Thursday, 21 June 2007

Immune system possibly tied to weight loss

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What bodily systems help control weight? While the answer to that question is beyond the scope of this post, research into the interplay between the body's systems is fascinating and worthy of a read. This summer, instead of reading a spy novel, why not do research into the amazing human body?

Although many studies are done on rodents, the results generally point to areas of medicinal research that end up helping people live longer and more fruitful lives. In the recent episode of this, a new study found that some of the body's immune system could serve to curb appetites. That, in turn, could spur weight loss.

Although this research rested on mice studies, the knowledge that there are possible molecules in the immune system that help regulate appetite could point to important future research -- and even a weight loss breakthrough. Hopefully, fast food restaurants with poor menu choices will be a thing of the past by that time.

Why do men skip medical care when needed?

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Why are guys so darn stubborn? Just like when lost, many men don't know when to stop and ask for help. It's the knack for wanting to do everything themselves that can get many men into trouble -- and especially when preventative health checks are due.

The mentality of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" does not apply to male health checks and preventative appointments to ensure all bodily systems are functioning properly, although that mentality persists in many men. I wonder why?

Who knows. The reason may be male stubbornness or wanting to "weather the hard times" (even when sick), but just like any gender, making sure you take care of your health is the single largest thing you can do. If you don't have your health, then you have nothing.

Regular check-ups make weight loss surgery much more effective

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Having weight loss surgery isn't just about committing to the moment and the surgery, but about committing to a permanent lifestyle change as well. Surgery is no guarantee of weight loss, but research shows that surgery patients who make it to more of their follow-up appointments have better success in the long run.

Unfortunately one of the biggest reasons patients miss follow-up appointments is lack of insurance coverage, but hopefully studies and statistics like these will help change that. In the meantime do what you can to get to your appointments -- even years later it really helps the payoff to your health!

Middle-aged women have higher stroke risk

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Middle-aged females may have twice the chance for a stroke as men of the same age, according to UCLA researchers. Women from 45-54 were among the study's participants that dove down into asking each person if a doctor had ever told them that they had suffered from a stroke before.

It was found that strokes, which are the #3 killer of U.S. adults, happened way more frequently in women from the 45-54 age group than men of the same age. The results? 2.5% of women studied in that age range had suffered from a stroke while only 1% of men had seen a stroke happen to them.

The study did not draw on conclusions to why this large difference was found, unfortunately. Perhaps more detail will follow on the reason for the disparity.

The best diet? The one that makes sense for your lifestyle

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It's human nature to be impatient, especially when it concerns our body weight. Most people want to lose weight in a hurry even though the studies clearly show that the faster you lose weight, the more likely you are to put it back on ... and then some. If you want permanent weight loss, then be realistic about your goals. Set a goal to lose one or two pounds per week. In the long term, fad diets really don't work. Anyone can lose weight in the short term, but you need to figure out ways to modify your lifestyle and habits so that you actually live with the changes you make for the rest of your life.

Develop a plan that makes sense for your lifestyle. Compare diets: Educating yourself can help you pick the diet that will most closely fit your lifestyle so that your chances of success are greater. Check out CompareDiets.org and Health Magazine's Diet Guide to get the skinny on some of today's most popular programs. Even better, invest in at least one session with a registered dietitian -- trust me, it's money well spent.

Most importantly, find what works for you and add in some regular physical activity, nutritional supplementation (if needed), get adequate sleep, and drink plenty of water. If you can do that, then the pounds will take care of themselves.

Drugging up childhood sports

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Aren't kids supposed to live a free and care-free life for at least the first 10 years of existence? Many child psychologists that I have talked with think so, and after reading this story about young kids taking performance-enhancing drugs to better compete in youth sports, I fear things are heading in the wrong direction.

It's amazing that even one percent of kids aged 11 recently admitted to using drugs to help their athletic performance. 11 years old! Are youth sports so competitive at this young and tender age? Perhaps -- but taking drugs based on some kind of pressure to perform (I think) is way, way wrong (feel free to disagree). And, this isn't confined to an particular country -- the U.S. and Europe are all being looked at here.

I guess growing up must be done by age 10 these days, right?

Want a tattoo removed? It's not always about regret

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Tattoos are a fun way for many people to express themselves and exhibit some individuality, but because they're so permanent people often regret them later in life. Thankfully technology has really improved over the years, and tattoos aren't really all that permanent anymore. But just because they can be removed doesn't mean it's an easy or fast process, so why are people doing it? Of course there's the usual reasons like they stretched out or are of an ex's name, but a surprising number of people are having their old tattoos removed to make room for new ones -- essentially clearing the canvas for a new painting.

Seems like a lot of work, pain, and expense to go through over and over and over again, but to each their own!

Fake veterinary drugs found in China

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China just keeps on racking up negative press lately in the health and nutrition field. Fresh produce and grain exports from the country are being found to be substandard by many measures, the recent pet food recall (still in progress) is giving the country a black eye and not even veterinary drugs from the country are under attack.

In fact, almost 20 percent of veterinary drugs tested in China in the early part of 2007 did not pass tests for minimum standards. Included in this news was the fact that fake veterinary drugs are increasingly being seen in China.

It seems that wherever there is a market for a product, counterfeiters will take advantage. Increasingly, this is happening in China as well. Can we trust anything from that country these days? Hard to tell. But hey -- it's only safety at stake, right?

Farm life is bad for your lungs

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For many, "life on the farm," represents a simpler, healthier life than a less natural, urban existence. But a recent study finds that, in fact, the truth is just the opposite.

Australian researchers found that farm workers have a higher risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) -- a term given to a combination of lung conditions most commonly found in smokers.

No one knows for certain what aspect of farming might cause this correlation, but it isn't the first time the occupation has been linked to lung disease. Farmers have traditionally had a higher rates of asthma and lung cancer, for instance -- both of which may be caused by the inhalation of pesticides and other chemicals used in maintaining crops and livestock. There's also the "agricultural dusts" that farmers inhale. These organic materials from both animal and plant sources are known to cause inflammation in the airways.

It's hoped that with further research, doctors and scientists can understand exactly what's causing these health concerns.

Know your birth control percentages

Unplanned parenthood happens every day. Remember that whenever there is sperm and eggs there is a chance for pregnancy no matter what birth control measures you take. There is not a single birth control method on the market that is 100 percent effective from preventing pregnancy. Not even tying your tubes or hysterectomies are full proof. The only full proof method of not getting pregnant is to not have sex.

Birth control pills, one of the most effective types of birth control, can not be effective if you forget a dose. And even if you take it correctly you still have a slight chance of getting pregnant. Another traditional form of birth control are condoms. Latex and vinyl condoms will prevent STDs, including HBV and HIV/AIDS from passing from one partner to another and prevent sperm from gaining access to the female reproductive tract. Male condoms can be faulty and most packages warn of 85 to 98 percent effectiveness. Female condoms are another choice but are 79 to 95 percent effective but they will also protect against STDs, including HBV and HIV/AIDS. Spermicide, whether foam or film, only has up to 80 percent effectiveness and that is with perfect use.

Get to know your birth control options and facts. Here is a link to a chart produced by Advocates For Youth on the effectiveness of contraceptives.

Raw food dieting: be prepared

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Can you stomach raw foods? These are foods that are uncooked, and they contain a high amount of active enzymes that can not only help digestion, but are more nutritious for you to boot.

Cooking most foods kills enzymes and depletes vitamins and mineral content as well, which is a prime reason, I think, most people need to supplement their diets with vitamins unless a diet of fresh vegetables and fruits is a mainstay in your daily regime.

If you've ever considered a raw food diet, this piece may help you decide on "running the experiment" and what you should expect when you do. Eating raw foods -- every day -- is quite a change from a normal, Western diet. In this case, mental preparation for physical changes is key to a successful and rather tasty journey.

Stressed? Depressed? These Yoga moves will help

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Yoga is intended to help with both physical and mental health so I don't think too many people are surprised to hear that yoga can help improve your mood. Whether you're feeling a little depressed, bored, stressed out, or even insecure before a big date or important event there are poses that will help you combat those emotions and help you get into a more positive frame of mind. And there's real physical evidence to back up the effects -- by holding your body in certain positions you can stimulate glands that release mood altering chemicals. Move #3 here I come!

Some Italians found to have anti-cholesterol gene

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Italian cuisine is some of the best in the world -- pastas, sauces and...high carbs. I'm a huge fan of Italian cooking, but really have to watch myself to ensure I don't swallow 2,000 calories in a single sitting!

But what is you could eat Italian all day and have a gene that would actually lower your "bad" cholesterol? That is what Italian researchers have found, as three Italian families were discovered to have a cholesterol-blocking gene by researchers.

Although the research group stated that two percent of African-Americans carry the mutated gene that blocks cholesterol, this was the first time Caucasians were found to carry the gene. Can gene therapy work to prevent future cholesterol problems in humans? That sends shivers down my spine -- how about yours?

What is it that makes people sexy?

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Have you ever wondered just what it is that attracts you to someone? Do you think a person is hot because of the way you're wired or because of what your culture has taught you is appealing? According to the studies reported on in this article, the answer is that both culture and genetics play a part in determining what people find sexy.

One study found that some traits were almost universally attractive. For example, women with baby faces -- features like large eyes, little chins and round cheeks -- were voted as the most attractive by study participants. The researchers believe that this may be because youthfulness is perceived to be linked to fertility. In other words, our predecessors would mate with youthful women as the odds of having lots of healthy offspring was greater.

On the other hand, as a professor points out in the article, culture plays a part too. Why else, for instance, would so many beautiful supermodels be married to shaggy rock stars? In our culture, rock n roll is a sexy thing, so if you're the lead singer of a successful band, your chances of finding a good looking partner are pretty high no matter what you look like. Of course, humans also look for other things like a good personality, honesty and humor when choosing a mate but there is always something about that initial attraction. So what do you think? What is it about your significant other that caught your eye?

FitBeauty Reviews: Does ThermaClear work better than natural products?

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On most topics, especially on looking and feeling fabulous, I can go on and on and on, darlings. I am happy to share my opinions and experiences and talk openly about what works for other people on the journey to wellness. But there are a few subjects I (perhaps ridiculously) consider delicate.

One of those is bodily functions (and believe me, since I've become a parent, I've blown that conversation open more than I ever dreamed possible). The other is blemishes (don't even think you'll get me to use the z-word).

While there is possibly a thesis full of psychoanalysis to be written on why I detest talking bathroom and skin issues, I am absolutely sure no one would read it, let alone care. But given this discomfort, I imagine you'll understand my trepidation at reviewing a product to treat acne. And given my hesitancy, imagine my surprise at how happy I am to discuss it.

Most products I review, I find and purchase on my own or through recommendations by my girlfriends or beauty bloggers. But when I was sent the ThermaClear acne treatment device to test, I was curious if it would address the blemishes my organic, Ayurvedic products hadn't been able to zap.

For the last year, I've been slathering my face in luscious essential oil blends, using an all-natural cooling gel, a soothing treatment for imperfections and a sweet-smelling eye cream, all Ayurvedic and each making me feel good about my skin.

After only a week or so of detoxing the perfumey, artificial fragrances from my skincare routine, I noticed that my skin was far more moisturized and that any imperfections faded quickly without the stinging and peeling and redness of other products. I was happy. The products are expensive but worth it and they leave me feeling like I am feeding my skin carefully and healthfully.

But when I ran out of oils and squeezed out the last drops of eye cream a few weeks ago, I knew that a dwindling beauty budget meant I'd have to wait to reorder. The weather got warmer, I started a new and sweaty dance class, my work stress amplified and my skin suffered. I kissed off my hesitancy and decided it was time to put the ThermaClear to work.

ThermaClear is a battery-operated device that you apply directly to your blemishes. It uses Thermal Pulse Technology -- which appears to the user simply as a flashing blue light with a bit of heat -- to treat acne that's already under the skin or has already surfaced by neutralizing the bacteria within the tissues of the skin. To use, you place the tip gently on the pimple, press the pulse button and hold until a beep alerts you the treatment is done. The process is easy, takes very little time and can be done 1-3 times a day.

The instructions for this gadget are expansive and there is a very clear warning that once the treatment begins, you will feel a pin-prick sensation as the bacteria's zapped. This is no lie, my friends.

In fact, it felt like a very hot pin-prick and the more I used it and the more heated the device got, the more startled I was. I have a pretty good tolerance for pain (which is clear only if you've also had a bikini wax while pregnant...hello!) but, unlike other reviewers, I just did not get used to the zap. At some points, I had goose bumps and startled, especially in areas where the skin is delicate or thin. The instructions suggest using the device on high for best results but to adjust to low if you experience pain. I personally couldn't tell much of a difference between the two settings or between the sensation of pain.

So be warned: If you have very sensitive skin (you eyebrow non-pluckers, I mean you) or have any kind of abrasion or tenderness in the area, and if you are not willing to ride it out until you build callouses or get used to the feeling, move on to other acne treatments.

Those instantaneous feelings of getting my face tattooed aside, ThermaClear did work. It didn't work miracles. It didn't completely erase the existence of all breakouts. But it did really reduce redness and swelling and the time it took for blemishes to heal. I admit, I was surprised at how well it worked.

For me,
ThermaClear worked best on those little buggers that don't seem to ever go away. It also seemed to work some magic on the teensy fellas that you know are there but other people probably never notice. After a nighttime application, I woke up, peeked in the mirror and saw, to my delight, that those blemishes were gone.

I think this device will come in quite handy for those monthly irritations that have previously been inevitable and in giving relief to your overworked concealer for pre-fabulous event break-outs. A good male friend who also uses ThermaClear gives it a vote for men, too, noting that it made a big difference on razor bumps and the post-workout breakouts instigated by sweat and rubby clothing.

There are many reviews of ThermaClear online that outline experiences and details of the device. If you are considering putting ThermaClear to the test, I think these reviews offer a lot of insight into how it works, how well it works and how it compares to similar products on the market right now.

Let's be real: At $150, the ThermaClear blemish buster expensive. But so are all those crappy, harsh products we've all desperately ordered from an infomercial (thanks very much, Vanessa Williams, Jessica Simpson and Judith Light). And just after I scoffed at the price tag, I did have to give thought to how much I'd pay (to a salon, to my dermatologist, to the Ayurveda guru, to the goddesses of dewy, porcelain skin) in the middle of a very bad skin week.

I was surprised by ThermaClear. I won't be abandoning my Ayurvedic oil goodness that I know nourishes my skin, but I do think ThermaClear is a good compliment to the products I choose, especially when those blemishes refuse to be discrete.

Daily Fit Tip: Ways to liven up water

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I'm one of those religious water drinkers. I always have a reusable water bottle with me, and if by the end of the day, I haven't met my 64-0z minimum, you'll see me furiously chugging it before bed (never a good idea.) I'm lucky that I love water so much but even I'll admit that there are days where drinking your water isn't nearly as exciting as having soda. So here's a couple of ways to add some zing to your H20:

-Add a slice of lemon
: or orange, or lime, or cucumber. It gives your water just a hint of excitement and is surprisingly refreshing.
-Drink some sugar-free juice instead: I am in love with Crystal Light's lemon iced tea, and it's 0 calories so when I'm craving something sweet, I add that to my water and I'm set.
-Eat it: Most fruits largely consist of water, so if you have, say, an orange or some watermelon, you're getting a good fill of water in edible form.
-Carry it everywhere: It's easy to miss your servings of water if you don't have it with you all the time, so bring it along and make it the first thing you reach for when you're thirsty.

What are your tips?
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Get a toothbrush that tells you exactly what to do

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Once you're an adult you only have the one set of teeth, so it's worthwhile to take care of them for that reason alone, if not for the fact that poor oral hygiene has also been linked to other surprising health problems like heart disease. But brushing your teeth correctly isn't as easy as it seems, and some of us need some help to do it right. Oral-B Triumph to the rescue! It tells you where to brush and for how long, and even warns you if you're pressing too hard. It has 4 cleaning patterns to choose from and personalize, and it syncs up with a handy mirror-mounted LCD screen to keep you constantly in the loop on how you're doing. Expect them in September for about $150 (I guess fanciness like this doesn't come cheap!).

Would you let a 15-year-old deliver your baby?

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A New Delhi husband and wife physician team have been training their 15-year-old son to do surgery for the last three years. Recently, his father shared a video of him performing a c-section on a pregnant woman and said that he hopes that his son will show up in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's youngest surgeon. Whether or not that happens, the father could lose his medical license and face criminal charges instead. The family, from southern India, owns a maternity clinic and dad claims his critics are just "jealous" that his son is so talented.

I think this puts new meaning to the term "pushy parent," don't you?

Hollywood's biggest guns go green, should you?

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It's no secret that one of the biggest health problems facing humanity right now is the health of the planet on which we live. Whether or not you believe in global warming (and there are plenty of folks who don't), it is hard to ignore that the Earth is not receiving the kind of treatment from its inhabitants that it rightly deserves.

Many are slow to begin making even small changes like the three R's - reducing, reusing and recycling for those not in the know. Mother Earth has got some pretty big guns on her side though, as loads of incredibly famous celebrities are making sure to do their part and also making sure that people know about it.

While the efforts of a few, or even a few hundred, celebs may not be enough to turn things around, they can certainly generate a bunch of publicity and awareness. And as we all know, what's popular among the beautiful and famous tends to become trendy across the globe pretty quick. So check out this list of stars who are doing their part to save the planet and think of what changes you can make to do yours.

Sprinkle cinnamon to keep blood sugar down

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One of my favorite breakfast treats is fruit mixed with non-fat yogurt and sprinkled with cinnamon. I started eating that after I heard that cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keep hunger at bay, and you know what? It really seems to work!

Recent studies go one step further and say that adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to something sweet may actually prevent blood sugar levels from rising in the first place. Ultrasounds on study participants found that cinnamon seems to slow the emptying of food from the stomach to the intestines.

Experts hope that this someday may help patients with type 2 diabetes, but it's too early to make that jump. Until then, try sprinkling teaspoon of cinnamon on something you eat today and see if it helps curb your hunger pangs.

Stay safe at the beach and stop digging!

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From 1990 to 2006, 12 people were killed by sharks at U.S. beaches. During that same time period, there was something more deadly lurking along the shoreline -- sand. Collapsing sand holes killed 16 people over the last 16 years and a father-son physician team are making it their life's work to inform people about the dangers of digging in sand. Sand holes, they say, can collapse rapidly and quickly fill in so that the location of the hole and the victim can't be found. The most common victims are boys from ages 3 to 21.

That doesn't mean that sand castles are off limits this summer, but it does mean that beach goers should be smart about how they choose to play on the shore. The doctors involved with the campaign recommend not getting into a hole that's deeper than your knees (that includes children) and on Martha's Vineyard, lifeguards ask anyone in a hole deeper than their waist to get out and fill it in. Children should also always be supervised playing in the sand.

There's plenty of fun to be had without digging an enormous hole, so play it safe and keep it shallow!

Why we eat when we aren't hungry

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If you're feeling hungry, you may want to take a moment to do a reality check. True hunger comes from the stomach, but as this Time.com slide show points out, there are several other triggers that may make you feel like eating, like:
  • time of day
  • the sight and smell of foods you like
  • craving variety (which is why you may reach for something sweet, even after a big meal)
  • drinking alcohol
  • being cold (maybe that's why I gain weight every winter!)
  • eating refined carbs
Regularly eating when you aren't hungry is a surefire way to add inches to your waistline. The next time the thought of food enters your head, make sure that you're truly hungry and not being tricked into eating by one of these triggers.

Couples saving frozen embryos would give them to researchers

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A recent survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults revealed that a majority of them would be wiling to donate frozen, unused embryos for stem cell research if asked.

A good point was made by a Duke University doctor, who indicated that the majority of these infertility patients "are people who have invested emotionally and financially in these embryos."

Although infertile couples are more willing than not to provide frozen embryos for stem cell research, will they ever be allowed to have the chance for this kind of donation outside of privately-funded stem cell research? The audience will be listening.

Anorexia and bulimia on the rise among Australian kids

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I've worried about my weight for as long as I can remember. While I was definitely a bit chubby in my early teens, I was always a pretty fit kid before that but even so, I always worried about being too fat. In fact, I've heard a lot of reports that state many girls and boys are concerned their weight and so start to diet at younger and younger ages. These days, most of the attention in the media is about obese children rather than those suffering from anorexia or bulimia.

While there is plenty of attention given to overweight kids, how many programs are there for those with other eating disorders? I tried to look for more information on google, and when I put in the keywords "anorexia rates children united states" most of the headlines I got back were still about obesity. Apparently things are the same in other countries as well, Australia being one example. According to this article, of the programs that do exist in that country for anorexia and bulimia, almost all focus on treating those over the age of 16, when in reality these eating disorders start at much younger ages.

The good news is that they are beginning to address the problem there to try to make people aware that young kids can suffer from eating disorders other than obesity. So, does anyone know of anything similar going on in North America?

Wake up each morning with a self-massage

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I'm not sure I have time for this in the morning, but it definitely sounds like a luxurious way to start the day! This daily morning self-massage is part of Ayurvedic daily routine and seems simple enough to do. All you need is a sink full of warm water, a bottle of massage oil, and an old towel to stand on. Start at your scalp and move down, massaging your face, ears, throat, neck, and then onto your limbs. Afterward, step into a warm shower and enjoy the heat, washing only what you need to with soap so that the oil sits on your skin.

According to Grace Wilson, the author of the post, the massage will protect and nourish your skin and will also help release toxins that accumulate in the tissues.

Fitness in a jar: Motivate kids to embrace fitness

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With school out and your young kids at home, they've got a lot of extra time on their hands. The mere mention of fitness and taking them away from the TV or their favorite video games can often evoke reactions usually reserved for doing chores, getting haircuts, or visiting the dentist.

To make fitness less tedious for everyone, print physical games and actual exercises on strips of paper, color-coding to distinguish the games from the exercises. On 'fitness day', once or twice a week, have everyone draw and complete an exercise or play a game -- this works best with 3 to 8 year olds. Cheer each other on while completing each exercise and at the end, make them show their muscles. I don't know a kid yet that doesn't love to show them off.

Fun Tip: Get a polaroid camera and take instant photos to post on the fridge of their accomplishments and you'll soon see them excited about 'fitness day'.
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Juice fasting: the best way to detox?

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I wrote about Jay Robb's "Fruit Flush" diet a few days ago, I took some of you down a small path towards detoxification of your systems using an all-fruit diet. Doesn't that sound delicious? Eat a bunch of varied fruits for about a week, detox your system and enjoy all of it at the same time?

Well, I would venture to guess that a fruit fast is probably not for everyone, and this piece gave some good reminders on why this is so. Still, for normal and healthy people, I'm still an advocate for the all-fruit diet if you're really serious about getting the gunk out of your system.

Fruit fasts can be viewed as extreme ways to detoxify yourself, and even certain groups that have underlying health concerns should not attempt a diet of all fruit. Want to have the full view on fruit fasting diets? See this.

A happy and healthy life in 147 easy steps

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smiling womanDoesn't sound so simple, does it? But this list of tips from Frugalist Magazine (via Dr. Mercola) is designed to not only make your life happier and healthier, but it is organized so that it is one less complication you'll have in your life.

Different sections on work, around the house, finances, goals and beliefs, romance, socializing and health and diet offer well-rounded suggestions on how to improve your life.

How about dancing? Saying thank you? Vounteering? Paying in cash? Planting a garden? Rearranging your house? Always being on time? Simple. Easy. But do we do them?

Frugalist's list is a nice reminder that it really is small changes that make all the difference in our happiness.
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How does coffee raise cholesterol?!

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Please tell me this is just another "eggs are bad/good for you" report. While no one is saying coffee should be hands-off, the fact that it contains the single most potent dietary cholesterol-elevating agent we know of might have some people choking up a bit.

That's right, it's called cafestol. This little demon compound gets in your intestines and hijacks an essential receptor used to regulate cholesterol. Who would have thought? Last time we checked coffee was almost an all-in-one miracle brew. It is beneficial to your eyes, may reduce the risk of diabetes... it's even a good source of fiber!

It turns out that French press coffee and espresso are among the most concentrated with cafestol. Research indicates that if you drink five cups of French press per day, you could be looking at an 8 percent cholesterol increase within four weeks. On the bright side, it appears as though paper filters may remove the oils which contain cafestol. Read on for more information.

Bush vetoes stem cell research legislation, again

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Yesterday -- again -- President Bush vetoed embryonic stem cell research legislation that would have expanded the role of current research. No federal funding will be added to existing research as a result.

But to those who are for the expansion of embryonic stem cell research past where it is now (with federal government support), the President also signed an executive order that would promote alternative methods to stem cells that would give scientists "stem cell-like" research without the need to destroy embryos.

Is this the right approach for advocates of genuine stem cell research? There are many who are waiting until the next Presidential election before making a comment one way or the other (I'll bet, at least).

Sharing health advice with family members is hard

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man eating appleAre you excited about your healthy ways? Ready to shout from the rooftops about your fitness routine, eager to share your healthy recipes with your siblings? Think you'll be able to finally convince Mom and Dad to stop eating processed food?

Don't count on it, says Dr. Mercola, a well-renowned osteopath and best-selling author of health books. Not even his family will listen to him, never mind that a greater portion of the western world relies on his health advice via his books and the internet.

I found the story of his family birthday party a refreshing reminder that no matter who you are, it really is hard to convince someone to change their ways when they just don't want to try.

It may seem sad at first, but really, you can only change what you can change. So concentrate on yourself, and maybe the rest will follow in your quiet example.

Top 10 Omega 3 food sources

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Omega-3s have the medically proven ability to reduce the amount of fat in your blood and help lower triglycerides. Triglycerides are a huge risk factor in heart attacks. Not only are they good for the heart but they help with depression, type 2 diabetes, fatigue, dry and itchy skin, brittle hair and nails, joint pain and other inflammation in the body, and the inability to concentrate. Here are some top 10 food sources for Omega-3s. Start a healthy habit by adding some of these items to your daily diet and remember to buy organic when available.

Flax Seeds
Dried Ground Cloves
Walnuts
Salmon, Halibut, Cod
Cauliflower
Cabbage
Dried Ground Oregano
Mustard Seeds
Brussel Sprouts
Cooked Soybeans

Avoid smelling bad this summer: Find an antiperspirant that works

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Whether you're left with embarrassing wet spots, white residue, or worse yet body odor, there's nothing worse than an antiperspirant that doesn't work. And this time of year when sweating can happen just from sitting outside in a lawn chair it's as important as ever to have reliable underarm protection. So do you have an old-standby that never fails you? It seems like most people would have their favorites that work for them, but if you're making changes in your lifestyle and are getting more active you're 'old standby' might not be doing the trick anymore. Check out this article from iVillage -- they road-tested all the popular drug store brands and give the low-down on each one. Or if you're reading this and have your own opinions please share!