Monday, 17 September 2007

The truth about aluminum and breat cancer

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I've heard a lot of bad things about anti-perspirant -- that is causes Alzheimer's and breast cancer are two more prevalent rumors ... in fact, we've even reported on the breast cancer issue before. But how true is it? The Beauty Brains have asked the same question, and their verdict is that it's false -- so there's no need to go au naturel at the gym or spend lots of money on aluminum-free versions.

Why? Well, for one, aluminum doesn't penetrate the skin. Secondly, there's no biological mechanism by which aluminum can cause breast cancer. Of course, the brains explain it better so check out their original post for more information.

Red wine said to be good for almost every human ailment

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The debate that continues to rage on regarding the health effects of red wine just took a turn into the "super universe" it seems. In the new "The Red Wine Diet" book by Roger Corder, he states that red wine is good for treating just about any human ailment, from heart disease to dementia.

Corder's book is an offshoot from an article in Nature magazine last year that zeroed in on procyanidin, a 'vasoactive polyphenol' that helps reduce the risk of heart disease. But other human diseases as well?

Corder argues against the popular reasoning of the chemical resveratrol as the main component in red wine that gives healthy effects when consumed, and instead focuses in on procyanidin. His advice? Three glasses of red wine a day is good for men; for women, two glasses.

Being clean all the time may be worse for our allergies

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Regular exposure to bacteria and viruses is known to exercise our immune systems, as those that always protect themselves may not have the internal tools to fight something off when it comes.

When it comes to those nasty allergies, the same remains true. Recent research states that having too clean of an environment can be responsible for increasing allergy amounts in kids.

If, in fact, we are all living in cleaner places than we did in the past, the bodies of children are not receiving the necessary "workout" when it comes to fighting off the issues caused by allergens. Therefore, when those allergens cause problems, they are quite a bit more pronounced than with kids in the recent past, concluded the research.

Getting your kids to school: Why so few walking?

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Oh the stories Grandpa can tell about cutting across fields and hiking through snowdrifts in the bitter cold for miles and miles every morning just to get to school. The dedication to learning is astounding.

Or that's just the way it was back then! And they didn't have other choices for getting there. Nowadays, though, it's a whole other story. Our nation's children rarely walk to school anymore, with reasons varying from time, convenience, and safety, but seeing as how kids are fatter than ever something here isn't working. I'm not a huge fan of children walking to school alone (there are more predators out there it seems than ever before) but what about parents walking with their kids to school? Or biking? Or any other number of healthier options?

What do you think: is getting to and from school a missed opportunity for physical activity and exercise, or do kids just need to eat healthier and be active in other areas of their lives and get to school in whatever way is most convenient?

Gals rock as long-distance backpackers

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I've always known women make excellent backpackers. As a past Sierra Club National Outlings leader, I've seen us gals rock on the trail. But how do women fare versus men when backpacking for three months or more?

Pretty darn well. This study in Wilderness and Environmental Medicine lays it out nicely. Researchers collected surveys from 280 long-distance hikers on the Appalachian Trail (AT). These weren't weekend jaunts, the mean duration of hiking was 144 days (plus or minus 66 days), covering hundreds of miles. The general experiences of women and men were quite similar, including distance, duration and incidents of musculoskeletal problems. Men did lose more weight than women (not fair!), and women hauled slightly lighter loads. Interestingly, women disinfected their water more consistently, but good hygiene provided no advantage against diarrhea on the trail.

Menstrual changes were common. Twenty-two percent of women experienced amenorrhea -- cessation of menstruation. While this is convenient on the trail, serious bone loss can result. Whether hiking the AT or training heavily, if you ever experience amenorrhea, official recommendations suggest a 1500 mg calcium supplement every day. I think it would also be wise to call your doctor.

What's your quirky must have pantry item?

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Here's a post that I came across over at our sister blog Slashfood and thought posed a great question: What's your quirky must-have pantry item? Besides all the common staples we all buy regularly, is there something interesting you seek out regularly?

Part of the reason I think this is such a great thing to think about is that by hearing what strange or different things other people have come to love it may help us break out of the TV commercial food standard ruts we all too commonly find ourselves falling into. Grocery stores aren't set up to help you make new discoveries, they're designed to sell you hot dogs and Doritos. So from soba noodles to honey toasted wheat germ, what's the uniquest thing on your kitchen shelf?

My pantry is pretty sparse, being single and hardly home it seems, but I do have bee pollen in there that I use now and then. That's quirky, right?

'No pain' dentistry may soon exist

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Do you fear the dentist chair every six months? If you're like many (myself included) who cringe at the thought of s dentist's drill entering the mouth area, would you believe that a "pain free" dental visit can be had if you need to have that cavity removed?

Sounds weird, I know. But, a 'plasma brush' that uses a low-temperature chemical reaction to disinfect and prepare cavities for filling may indeed be invading your local dentist's office soon.

Preparing a cavity for filling is the dreadful part for most of us, since it does involve a drill and most likely, a little pain. It would be nice to have a pain-free solution that does the same thing -- no spinning metal rod needed. Maybe I do look forward to that next checkup after all.

10 reasons to avoid the gym (and workout at home)

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Gyms are a popular place to get fit, but they certainly aren't the only place. If you can afford the membership fees and have a location near your work or home, then a gym or fitness center may just fit perfectly into your life. But what if you don't have either of those things? Working out at home is not only a great alternative, you might just find that you prefer it. You don't need fancy machines and a room full of equipment to get in shape, and exercising in the comfort of your own home lets you control your environment to get an optimum workout. Looking for more reasons to stay home? Check out this list of ten more reasons why home workouts rock. What about you? Where do you prefer to exercise?

The calorie-counting web browser toolbar

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To those of us who work at a computer all day long, wouldn't it be nice to have some kind of tool in that web browser that would give us instant feedback on those breakfast and lunch calories?

Food awareness can never be too intrusive if you ask me, as all those daily methods at home, at work and even in the car can constantly motivate those that want assistance to steering themselves in healthier directions when it comes to food choices.

Before you take off to get that take-out to eat at your desk during a working lunch, try the CalorieKing toolbar and see if what you're were thinking for lunch is the most appropriate thing for you to be eating right now. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

Study into the genetic causes of Lou Gehrig's Disease expands

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The ongoing prominence of genetic research that is uncovering mountains of information on human diseases continues to amaze me. In the latest edition,, scientists from the U.S. said today that they've uncovered genes in mice that influence survival of those with Lou Gehrig's disease (known scientifically as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS).

Could this research lead to possible cures for those with ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases? That's a huge question mark right now of course, but the research that genetic insight is providing continues to show great promise if you ask me.

Playing around with the genes in mice is, however, quite a huge step from performing those same experiments in people. The day may be closer than we all realize, though.

25% of men over 30 have low testosterone

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If you're a guy over the age of 30, there is a 25 percent chance that you have low testosterone levels, according to new research.

The problem is that these men probably do not know that they do have a low amount of testosterone in their bodies, since about only 1 in 20 shows signs of such a lackluster amount. Result: there are probably a lot of men who have erectile dysfunction along with a lowered sex drive -- and they don't know what is causing it.

So, before you order that pill of a TV commercial, you may want to see if your testosterone levels are low by visiting your preferred physician. If you're one of the 25 percent, then at least you'll know it and can take steps to "up the level" as it were.

Preventing the flu by staying away

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When fall and winter season comes around, many of us get that annual flu shot so that we can ward off the influenza virus should it sneak up on us at home, work or just out in public.

How about the reverse of this -- just staying out of contact with those that are sick in the first place? While this may sound isolationist, staying away from those with the flu virtually guarantees you will not get it -- although staying away from almost everyone that has it may be a bit of a nuisance.

It's hard to stay away from supermarkets, discount stores, family and friends when flu season arrives, but carrying hand santizers and wiping your hand down after touching foreign objects may the ticket that gets you off the hook when it comes to flu prevention. That, or shutting down for the season and staying inside your home. Hmm -- decisions, decisions.

Why free weights are better

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I'm naturally klutzy, so when I'm lifting weights at the gym, I tend to head for the exercise machines rather than the free weights. That way, there's little chance that I can drop the weight on someone's foot or lose my balance and crash into other gym-goers. But I've noticed that the people at the gym who really seem to know what they're doing tend to stick to the free weights -- how come?

According to this post on Diet Blog, free weights rule for a number of reasons, including:
  • They force you build balance
  • They use movements that you use in everyday life
  • You don't have to conform to a certain movement
  • Machines can actually increase the risk of injury
  • They're cheaper and don't take up so much space.
What do you think? Will you switch to the free weights?

Tips for working out at night ... and not disturbing the neighbor

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For some people, busy schedules leave them with little or no time to workout -- except at night before they go to bed. But working out at home after the sun sets can be disturbing for neighbours -- what's the solution? Not working out? I don't think so. Here are some quiet exercise tips from Fitsugar:
  • Push-ups, sit-ups, planks and side-planks will tone the core and arms
  • Squats and lunges will tone your glutes without make noise
  • A yoga DVD is a great way to relax before bedtime
What's your favourite home-based exercise?

Mooncakes get a healthy makeover

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Chinese food isn't exactly known for being healthy -- at least, the Western translation of it isn't -- but it appears as if strides are being taken to make it more waistline-friendly, and they're starting with a sweet treat: Traditional mooncakes.

Made with sugar-infused lotus-bean paste and duck eggs, mooncakes are a traditional pastry given and eaten at Autumn Feast in China each year. But at 975 calories and 46 grams of fat, they're far from a healthy choice. So forward-thinking bakers are coming up with healthier versions -- including a diabetic-friendly one that uses a sugar substitute. Others are filling the pastry with fruit and yogurt, and some are cutting our refined white sugar and flour. You can even find organic mooncakes. But while these versions might sound healthier, they'll pack a calorie wallop no matter what and should be consumed in moderation.

What do you think -- is calorie-cutting a positive global initiative?

Daily Fit Tip: try to convince someone to eat healthy every day

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Trying to convince family and friends to eat right these days is a never-ending battle. It takes persistence, patience, eye rolls, illogical arguments, emotional strength and a willingness to keep at it just to get people to break out of their old, nasty food habits and try to get on the road to overall health.

Fitness doesn't just come in the form of exercise, but in mental fitness as well. Eating and drinking the best foods and drinks (as often as possible) is a requirement for feeling the best you can, being able to think the best you can and keeping your faculties stocked with the best nutrition possible to function throughout the entire day.

So, the next time you get that eye-roll from a relative or are called a "health nut," take it in stride and continue on. One of those days, your infectious attitude will finally spill over and you'll have helped someone for life, most likely.
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The Daily Turn On! Friend or Frenemy?

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Life is too short not to be fully "turned on." The Daily Turn On! energizes all aspects of "you." Everyday The Daily Turn On! with That's Fit Life Fit expert Laura Lewis will awaken your mind, your body and your life!

"A treasured friendship can replace regret and hatred and heal the old wounds of the mind. Such a friendship can provide sincere help, consolation and encouragement. These can be magic weapons for eliminating grief and anxiety. When life is free from grief and anxiety, you will find food tasty, sleep restful, and recreation enjoyable." - Xu Xiangcai, Traditional Chinese Health Secrets

Lord Byron said, "Friendship is eros ... without wings." A true friend is one of life's most cherished gifts. A true friend is infuses our lives with love, acceptance, gratitude, and emotional safety. A true friend always holds a sacred space of trust and emotional safety. A true friend is pure energy for the mind and soul.

However, our not-so-good friends ... our frenemies ... pollute our minds, our emotions and spirit with toxins. No detox program is complete without a careful examination of one's close relationships. Evaluate your closest friendships; if you can honestly say that you provide your friends with the following criteria, and they provide it for you, then you are correct in terming your relationships with these people as friends. If not, you may need to consider making some changes in your inner social circle.

  1. Self-sacrifice. Are willing to expend your time, resources, emotions and support even when it may be a burden? Are you and your friend willing to function from a place of self-sacrifice?
  2. Companionship. Do you and your friend both enjoy spending time together for no reason other than the sense of companionship and community you experience together? Or, do you and your friend only want to meet-up when one of you need something from the other?
  3. Honesty. Can you and your friend tell the truth, solicited or not, to one another even at the risk of an unpleasant conversation? Are you honest with one another at all times, or only when the truth does not hurt?
  4. Interest. Are you and your friend equally interested in one another's lives? Do you ask detailed questions about each other's well being professionally, socially, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually? And then, do you offer the necessary support for one another to continue growing and evolving in these areas?
  5. Integrity. This can also be understood as follow through. Do you and your friend both follow through with your promises? If you say, "Let's have lunch," or, "I will call you;" do you? Or, are these just empty promises.
If you did not answer "yes" to all of the above questions, you may not be experiencing a true friendship, which means, you are not offering or receiving the joyful gift we all deserve.

If you want to live a clean, fit life, your relationships must be clean and fit. Hold your friends to high standards, but hold yourself to even higher standards. Don't confuse your toxic frenemies as friends; you will be disappointed and hurt every time.
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Long live iceberg lettuce

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I've heard it countless times: Iceberg lettuce is not nearly as nutritious as it's greener counterparts. Maybe it's not. But it's not a junk food either and while the leafy stuff may have taken a hit as a health food, it seems to be making a comeback.

At the present time, Americans consume more iceberg than any other lettuce. It accounts for 70 percent of the lettuce grown in California and once harvested, a whole head can last one month with proper refrigeration and will yield 18 to 20 ounces of usable product. It's a simple, reliable, and versatile comfort food. It's crunchy, crispy, and full of great texture.

Iceberg lettuce is a keeper in my book. As a frequent salad-eater (minus the dressing for health reasons), I eat it with fish, chicken, shrimp, nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, and with other lettuce forms too. A medium head of this leafy staple has just 70 calories and is an excellent source of vitamin K. Hey, that's good enough for me.

Meet the Bloggers: Jacki Donaldson

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We're pleased to introduce one of the newest members to the That's Fit team ... Jacki Donaldson. Jacki is a talented writer who comes to us from our now-retired sister site, The Cancer Blog, and we're delighted to have her on the team.

1. Who are you?

I'm a girlie-girl raising two little boys, ages six and four, who are teaching me that dirt, trucks, and rough play are just as much fun as hair, nails, and Barbie dolls. I'm a wife (for 12 years now) and a freelance writer and a former counselor of college students. I'm a perfectionist too. I'm not athletic, but I'm physically fit -- well, I'm getting there, anyway -- and there's just so much more I could tell you. How about this one last tidbit: I once cut Huey Lewis' hair. I'm a licensed cosmetologist too.

2. Age you tell people you are:

I tell the truth. I'm 37.

3. Where you're from and where you live now:

I'm from Ohio, and I live in Florida now.

4. Do you have a personal blog?

Yes. It's called my Breast Cancer blog and it details my almost-three-year journey with breast cancer. It first started as a means to communicate with friends and family about my progress and then evolved into a form of personal therapy, a method for reaching others, and happily, an avenue for editors to find me. I wouldn't be writing here today had it not been for my husband's suggestion in November 2004 that I try this new thing called "blogging."

5. What is your day job, or rather, what do you do when you're not fitness blogging?

I manage the madness created by the two little boys who consume my world. I write for other websites and publications. I volunteer for the American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery program -- I meet with women newly diagnosed with breast cancer and help them chart their course for survival.

6. How long have you been blogging with That's Fit and what is your favorite post?

I've been here since September 11. So far, my favorite post is: Tempted by treats? Let the moment pass. It sums me up at this very moment.

7. Do you have a specific fitness background or are you a mere mortal who's just passionate about being healthy and fit -- and living to write about it?

I'm just passionate about eating right, exercising a lot, and preaching about it to anyone who will pay me any attention.

8. What's the worst fitness or diet idea you fell for?

For years, I was under the mistaken impression that I could eat whatever I want, with or without exercise, and that my body would remain unchanged. Then I got cancer, I got older, and I got a few extra pounds. Now I know better.

9. What motivates you to exercise and stay healthy?

Mostly, I want a lean, hard, healthy body. And I want to prevent a cancer recurrence too.

10. Who's your favorite fitness role model?

Fitz! She's my neighbor, friend, and co-blogger. For a while, she was my personal fitness instructor. She has the body I want.

11. What's your exercise "M.O." -- Gym workouts or outdoor endeavors; team or solitary sports?

Outdoor, solitary sports for sure.

12: Choice of fitness gear: Baggy sweats or sultry spandex?

Something in between.

13. What's your favorite fitness activity?

Running. I once couldn't run around the block. Now I can accomplish up to five miles -- all at one time! I thank Fitz for pushing me to accomplish this. We're running together in a 5K Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on October 20.

14. Do you have any non-fitness-related, non-blogging hobbies?

I like to hang out with family, scrapbook, shop, get pedicures, read (when I make the time), watch reality TV, and stay current on all celebrity gossip.

15. Confession time! What nonhealthy food do you eat -- or what unhealthy habit do you indulge in -- that would get you banned from That's Fit? What's your excuse for doing so?

Since May, I have not indulged -- honestly. I'm ridding myself of junk food -- permanently. But prior to May, brownies were my downfall. I could polish off an entire pan.
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High-intensity workouts knock out stress

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When I'm filled with anxiety, panic, or worry, exercise usually helps. It allows me to clear my head, focus inward, and collect a fresh perspective. There's nothing groundbreaking about my strategy. It helps loads of people who find themselves in all sorts of stressful scenarios.

Health experts have long recommended 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise to relieve stress. Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia agree. But they've got an even better recommendation. They say studies show high-intensity workouts pack a much bigger punch against stress than any other form of exercise. Why? There are several theories. We know intense aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, and these two vital organs bear the brunt of the body's stress response. So the more we exercise, the better these organs respond to negative emotion. Another possibility: Vigorous workouts require major concentration and limit the ability to obsess about weighty matters. It could also be that this type of exercise increases the release of endorphins, our feel-good hormones. The harder we work, the better we feel.

I guess it doesn't really matter why strenuous activity does the trick. It just does. And that's reason enough for me to keep at it.

Give a kid a sport, says ABCs Robin Roberts

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Introducing kids to sports is a wise idea. It's steers them away from television and video games, channels their boundless energy, teaches lessons in cooperation and determination and well, it's just good for the body. Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, herself a life-long athlete, says sports are particularly good for girls.

"If you're a mother of daughters, encouraging them to participate in sports is the best gift you can give them," Roberts says. "Playing sports, feeling the competitive drive, winning and losing -- these experiences build self-esteem and character."

Roberts says even grown women become timid because they get stuck feeling they have to be liked by everyone. Sports shakes that out of you, she says. It's the best training ground for adult life.

Continue reading Give a kid a sport, says ABCs Robin Roberts

Do you know what to do in an emergency?

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If you were first on the scene of an accident, would you know what to do? What if your spouse started choking at dinner, or someone got burned while you were cooking? Hopefully, none of those things will happen, but if you find yourself in the middle of a situation and you're the only person available to help, you want to be prepared, right?

BBC has a great quiz to help you figure out just what you're prepared to handle (emergency-wise, anyway) and what areas you might need to work on. It's might not be as easy as you think -- I got several wrong answers that warned me in a very matter-of-fact way: No. Do not try that. Once you've taken the quiz, you can browse through BBC's first aid section to learn more, or if you really need some first aid education, look for a class in your area.

Your teeth are what they eat

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When it comes to dental care, you already know that brushing and flossing are high priority. But did you know that what you eat and when you eat it can also have a significant impact on the state of your teeth and gums as well? For instance, eating sweets for a snack in between meals exposes your teeth to decay causing bacteria several times a day, but if you save them for after dinner, you can limit the damage. Other tips include:
  • Avoid all gum, unless it's sugarless.
  • Enjoy your coffee, then put your cup away. When you sip all day, you expose yourself to decay all day too.
  • Stay hydrated. Water doesn't activate those pesky bacteria, plus it can wash away food.
  • Avoid sticky and chewy candies and chewing on hard things like ice.
  • Get your fruits and veggies.
There are a lot of factors that determine your dental health, but these tips can help anyone prevent problems down the road.

Clinton proposes mandatory health insurance for Americans

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Sometime today, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton will suggest a required amount of insurance for all U.S. citizens -- and cost the federal government about $110 billion.

The health care plan is expected to be announced while Clinton tours Iowa today as she gives a speech centered on health care policy in the U.S.

As expected from the Democratic Senator, those unable to afford health care and/or insurance would receive subsidies from the government. Additionally, large businesses would be require to help pay for their employee's coverage -- or even provide it completely.

What do you think?

Kids on the go: Choose nutritious over convenient

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I completely disagree with the opening paragraph of this article, which claims that even as we make an effort to get them to eat healthier, kids still crave those high-fat items from the kids menu. I don't think kids crave mac and cheese and chicken fingers any more than they crave rocks and sand...if it's what you're going to feed them, it's what they're going to eat.

However, once you get past that first paragraph, commonsense follows. While I don't agree that kids will only eat "kid" foods, I do agree that finding foods that kids will eat when you're on the go can sometimes be challenging. Real Simple has taken the time to compare popular kid convenience foods and to help you make the more nutritional choice. For instance, peanut butter (all natural, no added oils) and jelly beats ham and cheese hands down, but that homemade cheese sandwich trumps a take-out pizza.

The next time you go out to dinner, try this: Order your child a salad bar (packed with fresh veggies, canned fruits, cottage cheese, etc), then plan to share part of your meal with her. She'll forget those chicken fingers ever existed when she gets to pick out her own food from the salad bar!

Fined for going to work sick

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While it might seem like "taking one for team" and coming into work when you're sick scores you points with the boss, it's actually the worst thing you could do. Your health suffers, your work suffers, and you're putting the health of everyone you work with in jeopardy.

Especially if you have salmonella poisoning.

It sounds almost ludicrous, but that's the was affliction plaguing one Canadian workaholic who, because of his condition, was ordered by health inspectors to stay home. However, instead of resting up, getting well, and taking the necessary tests to prove he was no longer a danger to others, the 20-year-old went right back to work.

Fortunately, no customers have reported becoming ill as result of the young man's irresponsible behavior, but both he and the bakery he works at were fined by medical officials. The man was out C$1,000 ($970), the bakery was fined c$1,500 and the owner and additional C$1,000.

So take this as a warning. Next time you're sick, take the day off. After all, who doesn't enjoy a day vegging out in front of old movies eating chicken noodle soup?

Ab exercise and weight loss: two different things

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Why isn't that ab exercise you do each day making those chunky thighs and fat pockets disappear? Well, although you are tweaking the muscles down in those areas, that's not going to help you lose the fat on top of those muscles.

What you need in addition to those ab exercises (crunches, etc.) is what you always need in tandem with exercise -- careful monitoring of your nutrition.

Can you burn more calories than you eat? Sure -- but ab exercises (in general) won't get you there. Cardio workouts most certainly will, but the time required can be a hassle. An hour of workout every other day (while watching what you eat) can get you to the point where that ab flab is gone, though.

Bring back the handkercheif: use the new NosePouch

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Thanks to the onslaught of seasonal allergies, back-to-school colds, and the changing seasons, this is a very snotty time of year. Chances are at some point during September you'll be sniffling, so I thought it might be worth sharing a new twist on an old standby.

Introducing the NosePouch.

You probably haven't used a handkerchief...well...ever, and may have only seen one in action if your dad or grandpa happens to be old-fashioned. And for good reason -- they're gross. Especially when you have access to those convenient little tissue packets, why on Earth would you blow your nose into the same same piece of cloth over and over and over again?

But the NosePouch, as the name suggests, has added a little snot-catching fold, making this updated pocket cloth capable of holding significantly more refuse than the traditional version. So much so, that -- especially if you're the type to feel guilty about all those tissue packets you've been sending off to landfills -- it might be worth your while.

Less high-calorie sodas being found in schools these days

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In what I consider to be a winning situation in American schools these days, an industry report (just a disclaimer) states that there are fewer amounts of high-calorie soft drinks in schools.

This is due partly to the banning of these beverages from schools due to newer state laws, and as a result, drinkmakers are introducing healthier drinks to replace them. I'm not sure that replacing high-calorie sugar water being replaced with 'healthier' versions is enough. Well, unless we see what versions are popping up in school vending machines.

Have you seen healthier soft drinks appearing in school machines recently? If so, I'd love to see what newer selections have started appearing. With 22 states having passed various pieces of legislation governing the types of drinks sold in school vending machines, there are apt to have been numerous changes with the new school year that has just started.

How to survive a run-in with a fast food restaurant

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You've started exercising, you've cut out bad fats and excessive sugar, you're watching what you eat and taking care of your body, and then you suddenly find yourself standing at a fast food counter. What do you do?

For most people, the occasional fast food meal is inevitable. But just because you're there doesn't mean you have to dissolve into a super-size frenzy. It is possible to eat fast and still eat relatively healthy, you just have to make a plan, stick to it, and order right. Prevent the fallout at your next fast food meal with these easy tips from eDiets, and remember the general rules: less is always better, grilled is better than fried, and sauces aren't worth the calories.

Cancer Society drops focus on smoking, targets health care reform

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After decades of focusing in on trying to curb the smoking appetite of Americans, the American Cancer Society will change course, starting this week, and will target health care reforms that look at why so many citizens go without health insurance as cancer rates continue to climb.

Cancer death rates are higher for the uninsured, and that fact is causing the organization to spotlight the challenges of uninsured (or underinsured) cancer patients. I hope this does not mean that prevention tactics are being put aside for good.

Having adequate insurance should be a priority for us all. But then again, 44 million U.S. citizens don't even have it, a staggering amount for the world's richest nation. While prevention is key to any disease, taking take of those who need it (but perhaps cannot afford it) appears to the the front pitch for the organization now. What's your take on this controversial move?