Saturday, October 22, 2011

Seven Lifestyle Changes To Live Up To 100 Years Old

1. GET ACTIVE: Inactivity can shave almost four years off a person's expected lifespan. People who are physically inactive are twice as likely to be at risk for heart disease or stroke.

2. KNOW AND CONTROL CHOLESTEROL LEVELS: High blood cholesterol can lead to the build up of fatty deposits in your arteries - increasing your risk for heart disease and stroke.

3. FOLLOW A HEALTHY DIET: Eating a healthy diet including plenty of fruit and vegetables is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health.

4. KNOW AND CONTROL BLOOD PRESSURE: High blood pressure is often called a 'silent killer' because it has no warning signs or symptoms. By knowing and controlling your blood pressure, you can cut your risk of stroke by up to 40 per cent and the risk of heart attack by up to 25 per cent.

5. ACHIEVE AND MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT: Almost two thirds of Britons are either overweight or obese − major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Being obese can reduce your life span by almost four years.

6. MANAGE DIABETES: Diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), coronary artery disease, and stroke, particularly if your blood sugar levels are poorly controlled.

7. BE TOBACCO FREE: Half of all long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. As soon as you become smoke-free, your risk of heart disease and stroke begins to decrease. After 15 years, your risk will be nearly that of a non-smoker.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

What Your Pee Says About Your Health

It's kind of an embarrassing topic, but you've probably noticed that your urine isn't always the same. Sometimes it's lighter, sometimes it's darker, sometimes it's clear, sometimes it's cloudy. So what's causing the changes, and what do they say about your health? We asked London-based physician Lauren A. Bumby, MD, what to look for when you "gotta go."

Your urine can give you a general idea about your health status -- more specifically, your hydration. A lighter color is definitely better than a dark color. When our urine turns dark (like the color of iced tea), that either means you are dehydrated or your kidneys may not be working properly. Our urine turns dark when we are dehydrated because the kidney regulates our water balance. It senses that we need to retain water and therefore it decreases the amount of urine we make. The less water we get rid of and the less water that we have in our urine, the more concentrated the urine becomes and it turns darker. Ideally, urine should be either light yellow or clear.

Frequency and control
Frequency of urination could mean several things. It could mean a urinary tract infection, diabetes, drinking a lot of water, caffeine or alcohol. But it also could be the result of pregnancy -- natural childbirth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, which control the urine flow. A common problem is "stress incontinence" -- a loss of bladder control with coughing, sneezing or laughing. This can happen as a result of the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. "Kegel exercises" (in which you squeeze, hold and release your pelvic muscles) can help to strengthen these muscles so bladder control is improved. Other options to improve bladder control include surgery or medications.

The odor of your urine could really change depending upon your diet. For instance, everyone knows that asparagus causes a rather unusual smell. Unless you have other symptoms such as frequency, urgency, burning and pain, then the odor does not matter too much.

Red flags
Several red flags that indicate something more serious may be wrong (such as kidney dysfunction or bladder disease) are blood in the urine, persistent dark tea-colored urine, pain with urination, strong odor to the urine and excessive urination.

Your health in general
Overall general good health will improve bladder health, including eating fruits and vegetables, drinking enough water, exercising and maintaining a healthy body weight. The classic advice is to drink eight glasses of water each day, but more or less may be necessary due to your diet, activity level and body weight. The most important thing is to monitor the color of your urine, make sure you never feel thirsty (which means you are already dehydrated), maintain a healthy body mass index and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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Behind-the-scenes secrets of food commercials

by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff, on Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:43pm PDT
Here's a look at some of the smoke and mirrors used by industry insiders to make food better looking in print and on camera.

It's not easy to get that perfectly frothy head on a pint of beer.
Sometimes you need a little help from silicone gel mixed with powder and water.

There's just something about a steaming hot plate of food.
So directors rely on a clothing steaming machine, just out of view, to provide that oven-fresh effect.

A little shoe polish never hurt.

The brown buffer stain you use to shine your loafers also makes raw meat look "just-out-of-the-roaster succulent," says Kamps.

Ice cubes will never look this good
That's because they're usually made from acrylic or plastic, for the express purpose of portraying un-meltable ice on camera. A single cube can cost up to $500.

Sometimes it's really motor oil,
according to Haje Jan Kamps, a photo editor who exposed food stylist tricks for the website Pixiq.

Ice cream isn't always what it seems.
“We used lard and Karo syrup for an ice cream client,” David Deahl, a tabletop director, told the Times. “The lights we have melt the product so quickly that it’s impossible to make ice cream look like ice cream. So we got permission from our client to fake it.”

And how do they keep pasta from slipping off that fork?
Glue. It's that simple. The white Elmer's stuff is particularly useful for fixing pies and for standing in as cereal milk too.

Foods that keep you smelling sweet

Antioxidant-rich tea is the wonder drink du jour and, as it turns out, it’s also good at keeping stinky feet in check. The tannic acids found in both green and black teas will help keep your feet dry, thus preventing the root of your foot odor problem: perspiration. According to Dr. Youner, when the naturally-occurring bacteria on your skin interact with your feet's perspiration, the result is the equivalent of an odorous perfect storm in your shoe. But, if you can limit the moisture, you can impede stink. To help keep feet sweat-free, make a pot of tea and pour it into a tub big enough to fit both tootsies. Once it has cooled, soak feet for 10 minutes. Since the tannins in tea are less drying than the acids in vinegar, you can try this remedy once a day. However, Dr. Youner adds, if your skin starts to feel parched, then ease off to every other day. Note: Tea leaves may stain skin, but a quick wash with soap and water will remove discoloration .Ever slipped off your shoes at the end of the day and noticed they smell—ahem—ripe? That’s because closed-toe shoes tend to corral odors. “It’s normal and natural for feet to perspire, but tight, unbreathable shoes trap sweat that eventually causes them to stink,” Dr. Youner says. Cornstarch is a good fix for the problem because the powder absorbs excess moisture and neutralizes odor; plus, its soft granules are more comfortable on feet than traditional baking soda. Beat the stink by sprinkling cornstarch into your shoes as soon as you get home.

Thought to be an all-natural cure for just about everything (from digestive issues to weight loss), apple cider vinegar's ability to tame smelly feet is one home remedy that's doctor-approved. “Apple cider vinegar kills bacteria and dries excess sweat, the two main causes of foot odor,” says New York City-based podiatrist Johanna Youner, DPM. “It’s a really good, effective and cheap cure,” she adds. This pantry staple's bacteria-killing power comes from its abundant levels of acetic acid and phenolics, a chemical compound with high acidity content. To remove foul odors from your feet, add a ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to a quart of lukewarm water and soak feet for 20 minutes; repeat twice a week, if necessary. Shocked to learn that the secret to curing your BO might actually be smelly seafood? The truth is that the state of your gastrointestinal tract is closely linked to your skin, Dr. Colbert says. Studies, including one conducted by scientists in Prague and published in the journal Chemical Senses, show that red meat is associated with bad body odor, which is why Dr. Colbert suggests eating white fish instead. “As the body breaks down the proteins in meat, your skin produces unpleasant odors. That doesn’t happen when you metabolize fish,” he says. Smell fresh (but not fishy) by adding white fish, such as tilapia, halibut and cod, to your diet and limiting your consumption of red meat.

More than just a refreshing snack, eating fresh citrus, such as lemons and oranges, can also help limit musky smells that may be lingering on your skin, according to David Colbert, MD, a dermatologist and internist in New York City and author of The High School Reunion Diet. “The acids in citrus fruits help flush water through your body. And because citrus also contains fiber, they move through your system slowly and flush out toxins that contribute to body odors,” he explains. So, if your eau de body is starting to get a little embarrassing, try eating grapefruit at breakfast or digging into a juicy, sweet orange for dessert.

Is your post-dinner garlic breath pungent enough to ward off a family of vampires? Next time, drink a glass of milk with your meal, suggests a 2010 study from Ohio State University. “We found that drinking beverages with high water and some fat content, like milk, may help reduce garlic breath and mask the garlic odor during eating,” says researcher Sheryl Barringer, PhD. Both fat-free and whole milk reduced the sulphur compounds in garlic that are the cause of its strong smell, but whole milk got the best results, perhaps because fat is more effective at neutralizing odors.

Some fresh herbs, such as parsley, peppermint and spearmint, are nature’s version of a dinner mint: The strong oils contained within them help to overpower nose-offending scents. “These herbs can act like a mouthwash to temporarily mask odors. Plus, they leave behind a pleasant aroma,” says Sally Cram, DDS, a Washington, DC-based periodontist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association. So go ahead and munch on that parsley garnish after dinner—even though the results will only last for a few minutes, it's better than nothing at all

Vera Wang’s black wedding dresses

A traditional style in a not-so-traditional color
It's bridal season, and all the big name designers are already presenting their offerings for Fall 2012. Vera Wang is by far one of the biggest names in the wedding world, and many of her gowns were far from traditional. While we've seen short wedding dresses and even colorful wedding dresses this year, we were really surprised to see black dresses! Wang presented seven dark gowns with the idea that some traditions are meant to be broken. Surely white bridal attire is going nowhere, but we're always excited to see something different. But what kind of statement would a black wedding dress make?

This silhouette and dramatic color certainly makes a statement but it would take the right woman to pull it off.

Oscar gown, or modern wedding dress? Perhaps it could work for both?

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The Secret to Looking 5 Pounds Thinner -- Without Dieting

by BeautyRiot Diva, on Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:41pm PDT

Secret #1: Wear (the right) horizontal stripes
According to fashion editor Stephanie Rygorsky, "Horizontal stripes make your body look wider, but you can take that knowledge and use it to your advantage." For example, if you want to play up your bustline, choose a shirt with horizontal stripes across the chest, or if you want to define your waist, choose a dress with a horizontal bar of color through the waistline.

However, many fashion bloggers are also quick to point out that horizontal stripes can work -- you just need to consider the other elements of the stripe.

• How far apart (and wide) are the stripes? Narrow to medium wide stripes tend to slim, while big stripes can do the opposite.
• How much contrast is there between the stripe and the background? Typically, the more contrast, the harder it is to pull off a horizontal stripe.
• Is the stripe distorted or a classic straight stripe? A distorted stripe may help slim, depending on the pattern.

Secret #2: Pair a black top with a colored skirt
Any A-cups reading probably won't get this, but sometimes women want to downplay their bustline. Luckily, there are ways to minimize a large chest that don't involve a breast reduction.

To make your bust appear smaller, Rygorsky suggests drawing attention to your bottom half. "Try wearing a black top with a bright colored skirt or a black form-fitting dress with a great pair of colorful (something like purple or red) tall high-heeled boots."
Secret #3: Go for a flattering neckline
When it comes to a large bust, your neckline can also make a big difference. According to fashion stylist Adeel Khan, the most flattering for a large bust is a boatline neckline. The exposed shoulders and collarbone help balance out a large bust, while not revealing too much cleavage.

And if you're going for a more professional look with a button up shirt, make sure there are no gapping holes between the buttons in the bust area. "If you can't find a button down shirt in your size, buy a few sizes up and have it altered to give you shape," says fashion stylist Keylee Sander.
Secret #4: Try a tall, nude heel

Want supermodel legs? Well, I've got some good news and some bad news. The bad news: Unless you have a late life growth spurt, it's probably not going to happen. The good news: You can always fake it. How? All our experts agree that a high heel or platform shoe is the most basic way to visually extend your leg.

According to Rygorsky, "The taller the heel, the more elongated your body appears, and if you can find heels that are close to your skin tone, all the better." Click here to find the best shoes for your body type.

Secret #5: Think monochromatic
Need one more trick when it comes to visually lengthening the leg? Try a monochromatic outfit. "If you wear the same exact color top, bottom, and shoes, this tricks the eye into thinking that you're taller, longer, and leaner," says Rygorsky. Since there are no other colors, your body isn't visually broken into different proportions.

Secret #6: Wear head-to-toe black with a pop of color

You've probably heard this popular fashion slimming tip: Always wear black. While it's probably the most repeated of all classic fashion rules, it's also the one with the most truth. "Wearing head-to-toe black makes you look thinner than just about anything else. If you ever want a no-fail look, just go for all black," says Rygorsky.

Khan is also a big fan of black and says it definitely slims the body. But he also warns that an all black outfit can get a bit boring. His advice: "If you're wearing all black make sure to add bright accessories."


Monday, October 17, 2011


Know your limits. Your supply of willpower is limited so you may start each day with a renewed stock, but things will gradually deplete it.

If you sense your glucose levels are low, reach for a low GI snack, such as a handful of blueberries or nuts.

Pick your battles. You can’t control the stresses in your life, but you can make sure you’re not trying to diet at the same time as giving up alcohol and starting a new job.

Don’t get stuck in a routine. To break a habit like smoking, do it on holiday when you’re far away from the people, places and events you associate with cigarettes.

When you set a goal, have a reward for reaching it. Never underestimate how little it takes to motivate.

Remember, what matters is the exertion not the outcome. If you struggle with temptation and then give in, your reserves of willpwoer are still depleted because you struggled.

Food trends men hate

by Sarah B. Weir, Yahoo! blogger, on Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:24pm PDT

Tableside guacamole

“They charge you 20 bucks for the show. Whatever happened to happened to regular guac, which was the same thing, only made in the kitchen and cost less than 10 dollars?”

--Ken, systems analyst


“Tofu just doesn’t make sense. The texture is vile, and there is no flavor. Weirdest of all is that it’s odorless — that’s a big thing with food, it needs to have a smell."

--Titus, student


No meat, no fish, no milk, no cheese, no eggs. “Where’s dinner?”

--Ed, film producer

Fancy rolls such as brioche or sourdough with hamburgers

“Too much bread and you lose the meat.”

--Paul, teacher


Men may prefer classic, thin burger buns, but don’t make that bun too small.

“If a chef can’t come up with a better idea than sliders, it's time to get a new job. Leave the nickname for those greasy little White Castle burgers that can be tasty late at night when you are in the mood.”

--Jack, restaurant owner

Raw food

“It's food for squirrels, not for humans.”

--Pablo, investment banker

Sushi with brown rice

Sushi is already a little dainty and/or gross for some men, and now some restaurants are taking it up a notch.

“People have dietary restrictions and personal preferences, but brown rice can be such a status statement: ‘I’m not going to eat those two little teaspoons of white rice with my sushi because brown rice is so much healthier (and so am I).’ Really? Just eat the two teaspoons of white rice and live a little.”

--Gary, writer

Endless menu descriptions

“I really don’t need to know that the pork I’m considering ordering once ate organic grass on a free range portion of Ma and Pa Kettle’s farm. The quality of the dish should speak for itself.”

--Connor, hospitality industry ex-pat


As cute and yummy as they are to the ladies, cupcakes are not so popular among the XY chromosome set.

“The ratio of frosting to cake is all off. And you look like a little girl eating them.”

--Richard, lawyer

Macarons (French macaroons)

“If eating cupcakes didn’t make me look ridiculous enough, how am I supposed to walk around eating a macaron? I know — let’s go shopping and while you are in the changing room, I’ll hold your purse. At least that’s more masculine then a macaron.”

--Joe, salon owner

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

7 Tips for Quicker Kitchen Cleanup

1. Cook in the dish you intend to serve out of. Dutch ovens are a favorite because they go directly from the oven to the table in style. Just don't forget to use a trivet.

2. Stop using different knives for everything you cut. Buy one good, sharp knife and use it for everything.

3. Get your timing down. If you're using prep bowls, put ingredients that eventually get added together anyway into one bowl--no need to separate them into five containers. If you're roasting vegetables, use one tray for everything.

4. Speaking of timing, use your down time effectively. If your meat is browning, wash a dish. Caramelizing onions? Wash two. And once food is braising in the oven, finish the rest.

5. Don't use 10 dishes when one will do. When it comes to utensils, for example, use the spoon you're stirring with to fill your tasting spoon. That way, instead of dipping your spoon into that soup, then in your mouth, then into the sink for cleaning, you can keep reusing that same spoon without contaminating the meal with your...essence.

6. Rinse measuring spoons, cups, and mixing bowls as you go and reuse them instead of reaching for new ones.

7. Better yet, buy a scale and never wash another measuring tool again. Measuring by weight means you can pour everything directly into your (one!) mixing bowl.

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15 new uses for tea

1. Clean carpets: Clean up musty, dirty carpets by sprinkling dry, used green tea leaves on the carpet. Let them work their magic for about 10 minutes, then vacuum them up. Delicate Persian and Oriental rugs can also benefit from a sprinkling of tea leaves. In this case, sprinkle nearly dry, used whole tea leaves on the rugs, and gently sweep them away.

2. Shine wood floors: The tannins in black tea can help shine and color hardwood flooring. Follow your regular floor cleaning routine by carefully rubbing some brewed tea into the floor (don’t use too much water on hardwood flooring) and letting it air dry.

3. Polish furniture: Brewed tea also can help clean and shine wood furniture. The tannins in tea will re-color light spots and scratches in wood surfaces. Dip a soft cloth in a small amount of strongly-brewed tea, and use it to wipe down scratched tables, chairs, and more. Woodworker Jim McNamara suggested using "regular orange pekoe (Lipton's) or other dark tea" in Woodworker's Gazette.

4. Clean mirrors and windows: Tea can remove stubborn, greasy fingerprints from glass, and make it sparkle. Simply rub a damp teabag on the glass or fill a spray bottle with brewed tea.

5. Clean toilet stains: Rumor has it that used tea leaves can magically remove stubborn stains in the bottom of the toilet bowl. Just leave them in the toilet for several hours, then flush the toilet and brush the bowl.

6. Soothe a sunburn: Tea can soothe sunburns and other minor burns. Dr. Oz suggests sponging sunburned skin with "cooled chamomile tea" for it's anti-inflammatory effect. Don't try this if skin is broken.

7. Soothe tired eyes: Warm, wet tea bags can reduce puffiness and soothe pain around tired eyes — and tea bags on your eyes look a little less ridiculous than cucumber slices.

8. Soothe bleeding gums: After a tooth extraction or when an older child loses a tooth, try putting a cold, wet tea bag in the mouth where the tooth was lost and bite down on it. According to the Cleveland Clinic, "The tannic acid in tea helps healing blood clots to form (blood clots function similarly to a scab on an open wound). It can reduce bleeding and soothe pain."

9. Shine dry hair: Brewed tea makes a good conditioner for dry hair. Rinse with (unsweetened) tea and leave to dry for a while, then rinse again with water.

10. Improve skin: The Mayo Clinic suggests that herbal tea ingredients chamomile and calendula can help soothe dermatitis when prepared as a topical cream. Consult with a qualified health practitioner before using these remedies.

11. Soothe acne: Some acne sufferers swear by washing their faces with green tea because of its mildly antiseptic properties. Dr. Andrew Weil suggests washing with calendula flower tea as a natural alternative to benzoyl peroxide.

12. Tenderize meat: Marinate tough meat in black tea to make it more tender.

13. Add to compost: Pouring strong tea into a compost bin will help speed up the process and encourage more friendly bacteria to grow, improving the compost.

14. Help houseplants: Occasionally use brewed tea instead of water to feed ferns and other houseplants that like rich, acidic soil. Spread used tea leaves around rosebushes, then add mulch and water. The tannic acid and other nutrients will benefit the plants. A few used teabags in the bottom of a planter can help the soil retain water, and adds valuable nutrients.

15. Dye fabrics: Green and black teas have long been used in dyes for fabric and paper, particularly for generating a beige, faux-antique look.

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