But after obtaining your money and information, you never receive the merchandise, and your personal information is put at risk.
10. Fake Charities
This is one of the biggest scams of every holiday season. As we open up our hearts and wallets, the bad guys hope to get in on the giving by sending spam emails advertising fake charities.
11. Dangerous E-cards
E-Cards are a popular way to send a quick "thank you" or holiday greeting, but some are malicious and may contain spyware or viruses that download onto your computer once you click on the link to view the greeting.
12. Phony Classifieds
Online classified sites may be a great place to look for holiday gifts and part-time jobs, but beware of phony offers that ask for too much personal information or ask you to wire funds via Western Union, since these are most likely scams.