Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Smashbox's 'natural' glow isn't as natural as you think...

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Popular make-up company Smashbox has a gel that vows to bring out the natural colour in your cheeks, rather than using blush -- it's called O-Glow, and supposedly it stimulates circulation, giving you healthy, natural colour.

But as the Beauty Brains have discovered, it might not be your circulation that's causing that glow -- more likely, it's the red dye listed in the ingredients. Hmph. Is that deceptive or what?

If you have to have a 'natural glow' in your cheeks, why not do as Grandma did and pinch your cheeks until they're red? Although I guess a less painful solution would be to just stick with regular blush. What do you use on your cheeks?

Smashbox's 'natural' glow isn't as natural as you think...

Filed under:

Popular make-up company Smashbox has a gel that vows to bring out the natural colour in your cheeks, rather than using blush -- it's called O-Glow, and supposedly it stimulates circulation, giving you healthy, natural colour.

But as the Beauty Brains have discovered, it might not be your circulation that's causing that glow -- more likely, it's the red dye listed in the ingredients. Hmph. Is that deceptive or what?

If you have to have a 'natural glow' in your cheeks, why not do as Grandma did and pinch your cheeks until they're red? Although I guess a less painful solution would be to just stick with regular blush. What do you use on your cheeks?

Smashbox's 'natural' glow isn't as natural as you think...

Filed under:

Popular make-up company Smashbox has a gel that vows to bring out the natural colour in your cheeks, rather than using blush -- it's called O-Glow, and supposedly it stimulates circulation, giving you healthy, natural colour.

But as the Beauty Brains have discovered, it might not be your circulation that's causing that glow -- more likely, it's the red dye listed in the ingredients. Hmph. Is that deceptive or what?

If you have to have a 'natural glow' in your cheeks, why not do as Grandma did and pinch your cheeks until they're red? Although I guess a less painful solution would be to just stick with regular blush. What do you use on your cheeks?

Smashbox's 'natural' glow isn't as natural as you think...

Filed under:

Popular make-up company Smashbox has a gel that vows to bring out the natural colour in your cheeks, rather than using blush -- it's called O-Glow, and supposedly it stimulates circulation, giving you healthy, natural colour.

But as the Beauty Brains have discovered, it might not be your circulation that's causing that glow -- more likely, it's the red dye listed in the ingredients. Hmph. Is that deceptive or what?

If you have to have a 'natural glow' in your cheeks, why not do as Grandma did and pinch your cheeks until they're red? Although I guess a less painful solution would be to just stick with regular blush. What do you use on your cheeks?

Pumpkin extract can help with type 1 diabetes?

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A favorite snack food of mine are pumpkin seeds. Along with peanuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds are tasty and nutritious as well. Try adding them to a trail mix someday -- they are great!

They are more than tasty, though; recent research out of China points to pumpkin seeds as a way to help halt type 1 diabetes. The study, of course, was performed on rats (aren't all the good ones?).

The study concluded that Asian pumpkin extract may help protect pancreatic cells from being destroyed by the ravages of type 1 diabetes. Although these results are preliminary, I hope they prove true. You couldn't ask for a better way to help the body defend itself from diabetes.

Gold stars: A motivation tool for adults too?

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Here's a great motivational tool that I saw on Fitsugar today: Gold Stars! Remember when you were in grade school and you did a good job, your teacher would give you a bright, shiny gold star on your assignment? Those were the days. Now that we're grown up, I suspect the seeing a gold star beside our name will still give us a sense of satisfaction.

At my former job, we had something called the 'Good Work Gecko' -- it was a stuffed lizard that we passed on to people who completed a big project or did something outstanding. It was meant to be a joke, but nonetheless, it feels good to be recognized for a job well done -- even if you're the one dishing out the recognition.

So pick up a package of gold stars and start sticking them to the days that you exercised or ate well. I bet you'll be pretty tickled looking at all those pretty stickers at the end of the month.

How to deal with summertime itch

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Summer is a great time for outdoor adventures, but stepping out into the wild may wreak havoc on your body. Poison ivy, swimmer's itch, heat rash, altitude sickness -- many of them are common ailments of summertime fun, but you don't have to let them ruin your fun. Here are a few tips to help you treat these "summer bummers" so that you can get back out and play before the sun goes down. And don't forget, if you're heading off on vacation, try to plan ahead and pack some of the more common remedies.

Quit that negative self talk

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We're often our own worst enemies. When I did my minor in Psychology in university, we learned about the 'Self-Fulfilling Prophecy' -- 'a prediction that, in being made, actually causes itself to become true' (Wikipedia.) If you tell yourself that you're a hideous fat beast, you will start to believe it, and you'll lose confidence in yourself. So you have to find a way to reverse this thinking, as difficult as that might sound to people.

The Diet Blog suggests this
: For every negative thought you have about yourself, think a positive thought. And instead and emphasizing what you dislike about your body, talk about what you like. I know it seems like it's impossible that something so small would have a difference on your weight but it will, by boosting your self confidence.

Western-style diet starts affecting Chinese women

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In many countries around the world, citizens are much more healthy than U.S. citizens. Why? How about a lack of fried and processed foods along with many less chemicals in everything that is eaten. To those that have traveled, this is probably not new news.

But in China, women are facing a rising risk of breast cancer because of the rapid adoption of a Western-style diet that is overtaking many of China's women. I'm not really surprised by this, and I understand the reasoning behind some countries not wanting global fast-food franchises around. By and large, the majority of the menu is not good for human health. Of course, there are exceptions.

Researchers have tracked 3,000 Chinese women, half of whom were diagnosed with breast cancer. Those that followed a diet like we do here in the U.S. had a 60% higher chance of developing breast cancer, according to the study's conclusions. That say something to me -- how about you?

Kombucha Tea: The cure for what ails you?

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Hot on the heels of my Goji Juice post, I saw this one on Kombucha Tea on Fitsugar. It's been called a 'miracle cure-all', and call me a skeptic, but once something has been touted as miracle cure-all, I'm pretty convinced it's a scam.

So just what is this tea? It's a fermented drink, made of a combination of bacteria and yeast. Mmmmm, sounds delicious. It's been popular in China since the 200s BC, and though it's popular with people the world over, including celebrities, it's supposed 'benefits' haven't been confirmed. That's not to say it's not effective -- many people report increased energy -- but I have issues with companies that claim their product is a miracle cure-all when they have no scientific evidence to back it up. But I suppose a slogan along the lines of 'A few people say it makes them feel great!' isn't nearly as effective.

Have you tried it?

Cooking for health: Tips from experts

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Did you know that sauteing your veggies with some olive oil is better than steaming them because you get more antioxidants that way? Yeah, me neither. I always assumed that the cooking method that involved the least fat was the most healthy. That's just one of the cooking tips I've learned from this article by Prevention Magazine. Here are some suggestions, in a nutshell:
  • Cook or heat up tomatoes to up the amount of heart-healthy lycopene
  • Let Garlic stand for 10-15 minutes before using it in cooking
  • Heat acidic foods in cast iron to add more iron
  • Add healthy fats like Avocado, Nuts and seeds to improve the nutrient content of your salad
  • Add lemon juice to homemade chicken soup -- it increases the calcium in your soup
  • Marinate -- the chance of picking up carcinogens from your barbecue is significantly decreased if you marinate your meat and veggies beforehand
  • Save time and valuable nutrients by cutting bigger slices of veggies
  • Don't peel -- the skin on many veggies is where the good stuff is
  • Add fresh spices and and herbs to your meals
Great tips -- check out the article for a more in-depth explanation. What tips do you have?

Can fat production be "switched" off?

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Inside your body, you have two kinds of fat -- brown fat and white fat. The brown fat has been with you since birth and served the purpose of keeping you warm by converting the food you ate into heat when you were young. As adults, we have very little brown fat and what we do have is stored around our internal organs. Instead, when we eat more calories that we need, it's stored as white fat, the kind that's implicated in a long laundry list of diseases.

A gene recently discovered in brown fat (but not in white fat) has obesity experts thinking they may be able to trigger adult bodies to burn off excess energy, rather than store it as fat. When the gene was injected into mice, the mice produced more brown fat cells instead of white fat cells.

Recent research has found that a hormone known as leptin is produced by white fat cells and plays a role in hunger and feeling full. I know I'd love to turn off my appetite sometimes, but whether this research will ever lead to a real tool in the battle against obesity remains to be seen.

Ouch ladies! Studies say that women are feeling the pain more than men

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Alright, I have to say that I find it hard to accept that women feel more pain than men. However, according to this article, numerous studies have shown otherwise. I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong, but I don't know if the evidence provided sways my opinion very much.

The piece states that, not only are women hurting more than men, but that they rate the pain that they feel at much more intense levels than do men. It also says though, that studies are based on how each sex feels about their pain, rather than some sort of actual scientific measure. They give various theories on why girls and guys may feel differently about the aches that they experience, including possible genetic links. I think it may be more cultural. Perhaps men just don't want to admit that they're hurting?

In the end, I'm really not bothered either way about who lives with more pain. It's just a fact of life that everyone is going to experience it at some point. I guess I just find it hard to accept since women are the ones giving birth! What hurts more than that? But I suppose that IS the point of the study. Women know that they experience some huge, intense pain during childbirth and other situations. I guess it's just how we all (men AND women) deal with it that counts.

Let summer change your life ... and your weight

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On Prevention Magazine's website, I was drawn to this article by Lia Huber, which lists a number of healthy tips that she learned while spending the summer in Greece. I too spent a summer in Greece, but unlike Lia, my summer was characterized by too many nights spent in the tourist party spots followed by late-night snacks of Gyros wraps ( complete with tonnes on Tzatziki and even a few french fries thrown in for flavour), lots of beer, sleeping until noon and very little activity during what was left of the day. But hey. Those were my university days. And her tips are much more conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some of her suggestions:
  • Eat fresh
  • Switch to Olive Oil
  • Eat your Veggies
  • Make meals time about more than just food -- enjoy the company of friends and family
  • Slow down
  • Don't just feed your body -- feed your soul, too.
I think these are great suggestions, for the summer and for life. What about you?

Typical teenage diet hurts lung capacity

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Essential nutrients and a well-balanced diet is not on the minds of most teenagers in the U.S. from what I can gather. But, there may be more repercussions than just weight alone, according to a new study. From the teenagers I've spoken with recently, this comes as little surprise.

Do you think many of them can go up five flights of stairs without nearly passing out? This was a test I recently witnessed, and I was shocked at how few could pass the test. These were not obese kids, either.

Diminished lung function and asthma conditions can develop if a decent nutritional diet is not followed by those in the teenage years, according to a study published in the July edition of the journal Chest.

"Higher intakes of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory micronutrients are associated with lower reports of cough, respiratory infections, and less severe asthma-related symptoms," according to the study's lead author. Does your teenager know about the term "antioxidant?" If not, perhaps now is the best time to start a healthy dialog with them on nutrition.

Eat for healthy bones with these calcium-rich foods

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As we get older, our bones can get brittle, so it's important to get lots of calcium in our diet -- especially women. For some, it's easy -- calcium is in our favourite foods, so we don't have to worry about it. But for other, like those who don't like dairy, getting calcium can be a chore.

If you're looking to add some calcium to your diet, here's a list of things that are high in calcium and good for you:
  • Non-fat milk
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Calcium-fortified soy milk
  • Tofu
  • Spinach
  • Sardines -- huh? Really?
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Legumes
  • Almonds
Thanks for the suggestions, eDiets!

Fish oil can help premature babies

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Are your eyes indicative of your overall health? Many scientists and informed nutritionists think so. With nutrition so attached to the way our bodies function inside, the eyesight of premature babies is being studied as ways to stop a disease that can create vision problems in those specific infants.

The eyelids of premature babies can be affected by a disease that can even lead to permanent blindness if not corrected. The solution? Replacing components generally gleaned from a pregnant mom to these babies to mimic when happens in the uterus.

The abnormal growth of blood vessels in premature babies (and others as well) can be possibly halted by the use of Omega-3 fatty acids, say scientists. Surprised? With the known health benefits fatty acids bring to adults, perhaps this is not a surprise at all.

Black and white: Are there cultural differences with dieting?

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When I first saw the title of this piece -- Black, White Women Differ on Dieting -- it really picqued my interest. "What exactly does color have to do with weight loss?", I wondered. Basically the results of a study conducted in Philadelphia showed that while both black and white women involved in the study were concerned about how they looked, body image was a bigger influence in wanting to lose weight for white women than it was for black women. In addition, white women were more likely to seek help from an outside source in their quest to get into shape.

I think the most important issues brought up by the article are, first of all, that black women trying to get to a healthy weight are may likely to try programs offered within their community, but there are not enough of these available where they can seek help. Secondly, the article says that neither white or black study participants listed health-related worries as a main reason for wanting to drop some pounds. If your health is being negatively affected by your weight, I think that should definitely be a number one motivator. What do you think?

British elderly have increasing nutrition problems

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The British Diabetic Association has stated that the nutrition problems the elderly have in Britain as more common that the public has come to believe. As such, the problem of malnourished elderly has been put on the public backburner while most of the media focus has been placed on a growing obesity problem.

The problem is when most normal citizens believe that losing weight is a "normal part of the aging process," according to British health officials. In part that may be true -- but what separates that from not eating enough nutritious food in the first place? Perception.

Although there sometimes seems to be a "focus of the day" when it comes to nutrition, we can't forget that many different issues exist simultaneously. Obesity and malnourished elderly problems are all but two of them.

How to be nice to your feet (so they're nice to you)

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Your feet take the brunt of everything, it seems, except when you're sleeping (and none of us spend much time doing that anyway). When your feet aren't feeling well your whole body doesn't feel well, so it's just common sense to do what you can to take care of them. Here are 5 suggestions to help you take care of your tootsies:

1) Don't go barefoot! Many injuries come from seemingly innocent barefoot activities like walking through the grass or dashing briefly across a sidewalk or street. Sharp objects or hot pavement can cause unexpected injuries that take much longer to heal than they did to happen.

2) Avoid heel pain, or at least treat it. People sometimes think there's nothing that can be done for plantar fasciitis, but there are options -- and if you don't treat it things will only get worse.

Continue reading How to be nice to your feet (so they're nice to you)

Dementia patch approved by FDA

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Alzheimer's Disease patients may have a new friend in the medicine game, as the first skin patch meant to treat dementia has just received FDA approval as of early this week.

The 'Exelon' patch provides the same drug that current capsules provide but provides a regular and consistent dose through the skin throughout the day. The patch, like the capsule, will be made by Novartis pharmaceuticals.

Although the drug is not a cure, it does stop the breakdown of a brain chemical that is affected by dementia once the onset of Alzheimer's Disease begins.

Campsickness: No homesick campers here!

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If you've recently sent a child off to summer camp, then this may interest you. Rather than feeling homesick upon arrival at summer camp, many kids are instead feeling sad when they return home -- a phenomenon known as campsickness. When pre-teens return from one to several weeks away, they may have a hard time adjusting to their old routines at home and miss their new friends from camp.

Mental health experts say that what the kids are experiencing truly is a mild grieving process. And while it may be hard for parents to understand, the best tact to take seems to be acknowledging that what the kids are feeling is real and opening the door to conversation. Helping kids fall back into their normal responsibilities and obligations while still being sensitive to their feelings will help them walk through this normal, healthy process unscathed.

So if you have the kind of kid who won't be sending you any "I want to come home!" sort of letters, keep your eye out for sullenness, surliness, or general sadness when your child returns.

Is a high-protein diet for you? Weighing the options

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High protein diets are generally regarded as a good way to keep up your energy and lose weight. But is it right for you? Consider this information from WebMD:
  • Pros: high protein diets usually leave dieters feeling full for longer periods of time. They also help dieters lose weight fairly quickly
  • Cons: The quick weight-loss that most dieters experience is usually just water weight that comes off. Moreover, on protein-only diets, the body relies on stored fat reserves -- a process called ketosis -- and ketosis often causes irritability, headaches, overworked kidneys and even heart problems. Furthermore, high-protein diets are usually high in saturates fats (bad for the heart) and low in critical nutrients (for the overall body.)
Based on this, the evidence is mostly against high protein diets. But don't be discouraged -- weight loss is possible without hurting your health. Some plans, like the Zone, integrate moderate amounts of healthy carbs for an overall healthy approach to dieting.

Do you agree with this information, or are you sticking by your ketosis?

The link between selenium and type 2 diabetes

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Selenium is a mineral found in soil and in foods such as wheat germ, shellfish, liver, sunflower seeds, and mushrooms. Selenium aids in metabolism. Selenium supplements have been recommended for a broad range of things from cold sores to arthritis. It was previously thought that selenium may be helpful in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Recent research, however, uncovers that the exact opposite is true. Long-term use of selenium supplements can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

50% of the 1,202 participants in a long-term study took selenium supplements. Over a period of 7.7 years, the people who took the supplements had a 50% greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Some multivitamins or supplements contain up to 200 milligrams of selenium. While the recommended dose depends upon your age, for most adults the recommendation is around 55 milligrams. A healthy diet can provide all the selenium most people need.

Whole wheat pasta: The healthiest carb?

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Hi, my name's Martha and I'm a carboholic. There, I've said it. So when I saw this headline on Prevention promising to tell me what the healthiest carb is, I couldn't resist. Turns out it's one of my favourites -- whole wheat pasta. Some think it tastes like cardboard but I love it -- more than white pasta, even.

Now that whole grains are all the rage, manufacturers are always trying to find ways to improve the taste of whole wheat pasta, and they're doing so by adding healthy things like flax and legumes. So eat up -- pasta's good for you! One thing to keep in mind, however, is the serving size for most pastas -- as I've learned the hard way, one serving is usually much less than a pasta lover would expect.

What's so great about a juicer?

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Every now and then, when I can't sleep, I come across Jack Lalanne and his over-enthusiastic infomercial touting his 'fabulous' juicer, which he in part credits to his longevity. Due to my practical nature, I never buy anything I see on an infomercial (except for the first season of Bewitched!)

But sometimes I think: there are worse things I could spend $100 than a juicer. I'm a big smoothie drinker and sometimes the blender doesn't cut it. Plus, it's a great way to get a big, healthy serving of veggies when I don't particularly feel like scarfing down a big salad. Should I cave and buy a juicer? What do you think?

There's still time to get your best abs ever

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We ogle them, we obsess over them and men ... well, because we look, some of you are constantly holding them in. They are a benchmark of superior fitness and it's the body part that really turns our heads. We are of course talking about your abs!

What's that? You need help? Don't worry, with a little effort there's still plenty of time to get that washboard look. But with that said (and because summer is already here) don't be tempted to work them every day. In fact, training more can actually make your abs show less and too much training leads to increased laxity in your muscles. In other words, they could appear soft (and soft isn't good) so instead add resistance to make moves you already do more challenging. Then give your muscles time to rest.

You can find six more tips over at Men's Health to help you really unleash your abs. And, who knows ... maybe you'll be able to inspire women to show you theirs.

What you need to look hot this summer

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Looking sexy throughout the summer is about more than just finding the trendiest new swimsuit, wearing it with confidence and looking great (not that there's anything wrong with that either!). According to this, looking good this summer isn't just about showing off your body, but rather it's all about following 6 trends that include everything from looking after your skin to finding the right accessories. Here are 6 picks for heading out in style:

  • Don't forget the SPF. Even if you're not worried about skin cancer (and you should be!) sun damage ages your skin, fast. Slather on the sunscreen and keep your skin looking younger for years to come.
  • Invest in some cute espadrilles (those sandals with the big, chunky, wedge heels). They look good with a range of outfits and make your legs look longer without being impossible to walk in.
  • Find some sunglasses that not only look good on you (those giant, bug-glasses that are in right now don't suit every face shape) but that also protect your peepers against harmful UV rays.
  • Forget about wintry brown, blacks and creams when you buy summer clothes. Go bright and you'll get noticed.
  • Rather than haul all of your necessities around in a boring purse, throw everything into a big and fun beach bag. Just because you're not lazing on the sand, doesn't mean you can't find ways to pretend you are.
  • Buy Bohemian. OK, I've never really gotten into this but what the article says makes sense. Boho clothes are not only chic right now, they're also flowy and comfortable, so they'll keep you cool on a hot summer day.

I think that I could get into pretty much every one of those, except for the Boho clothes (as I mentioned). But next time I go shopping, I may even give that a try. Do you have any different ideas for looking hot this summer?

Fit Links: Stings and bites

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As fabulous as we at That's Fit think this blog is, the truth is there are hundreds of wonderful blogs on healthy living to be seen all over the blogosphere. So in this feature, Fit Links, we'll introduce you to some that have caught our eye.

Today just happens to be National Don't Step on a Bee Day. (Don't worry, I had never heard of it before now either.) Really, every day is a good day not to step on a bee, and also a good day not to get bit by a mosquito or tick. Fight back against bugs with these informative blogs:

Did you know Vicks Vaporub can help relieve the itching caused by mosquito bites? Skinverse.com can tell you why.

Dr. Green can help you differentiate between a normal reaction to a bee sting in your child and an allergic reaction which requires immediate medical attention.

Families.com has home remedy ideas for dealing with the pain and itching of insect bites once you've determined that no professional medical care is needed.
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Daily Fit Tip: Do you know what's lingering in your fridge?

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I wish someone would design a refrigerator that doesn't allow things to be pushed to the back. Out of sight equals out of mind at our house -- at least when it comes to leftovers. I subscribe to the theory "when in doubt, throw it out," but this chart takes all the guesswork out of whether something you "found" in the back of your fridge is safe to eat. Some things -- like chili -- just taste better the second time you serve them, but some leftovers are better suited for the garbage can!

You Are What You Eat: Blueberries, not just for Sal

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blueberryEach week, we'll be offering original recipes and unique ways to use those Super Foods that pack nutritional power. After all, you are what you eat -- make it count!

Blueberries are just coming into season here in the northeast, and my toddler is jumping out of his skin. One of his favorite summertime activities is to pick blueberries at his grandfather's house. Can't say we ever dissuade him from this endeavor, as purple as his little fingers get, because blueberries are jam-packed with nutrition. So eat up, Owen!

Antioxidants are the claim to fame of blueberries, with wild blueberries being the food rated highest in antioxidants. So if you are interested in preventing heart disease and cancer, read on and see if you can eat as many blueberries as my toddler.

Continue reading You Are What You Eat: Blueberries, not just for Sal

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The surprisingly scary 'heat index:' How much do you know?

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When temperatures get as hot as they were this past weekend in the Midwest (upper nineties and into the triple digits) the weather man ends up talking more about the heat index it seems than anything else. So how hot is too hot, especially when it comes to the heat index measurement? Obviously it depends on what you want to do outdoors, but you may be surprised at how quickly the heat index can climb to dangerous levels.

According to the National Weather Service the heat index starts to become hazardous at 104º, but it's extremely dangerous once it gets to 126º. Sound impossibly hot? Not really -- just a temperature of 92º combined with a relative humidity of 85% will get you there. Here in Iowa that's at least half the summer -- be careful out there!

Anti-smoking pill may help drinking as well

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There are many drugs these days geared toward helping smokers ditch the habit. Pills, patches and other methods are generating large profits for drugmakers while helping some (not all) quit smoking once and for all. Could this kind of magic be used to help heavy drinkers stop that activity as well?

A new study says that the drug varenicline may be able to help both smokers and drinkers quit as it targets a specific "pleasure" center in the brain that has a strong role to play in addiction.

Could this drug be used, with later refinement, for treating addictions outside of smoking and drinking? Perhaps addictions like gambling and prescription painkillers? Who knows -- but just treating addictions connected to smoking and drinking is a great start if it indeed works.

Goji juice: What's with all the hype?

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A few days ago, this post inspired some interest in Goji Juice, after reader Cyndi praised its effectiveness in helping her lose weight. Now, I've heard of Goji juice but I admit, I don't know much about it, even though it's a multi-million dollar industry. Here's what I found:

Goji Juice is made from the Himalayan Goji berry, which promises 'more vitamin c than oranges, more beta carotene than carrots and more iron than steak' (From the BBC.) It's said to contain special 'master molecules' that aren't found in any other foods. Plus it's also been touted as the answer to healthy aging, weight loss, managing diabetes, preventing cancer and lowering blood pressure. Those are some pretty lofty claims -- can they hold up?

I'm often skeptical of these types of miracle products -- and rightly so, according to this video. I suggest you watch it if you're falling, or have fallen, for the Goji juice hype. Goji juice might not be the superfood you think.

Success stories: women who lost half their size

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Need some extra motivation this week? Check out this article from Good Housekeeping about 7 women who collectively lost over 1,000 pounds. Some lost up to 200 themselves and all of them have great stories to share, including their own real-life weight loss tips. What strikes me the most is not how much thinner they look in their "after" pictures, but how much younger they look as well. The article includes a few great tips for long-term weight loss, including:
  • Keep tempting treats out of sight. Better yet, keep them out of your cupboard altogether.
  • Keep a journal to find out what triggers your diet blunders.
  • Even moderate exercise will aid weight loss.
  • Choose foods that force you to eat at a slower pace.
Hang it on your fridge for a little extra inspiration this week!

Texas sees flood of physician applications

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I'm amazed people are choosing to enter the medical field these days. It's a true calling to want to become a doctor, but being a shrewd businessperson better be on that list of professional traits as well. One of the bigger concerns: malpractice insurance.

So, it comes as no surprise that Texas is seeing a huge increase in the number of doctors wanting to set up shop in the state due to recently relaxed laws in that state regarding the exposure physicians have to malpractice lawsuits.

Many applicants to the Texas state medical board are having to wait months to see patients due to the long wait times. While they wait, at least they can study up on tort reform.

Is Boeing's new green airliner the way of the future for air travel?

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In the wake of all of the Live Earth concerts that took place over the weekend, I thought it would be interesting to chat about the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet. Unveiled on Sunday, the airplane has definitely got people talking (just google 'Boeing Dreamliner' and you'll see what I mean).

It's a fact that normal airplanes use up tonnes of fuel and cause a huge amount of pollution. This new green machine seats up to 330 passengers, but on a long-haul flight uses 20% less fuel than a regular, similarly-sized airplane. In addition, it releases far fewer greenhouse emissions than other planes.

Not only is this good news for everyone because it's better for the environment, it will also hopefully be good for our wallets. Flights keep getting more expensive, in part because of the rising cost of gasoline. In theory, if the Dreamliner uses less fuel, airlines that utilize the jet will spend less on gas, making it possible for them to charge less for tickets. Whether or not this will actually happen remains to be seen, but since it's an Eco-friendly option either way, I'm definitely on board.

Five things a women can't change about her body (without help anyway)

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Body image is a person's perception of his or her own physical appearance. When your body changes, so can the image of yourself ... the problem is that there are some things you just can't change with diet or exercise. So try to focus on something else and forget about these:

1. Your Knees: Knobby? Knock-kneed? Rather than focus on bones and tendons that you can't change, target the areas nearby that you can tweak, such as your calves and thighs.

2. Your Breast Size: Certain exercises -- and sometimes when you're pregnant -- you can get a little more lift or cleavage, but you can't trade up a cup (or more) without surgical assistance or a very good bra.

Continue reading Five things a women can't change about her body (without help anyway)

Antidepressants most prescribed drugs in the U.S.

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The most prescribed medication in the U.S. are antidepressant drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. It's amazing what drugs like Prozac and Paxil are used for these days. Days and nights are tough to handle for many, and a prescription drug looks to be a way out of despair for millions of Americans.

While there are legitimate uses for prescription antidepressants, are these types of drugs overused? I think that goes without saying, although the data available makes a guess like that hard to prove. Having a tough boss or a family member that is hard to handle doesn't necessarily mean a drug prescription is in order, but that is precisely what some people go in search of.

Is unhappiness a reason to begin taking antidepressant drugs? Very doubtful, as life will never be perfect for anyone (old or young, rich or poor). When the source article stated that "Doctors are now medicating unhappiness," it made complete sense why antidepressants are now the most-used prescription medication in the nation.

Pets can teach kids responsibility and empathy

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Up until recently, my preschooler viewed our dog mostly as an annoyance -- a pet who sat on her toys, stole her cookies when she wasn't looking, and generally got in the way. Then we gave her the task of taking care of her pet each morning. When she wakes up, she lets the dog out, feeds her (measuring skills, bonus lesson!), and gives her some water. Suddenly, I hear her saying things like "my dog" and petting her and playing with her too. It's been a great lesson for her in responsibility and also caring for another living thing.

There are many reasons pets are good for kids. If you're considering pet ownership, take a minute to check them out. In addition, take some time to do your research about the kind of pet that's right for your home, your family, and your lifestyle.

Truck drivers on a quest to shape up

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Truck drivers are integral to the daily economic activity in the world's largest economy. But, the downside to all that driving on all those interstates is the stationary position most truck drivers are in for hours at a time. Good for circulation? Not at all.

Obesity is rampant in the truck driving industry precisely because of the lack of movement and the stationary seating position. Add to that the fact that truck drivers account for 15% of work-related deaths in the U.S., and being a truck driver does not appear to be very healthy.

Some are fighting back as well, including both drivers and the companies that employ them. With health care costs spinning higher and higher every year, both of these groups have an incentive to make truck drivers get regular exercise and find ways to begin healthy habits while still providing the critical services for the nation's transportation network.

The Fat-Burning Zone: A myth?

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The elliptical trainers at my gym all have the same chart that shows you where your heart rate should be to either burn fat or build cardiovascular endurance -- depending on your age and weight. The idea behind the 'Fat Burning Zone' is this: Under high intensity training, the body burns mostly stored carbohydrates, while under lower intensity, the body burns stored fat.

This is generally regarded as a well-known fact in the fitness industry. But is this 'fat-burning zone' idea really a myth? The experts at Prevention Magazine think so. The answer is as simple as this: While low intensity workouts burn more calories from fat, high intensity workouts burn more calories overall, and that's ultimately the key to losing weight.

What do you think?

Fat men better in bed?

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We spend a lot of time around here trying to let you know about all the different ways that being fat is bad for you. But, according to Tobsha Learner, a columnist for the Times Online, "There is something comforting about being with a man who has heavier thighs than I do, considerable love handles and breasts only marginally smaller than mine" -- plus, she says, they're "better in bed."

Learner doesn't quote any studies that "prove" big guys are better lovers, funnier, or better-looking than their skinner, more-traditionally attractive counterparts. Nor does she spend any time trying to contradict the mountains of evidence stating that overweight men are considerably more likely to suffer health problems.

But she does make a compelling case for men of larger stature -- noting that "we often think of powerful men as being physically substantial," and that some of history's great womanizers (Napoleon, Casanova, etc) carried a little extra around the middle.

I wouldn't take this as an excuse to "let yourself go," but it's a nice reminder that, at the end of day, what matters is being comfortable in your own skin. You'll never succeed in your fitness endeavors if you're trying to meet somebody else's standards, so make sure that, whatever you're doing to stay in shape, you're doing it for yourself.