Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Gold's Gym to give a free day pass to everyone this Friday

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If you're not up to trying out your crown patience the day after Thanksgiving, you might just want to head to the nearest Gold's Gym instead.

The workout chain that uses muscles and free weights to recruit the exercise-conscious among us all will offer an entire day free to anyone who visits a location this Friday. The gimmick: burn off those holiday pounds (or make an effort, heh) and hopefully stick around for a membership afterward.

If you'll be eating about 3,000 calories this Thanksgiving -- which is typical in the U.S. -- perhaps a trip to Gold's Gym instead of Target or Wal-Mart may be a good thing? That is, unless, you crave those mad day-after-Thanksgiving crowds. Nah, thought not.

Go meatless this thanksgiving

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I'm what you might call a flexitarian -- I eat meat but it's not a big part of my life, and I'm more comfortable cooking with tofu than a cut from the Butcher. I've never done a meatless thanksgiving, but that's more because I've never done the cooking, but if it's my turn next year, I might consider making it a veggie feast.

eDiets has put together this article on going meatless for Thanksgiving. Here's their menu plan:
  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Bean Birds with Tahini Gravy
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Cauliflower Puff
  • Mixed Green Salad
  • Pumpkin Seed Bread
  • Indian Pudding
Sound yummy? You're in luck -- you can find the recipes here.

What's on your menu for Thanksgiving dinner?

Odd questions about Turkey from Butterball

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Turkey is a rare but delicious treat for most of us. But how much do you really know about Turkey? Here are some interesting questions that the people at the Butterball Turkey Talk Line have addressed over the years, according to this article from eDiets:
  • Q: Do Turkeys have belly buttons? (No, they're hatched from eggs)
  • Q: Can you keep an uncooked turkey frozen by strapping it to the luggage rack while driving to Minnesota? (Yes, if it's below freezing out. But be careful not to lose it. )
  • Q: if you're out of cooking oil, can you baste your bird with suntan oil? (Um .... no ...)
  • Q: My Chihuahua is stuck inside the turkey -- how can I get it out without ruining the pet or the dinner? (Yes, this is real)
Got a question for the Turkey people? Call 1-800-BUTTERBALL or check out the Turkey Talk Podcast.

To dip or not to dip

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It's two days before Thanksgiving, and the mass exodus has already begun. Who was stuck in traffic for two hours tonight, raise your hand? And who wished they had the foresight to take the back roads instead? Yup, got me on both of those. Fortunately, the holiday commute does eventually end, the stress does subside, and what will remain will be a delicious Thanksgiving spread.

But, as many writers here on That's Fit have pointed out, you do have to be a bit careful to not unintentionally go overboard with your eating this holiday. For this reason, I thought it would be most apropos to pay specific attention to the oft-forgotten fat and calorie culprit: The Dip.

The following list, sourced from the most recent issue of Fitness Magazine, points out which popular holiday dips you should and shouldn't be dippin' into. Still, I can't say I agree with all of them, which is why I offer up my own commentary as well.

SPINACH DIP

  • They Say: Skip. Too many calories (78g) and too much fat (7.6g) per serving
  • I Say: Dip. Spinach is extremely rich in several vitamins and minerals. And, but substituting a low or no fat cream cheese, you get rid of most of those unwanted calories and some or all of that fat.

SMOKED SALMON & CREAM CHEESE DIP

  • They Say: Skip. Again, too many calories (70g) and too much fat (6g) per serving
  • I Say: Dip. Salmon is extremely rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, so the fat you are getting is actually a healthy fat. what isn't, however, is the fat found in the cream cheese. The same remedy for the spinach dip also applies here - use low or no fat cream cheese.

HUMMUS

  • They Say: Dip. Hummus is mostly made of chick peas, which are a great source of fiber. It also contains a healthy amount of olive oil, a source of a good fat.
  • I Say: Dip. For all the same reasons.

SALSA

  • They Say: Dip. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and vitamin A and C. Plus there are very few calories in salsa.
  • I Say: Dip. Same deal - salsa, especially homemade salsa, is a rather healthy treat. Just be a bit more careful with the store bought kind, though. It sometimes can contain more sugar and much more sodium.

It seems as though the folks over at Fitness Magazine and I don't quite see things the same way on this. I suppose we can agree to disagree.

I'll have to try to keep that mentality as I'm driving home tomorrow night.

Fewer vascular surgeries coming to Hispanics

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A new study concluded this week that Hispanics living in the U.S. have fewer vascular surgeries than other racial groups. In addition, they have less favorable outcomes as well.

Why does this happen? Experts involved in the study mentioned socioeconomic factors in the mix as well as genetic factors. Are hospitals profiling patients based on race? That's up for debate and most likely will always be.

Longer hospital recovery times and a propensity to wait before receiving treatment were specifically noted in the study. Insurance status was noted as a prime reason for the delays.

Get your antioxidants this Thanksgiving

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You know that Thanksgiving dinner is yummy. But did you also know that Thanksgiving dinner can boost your intake of important antioxidants? Yep, it's true, according to this article from eDiets. Want some examples? This Thanksgiving, stock up on these items (but in moderation, of course:)
  • Stuffing. Did you know that bread crusts have antioxidants? Yeah, me neither. But since stuffing is chalk-full of crusts and hopefully a few vegetable too, so enjoy it.
  • Cranberries. These little berries are also high in antioxidants. They're also good for your neurons. To reap their benefits best, make your own sauce instead of relying on sugar-laden canned stuff
  • Drinks. Coffee, hot cocoa and red wine each are packed with antioxidants, so drink up!
Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?

Fit Gifts: Give personalized beauty products with these gifts

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If you've got a glam girl on your Christmas list, figuring out what to get for her can be stressful. Afterall, she's probably kind of picky about the shades and scents she wears. Courtesy of The Beauty Brains, here are some DIY gift ideas for the glamour queen in your life:
  • Creative Cosmetics. With this kit, you mix your own foundations and cosmetics, and you'll learn how to properly care for your hair, nails and skin too.
  • Perfume Science Kit. With this gift, you can learn the history and science of perfume making, and you'll be able to make your own perfumes for future gifts too!
  • Ultimate Spa and Perfumery Kit. In addition to creating your own perfumes, you can make your own bath oils and spa products with this kit.
  • Spa Therapies Kit. Perfect for a ladies night, this kit brings the spa to your house.
  • Sugar Body Polish Make It Yourself Kit. Make your own sparkling, sweet-smelling body polish with this hip kit.
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The 5: Tips to get you ripped

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As far as health tips and advice go, there are literally thousands of people to ask and twice as many different answers you're sure to receive. Fortunately, there are some fairly agreed upon concepts, many of which are pretty sound.

Here's a list of five tips and pieces of advice, dealing with how to get fit and lean, that are actually worthwhile:

1. Never Eat Carbs by Themselves. This goes for both fast-digesting and slow-digesting carbs, even though it would be best to avoid eating fast-digesting carbs as much as possible to begin with. Be sure to eat a good source of fat (nuts, avocados, olive oil, flaxseed oil, etc.) and/or a source of protein along with your carb source, as doing so will slow down its digestion. The longer a food takes to digest, the more calories your body burns actually digesting it. Moreover, this will lessen the chances that your carbs will spike your insulin levels, thereby reducing the chances of fat storage.

2. Lift Weights First. If you plan to perform both a resistance training workout and a cardio workout in the same gym trip, start with the resistance training. Using this approach not only ensures that your muscles are not too fatigued from your cardio session to provide you with an adequate weightlifting session, but also helps avoid muscle catabolization.

Continue reading The 5: Tips to get you ripped

Five-year autism study starts now

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In what appears to be the largest long-term study of autism causes yet, a five-year study will commence soon that will observe genetic and environmental factors of the condition by looking at 2,700 children (maybe more) and their families.

Autism has been a hot ticket in the news this year as the CDC stated one in 150 or so children born in the U.S. have some form of autism. Naturally, this caused many would-be parents to want more information.

The study will observe children with autism and other developmental delays in addition to those with normal development.

Environmental variables like medical history, genetics, and sociodemographic, lifestyle and environmental factors will all be considered -- and it's about time. So many studies have lingering data collection issues that make conclusions a little less viable from a belief standpoint. This study looks to buck that trend.

Top 10 hospital challenges

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Every one of us could conceivably land in the hospital next year, whether it's an ER visit for a few stitches or a longer illness. As a potential future customer, you should be aware of current problems facing hospitals. The management consulting firm, Tefen USA, identifed the Top 10 Healthcare Challenges in 2008, and how hospital administrators are tackling them -- here is a sampling:

  • Emergency Department chronic overcrowding will produce wait times reaching unsupportable levels. One solution is specialized treatment centers for non-urgent patients.
  • Demand for greater transparency will have Medicare/Medicaid, insurance companies, employers and patients looking hard at hospital data. Hospital boards will focus more strongly on measuring performance. Wouldn't it be nice if a hospital handed you an itemized estimate of costs just like your auto repair shop?
  • Scheduled births, defensive medicine and a sharp drop in VBACs (vaginal birth after conception) are driving the continued rise in cesareans and induced births. As a result, hospitals are faced with slow patient turnover and less bed availability. As I was wheeled to a suburban hospital room after the birth of my first child, I'll never forget all the pregnant moms lying on gurneys up and down the hallway. I'm guessing whoever pushed out their baby first scored a room.

Dot Girl's first period kit

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Did the title of this post make you squirm? If so, then keep reading. Dot Girl's first period kit was developed by two women who had a less than perfect entry into the world of monthly cycles, and they want other young girls to have a better experience. If you just aren't sure how to have "the talk," or if you just want your daughter to have the necessary materials on hand if she's away from home when it happens, then Dot Girl's first period kit is for you and your young daughter.

Just $18, the kit includes an information booklet, a monthly cycle calendar, a small heat pack to relieve cramps, and three pads. The entire thing is small enough to fit into a purse or backpack. It doesn't beat a heart-to-heart, but it's always comforting to be prepared.

Taking a long flight this Christmas? Stretch your legs

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Flying or driving long distances this holiday season? Many of you are, and some are even heading a long-haul trips that can not only leave you uncomfortable, but can put your health at risk too if you develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT.) So what can you do you make your travels more comfortable? Here are some tips:
  • Wear loose clothing and avoid tight socks or leggings
  • Extend your feet as much as possible to increase your circulation
  • If you're driving, stop every two hours and get out of the car. If you're flying, stand up at least as often and change your position whenever possible.
  • Drink lots of water. This will keep your blood flowing and it will keep you moving -- to the bathroom!
My travel tip? Do yoga before and after the journey -- you'll feel much better.

Chocolate cravings have ancient roots indeed

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If you think that a chocolate cravings is an invention of modern times, a new archaeological find may want to dispute that fact with you. According to experts, one of the oldest traces ever of human chocolate consumption was recently found in some pottery dated back to more than 3,000 years ago.

These pottery jugs were thought to have contained a fermented chocolate concoction and were located in Honduras. Did people that long ago seek out chocolate like we do today? It appears that way -- although without all the processing modern chocolate undergoes.

The pulp of the chocolate fruit was made into a fermented drink, according to archaeologists. I'll bet that was a neat dinner companion!

AIDS pandemic slowing down globally?

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It sounds significant to hear that AIDS cases globally fell from 40 million cases in 2006 to 33.2 million this year. But, hold your thoughts for a second.

The reason given for such a decline was a measurement change as opposed to some slowdown of the AIDS pandemic that in in progress worldwide. As in many disease statistics, the change (decline) is on paper only at this point.

But, Dr. Kevin De Cock said that "For the first time, we are seeing a decline in global AIDS deaths" -- so there is a decline afoot if you trust that statement. Even so, the decline from 2006 to 2007 is said to be largely due to revised numbers from India as well as new methodologies for measurement from several countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Listen to your machine to get a better workout

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I've got my treadmill workout down to a science. Hop on, warm-up, get up to speed, do a couple of hills, and....I'm done (after a cool down, of course). But falling into an exercise rut, like the one I seem to be stuck in, isn't the best way to build fitness. Your body can adapt to your regular exercise routine, causing you to plateau and make your workouts ineffective.

One way to make sure you're challenging yourself at the gym is to keep an eye on the display on your exercise machine. Whether you're on a bike, treadmill, or elliptical, you have your own little electronic personal trainer of sorts right in front of you. By making best use of the little device, you can tweak your workout to challenge you to do your best. Women's Health has broken the code of those little display boxes, and tell us here what to look for while we're working out.

Clinton vs. Soda

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As we reported a few days ago, former president Bill Clinton is declaring war against obesity. And there's a specific target he's aiming at -- Soda in Schools. Clinton wants sugary soda to be out of schools by 2010. According to this article on Forbes, Clinton met with soda company representatives and medical experts to forge a deal.

Here's what you will be able to get in schools after the change:
  • In elementary and middle schools: water, unsweetened juice and low-fat milk
  • In high schools: diet drinks, unsweetened teas, flavored water, and low-calorie sports drinks.
This seems fair, I suppose--It would be ideal if kids would stick to water but that's not very realistic if you ask me. Still, soda companies can continue to profit from schools but supplying them low-cal drinks that are still full of chemicals and lacking in any real nutritional value. And what about those chips in the vending machine -- are they going bye-bye too?

What do you think?

Give 100% every time

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How many things in your life do you do half-assed? The house cleaning? Your job? Your yard work? I'm not laying blame here -- It's nearly impossible for us to put our all into every task we do because we're just so busy all. the. time. But my parents used to tell me that it's not worth doing something if you're going to cut corners and I've tried to live by that principle ever since.

BodyBuilding.com has a great post on the importance of putting 100% into doing everything you do. If you do, it will pay off in three respects: You'll have more time, you'll have more success and you'll be well-respected. So stop cutting corners and start reaping the rewards of a job well-done.

(via Fitbuff)

Quiznos subs: Calories disasters

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While most fast food joints post their nutritional info on their websites for potential customers to peruse before deciding what to order, Quiznos has long been a hold-out on this front. But now, according to Diet Blog, they're showing their nutritional facts, and it's pretty evident why they didn't show it in the first place: The numbers are horrendous!

For instance? The vegetarian sub, which one would consider a healthy choice, has 1220 calories and 75 g of fat. The tuna sub has 2090 cal and 175 g of fat. The classic cob salad has 1070 cal. Good lord! I'm not even kidding when I say that a bacon cheeseburger would be healthier than these sandwiches.

Life Fit with Laura Lewis: Making love last

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Being Life Fit is about your total health, including the health of all of your relationships. Life Fit is a journey, not a destination. It is a process of continuous growth: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Check in each Tuesday to Life Fit with Laura Lewis, author of "52 Ways To A Healthy You," as we explore our total life fitness. Then, weigh in with your own thoughts over at Laura's "Life Fit Chat" each Wednesday and Thursday for further discussion on the week's topic. For more information visit Laura at www.LauraLewis.com.

The holidays are such a romantic time of year ... well, actually just about all of autumn and winter are. From late November through December, we celebrate our gratitude and shower our loved ones with gifts. We take time from work to be together and to enjoy the season's romantic parties. The cold weather makes cuddling in front of the fire place, and in bed, so very cozy. Then New Year's Eve rolls around and it is more kissing at midnight and making new year wishes. And then before you know it, there it is ... Valentine's Day ... the grand-daddy of romantic holidays.

So, come spring, if you find yourself wanting to move in with your honey and begin a little nesting, keep the following tips in mind.

  1. Pay attention to the elephant in the room. Research suggests that friction in a couple's marriage can become obvious to others within only a few minutes of interacting with the unhappy couple. Yet, interestingly, there is a tendency for people to ignore their own big elephants. Psychologist John Gottman encourages couples to pay close attention to what he calls the Four Horsemen of relationship apocalypse: withdrawal, criticism, defensiveness, and contempt. Look closely at you relationship, and if you find that any of these four "horsemen" have a home in your relationship with your honey ... keep the extra address.
  2. Assumptions make for unstable bedfellows. We all have particular assumptions about the way something should be done. For example, I am maniacal about pulling the shower curtain closed after exiting the shower. I mean ... come on ... doesn't everyone do that? Well, I have found the answer to that question is a definite no! So, when you and your sweetie find yourself in angst over particular assumptions you have each made about what is the "normal" thing to do, discuss at least four options for resolving the mistaken assumption: my way, your way, our way, or both ways and then decide on something that you both can live with.
  3. Decide who wears what pants and when. Society has thankfully moved away from typical gender roles. However, you may be surprised at some of the gender role expectations you unknowingly harbor. So, for example, I am not so crazy about cooking and cleaning ... something that has stereotypically fallen on the girlie to-do list. Fortunately, my sweetie loves to do both. And fortunately, he also loves to do yard work (Boy, I lucked out!). But, I don't mind grocery shopping, nor do I mind bookkeeping. Before co-habitating, it is essential to break down the gender barriers and "get real" (as Dr. Phil would say) about what you are and are not willing to happily do, and of course, when and where you are willing to embrace compromise.
  4. Focus on the reason and not the symptoms. While it may seem impossible to imagine you and your honey ever having a disagreement, the very act of moving in together will squash that illusion rather quickly. So, when you disagree, which you will inevitably do, focus on what the real issue is and not the immediate symptom of the issue.
  5. Remember the life you had prior to your new romantic nest. All romantic relationships require the support and guidance of the community of friends and family that you relied on prior to moving in with your honey. All too often, couples get so focused on one another that they do not allow room for anyone else in their lives. This may be all fine and good for a while, but eventually you will experience a sorrow in which you need support or a joy you want to share. Keep your life outside of domesticity alive and well, for you and for those you care about.
And then ... live happily ever after.

Fit Links: A 100-mile Thanksgiving

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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.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may be preparing your menu and shopping list for the big day. We've talked a lot already here at That's Fit about how to make your holidays a little on the lighter side. While I know that Grandma's candied yams topped with an entire bag of marshmallows are a family tradition, why not try to look at Thanksgiving as a time to focus on your local harvest?

If you're interested in eating locally this Thanksgiving, check out the following links for support, ideas, and delicious recipes. Who knows...maybe you'll start a new family tradition this year!

100-mile Thanksgiving

Six tips for eating locally in winter

Menu suggestions

Stress Less: Your holiday pantry

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Nothing's more stressful during the holiday season than getting sick amid all the hoopla.

So, as you're cruising the aisles of the grocery store stocking up on canned pumpkin, flour, sugar and other "necessities", consider grabbing those infamous immunity buildings, zinc and echinacea. Stocking up on vitamin C might also be a good idea, although it is a more controversial remedy for the common cold and one must be careful about dosing with a supplement. As you're picking through the produce, throw in a few bulbs of garlic, which is believed to have antibiotic properties. If nothing else, it sure spruces up sauteed veggies and pasta sauces and can be added to olive oil for a divine bread dip.

Then, after your home perusing the net for holiday gift ideas, visit here and order some fabulous teas that reportedly aid digestion, reduce cholesterol and boost antioxidants . I also like this place, which has some nice herbal and decaf options. Even if you're skeptical of the health benefits, you can't argue that a nice hot cup of liquid does wonders for relaxation. And that can't be bad for warding off illness. As a matter of fact, might be a good gift idea too.

Continue reading Stress Less: Your holiday pantry

Daily Fit Tip: Keep the flu at bay

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The flu season varies, but in most states the peak hits between December and March. Health experts say that up to 20% of Americans will be affected by the flu in a given year, but you can take a few simple steps to prevent coming down with the nasty bug, to lessen it's symptoms, and to avoid spreading it to others:
  • Get a flu shot, preferably by November of every year.
  • Wash your hands regularly and avoid those with flu symptoms.
  • If flu symptoms start, drink lots of water and get to bed. Rest and hydration will make it easier to fight off the bug.
  • Stay home. You're contagious one day before symptoms start (not much you can do about that), and up to 5 days after you fall ill.

You Are What You Eat: Yogurt for the holidays

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Each 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!

If you scan a list of Superfoods, typically listed by doctors, nutritionists, and health magazines in alphabetical order, it will take a while before you land on yogurt. It's usually last on the list. But it's definitely not the least of these foods that allegedly enhance health, defy aging, and impede the progression of all sorts of illness and disease.

Just consider the dairy protein, the calcium, the friendly bacteria, the scrumptious taste, and the creamy texture and you've got one super health food. Add vitamins, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics -- intended to help control both weight and regularity -- and WOW, yogurt packs quite a nutritional punch. Go organic, and you'll enjoy less sugar; fat; and artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

Continue reading You Are What You Eat: Yogurt for the holidays

What to eat before a big meeting to remain sharp and focused

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Almost nobody I know prepares for a large meeting or presentation by thinking about nutrition preparation. Most are honing PowerPoint slides and talking to themselves in a mirror.

But, if you want to remain sharp and focused in that meeting, how about seeking out foods to eat beforehand that will give you the mental edge as that competing salesperson drones on about quota smashing?

Try some mango salsa on whole-wheat bread along with a fresh dash of blueberries on the side. Also, an entree of chicken may help cognitive performance, seeing as poultry proteins help get some needed neurotransmitters firing as good as they can be.

Reduce and replace key to healthy eating

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It's time -- time for that spread of holiday food and its accompanying butter, cream, sugar, and salt. Is it even possible to practice health-minded cooking during such a time? Of course it is, say chefs and dietitians, who agree that most recipes can be modified to increase their health value without sacrificing taste.

"Reduce and replace" -- that's the key, says Darlene Dougherty, former president of the American Dietetic Association. She's not talking major recipe overhauls here, just minor nips and tucks. Here are some of her easy, anytime tips.
  • Replace butter with unsaturated oils such as olive, canola, and soy oil.
  • Use non-fat or low-fat milk instead of whole milk and opt for reduced fat cheeses too.
  • Substitute lean cuts of meat for fatty ones. Remove fatty skins.
  • Bake, boil, and steam rather than fry. Sauté with a dash of oil, wine, or tomato puree.
  • Cut back on egg yolks, which are high in fat and cholesterol.
  • Start with less fat, sugar, and salt and then adjust for taste.
  • Season with herbs, spices, lemon juice, or minced tangy vegetables, instead of salt and butter.
  • Forgo cream-based soups, sauces, and gravies, or make them with skim milk. Choose vegetable-based soups and sauces.
  • For baked goods, use applesauce or other fruit purees for butter and oil -- this maintains fluffiness. Cut back on sugar by one-half or more.

Continue reading Reduce and replace key to healthy eating

Water in, sweat out: Finding a balance

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There's a lot of conflicting information out there about how much water to drink every day. Some people swear by the 8x8 rule (eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day), while others say you should only drink when you're thirsty. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Water needs are very individual and depend on things like your weight and activity level. The newest advice tells us that to know if we're drinking enough, we need to look in the toilet. If you can see your pee -- or if it's darker than a pale yellow -- it's time to drink up.

When you're exercising -- especially if you're exercising strenuously -- those hydration rules become even more important, and a little complicated. Fortunately, Women's Health has done a lot of research for you already. Take a look at what they have to say and find out if you're getting enough to drink, or if you need to refill that water bottle a little more often.

Speaking of water bottles, plastic is out. Here's a few of my favorite reusable water bottles for all of your fitness needs. (Pssst...they make great holiday gifts as well!)

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Fit Gifts: Winter skivvies

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If you need a gift for someone who loves an outdoor winter workout, think base layer. We tend to invest in sharp outerwear before ever buying long underwear, but a high-performance base layer is exactly what you need to stay warm and dry on that cold winter jog.

Sitting next to your skin, a base layer should wick perspiration away to the outer layer to evaporate. Cotton is a poor performer -- stick to silk, wool or synethetics. Here are a few brands to consider, keep in mind you can purchase lightweight, midweight and heavyweight base layers:

So sneak a peek in your friend or loved one's underwear drawer and see if a new base layer might be in order. If the old pair is pilled, torn or -- eegads -- made of cotton, you've found yourself a gift idea. They'll never see it coming.

The law on leftovers

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If you like your turkey, stuffing, and gravy better the second time around, you'll want to get your Thanksgiving goodies in the fridge within two hours of eating, says Kathy Bernard of the USDA meat and poultry Hotline. Fruit pies with no dairy can stay out (be warned: they may get moldy), but the other stuff must be kept chilly.

A few good food-storing options, recommended by the product experts at Reader's Digest, include Tupperware's Heat N Serve line -- it has a valve perfect for reheating -- and Stuffables, built to fit odd-shaped foods like a turkey leg.

If you're looking for good and secure stackers, give Rubbermaid's Premier containers a try. And for more on making use of leftovers, check out these Reader's Digest resources.

Infants from obese mothers have higher mortality risk

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If you're obese and are thinking of becoming pregnant (or already are) a recent report in the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology states that you may have a heightened risk of having your infant die soon after birth.

If your pregnancy is complicated by premature rupture of membranes (PROM) , then the risk rises more.

The reason, according to Danish medical officials, has to do with premature infants that are less protected from many maladies if born to obese mothers.

In other words, ensuring you're not obese when trying to become pregnant would be a wise decision if at all possible. A healthy pregnancy is almost always a good pregnancy.

Men: Who is most likely to live to 100?

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A recent review of World War I draft cards, done by the University of Chicago's Center on Aging, revealed some interesting clues about what it takes to live to be 100. Researchers found that, in that group of men at least, those who lived to be centenarian's were most likely to:
  • be farmers
  • have four or more children
  • have a thin or medium build
  • be born to women under the age of 25
These findings are at odds with other recent studies, and health experts say they deserve a closer look. Whether or not these same characteristics would help you reach 100 in today's world is unclear. Some theorize that farmers had better sanitation than city dwellers in the late 19th century (when these men would have been born), or that the hard work of farming helped men stay trim and healthy. Others think that having more children means having better support late in life, though other studies have linked more offspring with a shorter life span.

What do you think of this finding?

Home for the hell-idays: Resolving conflict with your college-age child

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Over the course of the next day or two, college students everywhere will be arriving back on their parents' doorstep for the holiday, many of them returning home for the first time since the term began. Parents looking forward to a happy reunion may get a shock, however, when the child they sent off to school returns a young adult struggling for independence. After months of living on their own, college students might have a hard time readjusting to Mom and Dad's house rules.

There are a few things you can do to make sure everyone gets along, say health experts. With a little preparation and a lot of respect, you can have the happy holiday you're hoping for.


Continue reading Home for the hell-idays: Resolving conflict with your college-age child

Angie Harmon: Looking good, without the gym

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Actress Angie Harmon looks stunning on the cover of this month's Shape Magazine. She's slim and toned, with the kind of body that many women would kill to have. But within the covers of the magazine, she reveals something verrrrry interesting: She doesn't go to the gym. What's more, her diet consists of lots of Southern food, which is notoriously high in calories.

So how does someone look that good without going to the gym? The mom of two and star of Women's Murder Club credits good genes and moderate portions of the food she eats. She also tries to feed her family only organic, healthy foods and they try to avoid sugar. As for fitness? She gets activity in by playing with her kids and planning active family outings on the weekends.

What do you think? Do you believe that moderate eating and playing with the kids can give you a killer body?

More stress compounds heart disease risk, say experts

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Think that stress is just mental? According to a new study, having large amounts of stress in life (stressors) leads to an increased risk for heart disease. In the case of women, this relationship is even stronger than in men.

In the study, it was found that women often faced clustered risk factors as associated with higher levels of stress when compared to men. Is that because women worry about so many other things than their male counterparts? Possibly.

But, according to the research, women saw an increased correlation between stress and heart disease because that stress often led to obesity more than in men.

Fit Gifts: Great gifts for yoga enthusiasts

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If you've got a fitness-minded person on your holiday gift list, why not try introducing them to a new kind of exercise? With fitness being so heavily focused on cardio and strength training, all-important stretching is often left out. Exercises that incorporate stretching -- like yoga or Pilates -- are the perfect way to bring flexibility back to your fitness routine.

Here are a few gift ideas for the yoga newbie on your list, or for a yoga enthusiast who just needs an upgrade:
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The 5: healthy things about cinnamon

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Cinnamon is one of those spices that can liven up many dishes. And while tasty things often aren't good for you, this is one exception -- Cinnamon is exceedingly healthy. It has a number of benenfits, according to The Healthy Snacks Blog, including these top five:
  1. Cinnamon has antifungal, antibacterial and antiparasitic properties. This means it can help fight yeast infections, lice and ulcers.
  2. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties. It can reduce your chances of strokes and heart disease.
  3. Cinnamon can help lower bad cholesterol and it can help manage blood sugar levels and diabetes.
  4. Cinnamon is an excellent source of manganese, dietary fiber, iron and calcium.
  5. Smelling Cinnamon can improve your memory.
So enjoy cinnamon, but make sure you do it in moderation -- it can be toxic in large doses. And please note that large, doughy cinnamon buns are not an ideal source of cinnamon -- but they're a great source of fat and calories.

How do you use cinnamon in your food?

FDA to possibly regulate salt inside processed foods?

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When eating that hearty Thanksgiving meal this Thursday, rest assured that many of the items being eaten will probably have an extra helping of sodium. Are you feeling that blood pressure rise already?

Unfortunately, the majority of processed foods use sodium and other items to give foods that desirable taste after months spent in a box or can (or frozen), but more often than not, there's too much sodium in there. Well, unless you prefer to share those individually-wrapped portions with someone else.

Gravy, potato mixes and other holiday items sometimes contain more than enough sodium for an entire day, so when considering those salty portions this Thanksgiving day, you may want to cut back on some of them if your blood pressure is already above average. And be aware -- the FDA is considering regulation of sodium in foods, which would be to the benefit of those unaware of all the salt they're eating every day.