Monthly Archives: April 2015

April 2015
White or brown? Are you convinced that brown rice truly is superior to white? Let’s look at the differences. Brown rice is brown because it’s got the bran on it. White rice is just rice with the bran and germ removed. The germ is extremely susceptible to rancidity, which is bad because of the very high content of polyunsaturated fat it contains, which is easily oxidized, and leads to all sorts of problematic reactions in the body. Great. Leave it out, then. The bran is good for pretty much nothing but fiber. But, you know what? (Oh, man — brace yourselves! Major violation of politically-correct nutrition advice, coming your way!) FIBER IS NOT GOD’S GREATEST GIFT TO NUTRIENT-KIND. Many people eat way, way too much fiber, which can lead to serious digestive disorders, and even colon cancer. Read Fiber Menace for more information on that. I’m not saying we should be afraid of it, but if you’re finding the need to intentionally force yourself to eat more of it, like in fibery brown rice, there’s a bigger issue you’re not dealing with. So, everyone choking down their Fiber-One cereals and psyllium husks really aren’t doing themselves any favors at all. And the only reason they’re constipated is because their metabolism sucks! (Which you can fix!) Healthy people don’t need tons of fiber, and they generally don’t need to go out of their way looking for it. Fiber. Check. Don’t need it. What else is there? Oh, alright, fine. There are some nutrients in rice bran. Some B vitamins, some minerals, amino acids, blah, blah — yes, most naturally-occurring foods have nutrients. And along with those nutrients, quite a lot of anti-nutrients are all up in your brown rice bran, too!

Stop the Hate! Brown Rice Really isn’t All That Great.

Yeah, so, that other thing that the rice bran has to bestow upon our righteously-healthy-whole-grain-eating selves?   Phytic acid! Yes. The primary anti-nutrient we traditional foodies work so hard to negate by soaking, sprouting, or fermenting our grains. Rice bran is very high in phytic acid, which binds to minerals in your body and leaches them out of you. What’s that you say? Just soak the rice, as you would traditionally prepare other whole grains, and the phytic acid will be neutralized? Not according to one of the biggest phytic acid haters of all time (and one of the most knowledgable experts on the subject), author of Cure Tooth Decay, Ramiel Nagel. He says that soaking brown rice does very little to neutralize it, and that before we had machines to make white rice, traditional people used to pound the rice up with a mortar and pestle and then sift out the bran, making the available minerals more absorbable since the phytic acid in the bran is removed. Smart! So, let’s recap. The phytic acid in rice lives in the bran. White rice doesn’t have it. The only other thing the bran is good for is fiber, which you really probably don’t need, and can harm you when eaten in excess. And the germ is filled with easily-oxidized PUFA oils. Also not present in white rice.
Starting to see where I’m coming from with my love for this much-maligned “processed” grain?

White Rice Nutrition: Starch is Super

So, what are we left with when we take away the oily, rancid germ and the mineral-depleting phytic acid from our little friend, the grain of rice? The endosperm. Which is essentially pure starch. Sadly, this has become somewhat of a dirty word in the world of nutrition. People who advocate low-carb and so-called “ancestral” diets often like to say that starch is toxic because it breaks down into glucose, which raises insulin, which can cause problems like insulin resistance. Here’s the thing, though, about our bodies. We run on glucose. It’s our primary fuel source, and we need it. And glucose from carbohydrates like starch doesn’t actually cause insulin resistance at all. In fact, it’s a huge part of the diet of many, many healthy traditional cultures.
“There are literally billions of people eating high-starch diets worldwide, and you can find many examples of cultures that consume a large percentage of calories from starch where obesity, metabolic problems and modern, inflammatory disease are rare or nonexistent. These include the Kitava in the Pacific Islands, Tukisenta in the Papa New Guinea Highlands and Okinawans in Japan among others. The Kitavan diet is 69% carb, 21% fat, and 10% protein. The Okinawan diet is even more carb-heavy, at 85% carb, 9% protein and 6% fat. The Tukisenta diet is astonishingly high in carbohydrate: 94.6% according to extensive studies in the 60s and 70s. All of these cultures are fit and lean with low and practically non-existent rates of heart disease and other modern chronic disease.Chris Kresser, L.Ac;
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not advocating low-fat or 95% carb or anything, here (and neither is Chris). It’s just important that we understand that starch is a nutrient in its own right, eating lots of it can be congruent with health and leanness, and it doesn’t have to be eaten only in “moderation.” White rice is an excellent source of healthful starch and supplies the body with needed glucose. Oh and also? Getting plenty of glucose flowing into your body is a hugely important part of fixing a slow metabolism. My mother, who’s been using Diet Recovery to raise her body temperatures, heal hypothyroidism, and improve her metabolism, says that nothing gets her temperature rising (literally) quite like white rice. A scoop or two of the stuff and she’s one burnin’ hot mama. I’m not surprised. It’s a great source of quick, easily digestible glucose. White rice to the metabolic rescue!

So Which Rice is Best?

Some types of rice are actually more nutritious than others. In general, it’s better to go with the long-grain varieties of white rice. Long-grain varieties are supposed to be nutritionally superior to plainer, short-grain types of rice. Really though, the differences probably aren’t huge. It’s all basically the same thing — starch. Long grain basmati and jasmine are the tastiest to me, so that’s what I usually eat, but I’m all for some sticky sweet rice now and again, too.  Original Article

April 2015
Treadmill Desk By: Laura Geggel Published: 02/11/2015 10:15 AM EST on LiveScience Desks that have built-in treadmills may help people walk more at the office, but workers who use the equipment still don’t get enough exercise to meet recommendations, a new study finds. And in fact, treadmill desks pose a number of logical challenges that may be hard for companies to accommodate, ranging from uncooperative supervisors to scheduling problems, the researchers found. “Treadmill desks aren’t an effective replacement for regular exercise, and the benefits of the desks may not justify the cost and other challenges that come with implementing them,” the study’s lead researcher John Schuna Jr., an assistant professor of exercise and sports science at Oregon State University, said in a statement. In the study, researchers recruited 41 overweight and obese people with desk jobs at a private health insurance company. The scientists randomly assigned 21 of these people to use shared treadmill desks, and 20 of the people to a control group with regular desks. Those in the treadmill group did not use the treadmill desks at all times, but rather signed up for specific time slots. [Beyond Vegetables and Exercise: 5 Surprising Ways to Be Heart Healthy] The employees who used the treadmill desks walked about 1,600 more steps than the control group daily, the study found. However, those with treadmill desks did not report any significant weight loss or changes in their body mass index after 12 weeks, according to the study published in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The workers used the treadmills about half of the time they were supposed to, averaging one 45-minute session daily on the equipment, Schuna said. Still, the machines have gained popularity among workers who sit at their desks all day. “There’s been a societal shift to more sedentary work,” and people are not exercising more during their leisure time to make up for this shift, Schuna said. “We were trying to identify ways we could increase physical activity and combat the decline in occupational physical activity we’ve seen in the past 50 years.” The workers found that it was often difficult to get 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity on a treadmill desk several times a week, the amount recommended by public health authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On average, the workers in the study walked at about 1.8 miles an hour (2.9 kilometers an hour), a speed that equates to light exercise. There may be somecardiovascular benefits to such light walking, but people need to engage in more intense exercise to reverse the negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle, Schuna said. “One of the challenges with the treadmill desk is that it needs to be [a] lower-intensity activity so employees can still perform their work duties, Schuna said. The researchers faced several challenges during the study, including recruiting employees. Though the researchers targeted 700 employees at the company, only 10 percent showed an interest. Some people could not participate because they did not receive permission from their supervisors, the researchers said. The researchers also noted that the workers in the study had to share the treadmill desks, and it was difficult to schedule the time slots to use the equipment. The nature of the employees’ work also kept them at their regular desks, even though the company encouraged the use of the treadmills, the researchers said. More research is needed to find the best way to implement treadmill desks or other exercise interventions into the workplace, Schuna said. “We need to identify some form of physical activity that can be done simply and at a low cost in an office setting,” he said.   Follow Laura Geggel on Twitter @LauraGeggel. Follow Live Science @livescience,Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

April 2015
While running, we sometimes get stitch/ cramps on one of the sides of stomach or lower side of the rib cage, especially on the left side. It is a really annoying pain which slows us down considerably or worse, force us to stop the physical activity. However, it is a very small problem as it goes away once we slow down or stop running completely. But it is very annoying!

Causes of Side Stitch

The accurate cause of a side stitch while running is still not clear. A side stitch is a sharp pain in the abdomen, usually to a side, just below the ribs. 1.  As per NCBI research on side stitch on 10 runners, where they were made to undergo 5 minutes bouts of hard running with drinking 4 different kinds of liquid.  They concluded that a possible cause of side stitch may be liquid filled gut which tugs at the visceral ligaments. 2. Another research by Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport states that a possible reason for side stitch may be spinal misalignment in the thoraic region. How crazy does it sound! It is also seen that the problem of side stitch strikes a novice runner more than an experienced one. And eating a heavy meal or a fatty meal just before running have resulted in side stitch.

How to remove side stitch?

Follow any one or combination of the methods and see which one works for you :-
1. Forcefully breath out through nose using abdominal muscles i.e force the diaphragm down, as in Kapalbhati. This technique works for me. 2. Close the fist of both the hands, keeping the thumb in between. No scientific reason for this though. It has helped me a few times. 3. Slow down a bit and gently rub the area of stitch with fingers. 4. Try and change the breathing pattern. For eg. if you are breathing out on every left foot forward, then try to change it to right foot forward. 5. Try to maintain a good running posture and avoid hunching while running. IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT. 6. Wear a scarf or a neck warmer during winters as breathing cold air may also induce side stitch. Again, there is no solid reasoning behind this. 7. Slow down and take deep controlled breaths. 8. Warm-up properly. Take time to warm up properly. Not only will it prevent injuries, it will also help avoid the side stitch. 9. Eat atleast an hour or two prior to running to give time for digestion. It is all, though, personal. One may eat just before running and not have a side stitch and one may eat 2 hours before and still have a side stitch. So, idea is to experiment and have small meals. 10. Be consistent with training. Mike ‘The Fruitarian’ Arnstien in one of his lectures at Woodstock Festival said that he never suffers from a side stitch. It may be because he is a consistent runner. 11. Tightening a waist belt or waist pack tightly around the abdomen may help sometimes. Try these methods next time and see for yourself as to which one works for you. As a long term measure, try to be regular with running and strengthen the core muscles to avoid this irritating hindrance. Till then stay fit and keep running. Source

April 2015
You can function just fine on 6 hours of sleep a night…or so you think. Here’s how to tell if you’re secretly sleep-deprived. By Corrie Pikul 1. You’re clicking your pen and tapping your feet. woman thinking pen What’s happening: When you move your muscles, you cue your brain to stay alert, says Hans P.A. Van Dongen, PhD, assistant director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University. So if you’re fidgety and restless and feel as if you you can’t sit still or would rather (always) stand, Van Dongen says that “it could be your brain’s way of trying to keep you awake.” What else you should know: Fidgeting could also be a sign that you’ve had too much caffeine. The recommended daily limit is 500 to 600 mg, or about 4 cups — drinking more than that is another less-than-subtle sign that you need more rest. 2. You’re lapsing, you don’t know you’re lapsing and you don’t know even know what the heck lapsing is. What’s happening: Lapsing, in technical terms, is when parts of your brain take a stealth catnap. When you’re exhausted, the sections that control attention and response time start taking breaks from processing new information, explains Van Dongen. These “mini-sleeps” could be as short as half a second, and you may not even notice that you’ve fallen into them. What else you should know: Van Dongen suggests a lapsing test: Sit in a dark, quiet area while holding a pencil in one hand. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and just relax and breathe. If the pencil drops, that’s a clear sign you and your brain need more sleep. 3. You’re having trouble swiping your office ID, balancing your coffee and making it through the door before it closes again. woman balancing coffee What’s happening: This combination of simple tasks, done in sequence and under a time limit, is a fine test of your psychomotor skills and coordination, which are some of the first things to go when you skimp on shut-eye. In one 1997 study, researchers found that a person who has gone for even one night without sleep is about as impaired on early morning hand-eye coordination as someone who has a blood alcohol level of .10 percent, also known as legally drunk. What else you should know: Sleep deprivation doesn’t have the same effect on the parts of your brain that handle critical reasoning, so even if you’re having trouble with appliances, you still may have no noticeable problem with writing a strategy memo or analyzing reports. 4. You act like Mrs. Silly Pants at breakfast. What’s happening: Your brain is having trouble telling you how to behave, so you’re more reactive to stimuli from your surroundings. The sun seems so bright and cheerful, the coffee tastes soooooo good and that cat going nuts with the empty cereal box is just hi-larious. What else you should know: Staying on an even keel will be your big challenge today, says Van Dongen. Your mood will probably go from goofy to grouchy as soon as something doesn’t go your way. 5. …and you’re a hot, emotional mess for the rest of the day. angry woman What’s happening: Watch out, coworkers, spouses and innocent bystanders: Weakened emotion-regulating systems in the prefrontal area of the brain may make it hard for you to control and express your feelings. For example, if someone criticizes you, it will upset you more than usual, says Van Dongen, and you’ll be more likely to say or do something you’ll regret. Research from William D.S. Killgore at Harvard Medical School also showed that two nights without adequate sleep was associated with a reduced tendency to think positively and a lack of willingness to take action to solve problems. “Thus, sleep-deprived individuals appear to be more easily frustrated, intolerant, unforgiving, less caring and more self-focused than when fully rested,” he wrote. In other words, you’re acting kind of jerky. What else you should know: While caffeine may give you a shot of adrenaline, studies show it’s often ineffective at fixing the other emotional glitches brought on by sleeplessness. 6. You’re craving carbs — big time. What’s happening: Research has shown that just one night of meager sleep lowers levels of the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin and boosts levels of hunger-increasing ghrelin. The body wakes up craving quick, easy energy: That choco-chunk muffin will do, thank you. Volunteers in one study at the University of Colorado at Boulder who got 4.5 hours (or less) of sleep also reported feeling more ravenous than those who got the magic 7 hours. What else you should know: Eating breakfast within an hour or so of waking has been shown to increase alertness and improve cognitive performance. So embrace the carbs, but make sure they’re the slow-dose kind that won’t cause you to fizzle (steel-cut oatmeal is a great choice). 7. You get a second wind at 9:30 p.m. woman evening home What’s happening: Your body is keeping you up for that last stretch of the evening so it can get you back into a rhythm, says Rafael Pelayo, MD, a sleep specialist at theStanford University Sleep Medicine Center and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science. He says that what often happens is the patient who’s been running on empty will promise herself she’ll go to bed early. “Early” rolls around and she feels fine, so she keeps getting things done…but then ends up with only 6 hours of sleep (again). When she snoozes through her alarm, she tells herself everyone has trouble getting out of bed. What else you should know: We fall into our deepest sleep during the two hours before our natural wakeup time, Pelayo says. So put down the to-do list and pick up the toothbrush: It’s still easier to force yourself to go to bed than to force yourself to wake up (starting with 15 minute increments can help). Source

April 2015
img51929VZRGH-chah Adding lemon to water not only quenches thirst better than any other beverage, but it also nourishes our body with vitamins, minerals and trace elements which we absolutely need. Lemon with water can be considered the best natural energy booster. When we wake up in the morning, our bodily tissues are dehydrated and are in need of water to push out toxins and rejuvenate the cells. In other words, this homemade “lemonade” helps eliminate internal toxins, regulating proper kidney and digestive tract functions by forcing them to work as smoothly as possible.  20 Unbelievable Reasons To Start Your Day With Water and Lemon
  1. Water with lemon provides the body with electrolytes which hydrate your body. As lemons contain good amount of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
  2. Water with lemon is good for the joints, reducing pain in the joints and muscles.
  3. Warm water with lemon helps digestion as lemon contains citric acid. It interacts with other enzymes and acids which easily stimulate the secretion of gastric juice and digestion.
  4. The liver produces more enzymes from water with lemon than from any other food.
  5. Water with lemon cleanses the liver. Lemon juice stimulates the liver to release toxins.
  6. Water with Lemon helps fight infections of the respiratory tract, sore throats and inflammation of the tonsils. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of lemon.
  7. Warm water with lemon helps regulate natural bowel movement.
  8. Water with lemon is indispensable for the normal work of metabolism. Since lemon is a powerful antioxidant, it protects the body from free radicals and strengthens the immune system.
  9. Water with lemon aids in proper functioning of the nervous system (as lemon  has a high content of potassium). Depression and anxiety are often the result of low levels of potassium in the blood. The nervous system needs a sufficient amount of potassium to ensure sustainable signals to the heart.
  10. Water with lemon cleanses blood, blood vessels and arteries.
  11. Water with lemon can help lower blood pressure.  A daily intake of one lemon can reduce high blood pressure by 10%.
  12. Water with lemon creates an alkalizing effect in the body. Even if you drink it immediately before a meal,  it can help your body maintain a higher level of pH. The higher the pH, the more your body is able to fight diseases.
  13. Water with lemon is good for the skin. Vitamin C in lemon, improves our skin by rejuvenating the body.  Drinking water with lemon regularly (every morning) will improve the condition of your skin.
  14. Water with lemon  helps to dilute uric acid, the built up of which leads to pain in the joints and gout.
  15. Water with lemon is beneficial for pregnant women. Since lemons are loaded with Vitamin C, it acts as an adaptogen helping the body cope with viruses such as colds.  Furthermore, vitamin C helps the formation of bone tissue of the unborn baby. At the same time, due to the high content of potassium, a mixture of water with lemon helps forming cells of the brain and nervous system of the baby.
  16. Water with lemon relieves heartburn. For this, mix a teaspoon of lemon juice in half a glass of water.
  17. Water with lemon helps dissolve gallstones,  kidney stones, pancreatic stones, and calcium deposits.
  18. Water with lemon helps with weight loss.  Lemons contain pectin fiber, which helps suppress hunger cravings. Studies have proven  people with a better alkaline diet have lost weight faster.
  19. Water with lemon helps with tooth pain and gingivitis.
  20. Water with lemon prevents cancer. This is due to the fact that lemons are a highly alkaline food. Multiple studies have found that cancer cannot thrive in an alkaline environment.
How and When to Drink Lemon with Water For this purpose, use warm purified or spring water. Take half a Cup of warm water without sugar and squeeze in there at least half of lemon or lime. Better to use a special juicer (to get the most juice with minimal effort). You can also use lemon essential oil.  (where to find) You need to drink water with lemon first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Some recommend a drink of water one hour before meals for maximum results. So, when life gives you a bunch of lemons, make water with lemons. Source

April 2015
Underminers come in all shapes and sizes. Avoid getting off-track with this advice. Saboteur: Your Gym Buddy weight loss saboteurs Bringing a friend along to work out can be great motivation (and might help with encouragement and weight loss), unless that friend is pushing you to guzzle calorie-rich smoothies or heavy protein drink after every trip to the gym. “Not all exercises call for a supplement or sports shake,” says Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN, a nutrition expert and blogger based in Los Angeles. “If you burn off 200 calories at the gym and then down a 350-calorie protein shake, you’re not doing yourself any favors.” The Fix: Skip the post-workout beverage and opt for a protein-rich snack when you get home, like Greek yogurt or half a turkey sandwich. If your friend insists you get something with her, your best choice is a smoothie with one or two fruits and skim milk. Saboteur: Your Business Clients work lunch If your job requires you to eat out frequently or attend meetings with a catered lunch, it can be easy to gobble calories without even noticing. The Fix: Follow what the experts do when ordering off a menu. “See if there are some healthy choices so you have a game plan,” Kaufman suggests. And if you can, order before others. “You won’t have time to hear your neighbors ordering the less-healthy options and change your mind,” she says. Saboteur: Your Bar-Hopping Friend women bar She’s a fan of happy hours and absolutely needs you to come along. Unfortunately for you, this could mean drinking one too many cocktails, and those calories quickly add up. What’s more, studies show that boozing can increase your appetite — especially for high-fat, savory foods (hence, cheese fries). The Fix: Stick to low-cal drinks like a glass of red wine and avoid those giant mixed cocktails at all costs. “They’re loaded with sugary juices or sodas,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RDN, CDN, the author of Read It Before You Eat It and a New York–based dietician. Saboteur: Your Kids child eating Your child may want to share a treat with you, like a brownie or cookie. “I’ve seen patients who have mentioned this happening,” Taub-Dix says. “And it’s really hard to say no.” The Fix: Say thank you and tell him you’re so full but will eat it later…then make a plan to avoid the temptation of actually eating it once she’s in bed. Source

April 2015
boston The second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings Wednesday, April 15 will bear little resemblance to the commemoration last year that filled a convention center with people and the city with the sound of church carillon bells. It will begin more than an hour before dawn, when runners gather in Kenmore Square for a jog around the Back Bay to spell out “BOSTON.” Then there will be a modest banner-raising, a blood drive, a shoe collection, and other charitable efforts. What there won’t be are speeches, marches, or wreaths. The memorial is being kept low-key, the mayor’s office said, after conversations with survivors and the relatives of victims. But there’s no shortage of interest in participating. An impromptu anniversary run organized by the triathlon club Zoom Multisport has already attracted such a flood of participants that the time has been moved up from 5:45 a.m. to 5 a.m., and people will be released in groups of 25. The goal is to zigzag around the city’s Back Bay to form the letters “BOSTON” on GPS trackers, an idea inspired by runners who did the same thing in San Francisco in the days after the April 15, 2013 bombings near the marathon finish line. Zoom Multisport organized a “BOSTON” run that year, with about 20 runners, and again last year, when 30 showed up. This year hundreds have already said they want to do it—so many the group is requiring them to register online, and has stopped promoting the event. “The best thing we can do is just keep doing what we love to do and do our run and remember what happened,” said Greg Soutiea, one of the leaders. The only official city ceremony will come a few blocks away, near the site of the first bomb on Boylston Street, where Mayor Marty Walsh will raise a banner on a lightpost at 7:30 a.m. Several dignitaries and survivors are scheduled to attend, the mayor’s office said, but there are no speeches scheduled. Walsh has declared April 15 as One Boston Day, a permanent designation. At a news conference along with former Boston champions Meb Keflezighi and Bill Rodgers to unveil the “There’s Only One” Boston banners—about 500 of which will be hung all over town—he said the response to the bombings “has come to stand for our city’s deepest values.” Walsh has also called for a moment of silence to be observed at 2:49 p.m., followed by the ringing of church bells, though no songs or ships’ horns. Residents will be asked to perform random acts of kindness on the anniversary, the mayor said. “I think it’s a way to properly remember the day by doing nice things for people, just like what happened here in the city the day after the bombing,” he said at the news conference. The American Red Cross also plans a blood drive at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, not far from the finish line, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15. It held a blood drive in Watertown, too, on Saturday, April 11, which was attended by transit offer Richard Donohue, who was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with the alleged bombers, and needed 46 units of blood. “People who are reliving those events can be feeling depressed and anxious, so it’s a great way to give the community something they can do—to empower them,” said Jeff Meyer, CEO of the American Red Cross Massachusetts blood services region. “These commemorative blood drives are very special,” Meyer said. “You see elected officials coming out, you see local police, local fire. We have bombing victims coming. It’s one of those things where you see the community coming together.” The Hyatt Regency Hotel Boston is collecting sneakers through Wednesday, April 15 for poor and homeless people, to be distributed by St. Francis House, a homeless shelter. The goal is 500 pairs. The marathon itself is again providing entries to survivors who are part of the group 4:15 Strong, who will run the race on Monday, April 20, a BAA spokesman said. The third annual 2013 Boston Marathon Remembrance Run will follow at 7 p.m. on the day after the marathon, just as it did the week of the bombings themselves when hundreds of members of local running clubs joined together to go for a run from the Courtside restaurant and bar in East Cambridge. And Shane O’Hara, the manager of Marathon Sports, who was front and center during the bombing, and who testified at the trial, will lead a group run Wednesday evening, as he does every Wednesday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. from the Boston store near the finish line. Last year on the anniversary, hundreds gathered in the Hynes Convention Center for a solemn ceremony to remember the three victims killed by the bombs, the MIT police officer fatally shot by the alleged bombers three days later, the 264 people who were hurt, and the firefighters, police, hospital employees, and others who responded. That was followed by an honor guard, a wreath-laying, and a moment of silence ended by the blowing of horns of boats in the harbor and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” on a church carillon. While there may be fewer events this year, Soutiea said, that doesn’t make the commemoration any less important. “Maybe part of that right now has to do with the trial going on. But in general this area loves the marathon and there were a lot of people who were there that day or who knew people who were affected,” he said. “And they’re not going to forget about it.” Source

April 2015
Good eatin'! Even if you haven’t been indulging in rich, comforting meals all winter, chances are you’ve accumulated more unhealthy foods in your freezer, fridge and cupboard than you realize. To start off the new season on the right foot, a little spring cleaning for your food supply might be in order. We talked with the Nutrition Twins (AKA Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos-Shames) authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure, for their top tips to whip your kitchen into shape. Declutter Your Freezer If you throw foods in the freezer and forget about them, it’s time to clear out the old build up. Get rid of all the items with ice crystals forming on the food or the packaging. “Anything with freezer burn will taste worse, but it also often means that the nutrients are lost from foods, especially produce,” says Lakatos. Keep some uncooked protein, like lean beef and chicken; it’s good for up to nine months once frozen, and can help you skip a midweek trip to the grocery store. Fill the rest of your freezer with bags of frozen berries and peaches (to throw in smoothies, yogurt and hot cereals) and vegetables like peas, spinach and broccoli (to add to soups and increase the nutrition of takeout dishes). Want to keep a few microwavable meals on hand for times you need a quick fix? Look for options with fewer than 400 calories and 400 mg of sodium, suggests Lakatos-Shames. Lighten Up Your Fridge Even with tons of frozen fruits and veggies in your freezer, you’ll want some fresh varieties as well. Aim for foods that will keep for several days in the fridge, such as apples, oranges, cauliflower and cabbage. “Don’t cut up anything or wash produce when you bring it home from the store,” says Lakatos-Shames. “You might think you’re saving time, but it will make everything go bad much sooner.” To make these items more convenient for packed lunches or snacks, she suggests prepping them only the night before you’ll be consuming them. Swap out creamy condiments like salad dressings, mayo and sour cream for mustards, Greek yogurt or olive oil with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. And always have a carton of eggs for quick-cooking protein that goes well with any meal or snack. Clean Your Cupboard There’s more to junk food than potato chips. Toss items packed with sugar, sodium and preservatives, such as pretzels and most granola bars and energy bars. “Many of these really aren’t any better for you than a candy bar,” says Lakatos. Instead, reach for options like air-popped popcorn (you can munch on three cups of it for only 100 calories) and pistachios — they’re only about three calories apiece, and shelling them slows down your eating, encouraging you to consume less. Trade in high-sugar cereals — and keep in mind that even healthy-seeming choices like granola and gluten-free options can fall into this category — for oatmeal flavored with cinnamon and fruit. Load up on whole grains like quinoa, brown rice and wheat pasta; low-sodium beans for a punch of protein and fiber; and cans of fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon to get those omega-3s. Put Everything In Its Place To ensure your healthy habits stick, it’s important to put some thought into the way you store your foods. “From the pantry to the fridge, place the nutrient-dense items at eye level, front and center, and put any treats in the back,” suggests Lakatos-Shames. “That way, you have to really dig for the less healthy items.” And make sure that everything is in the correct place to stay at its peak freshness. “Most people know that olive oil is packed with powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants,” says Lakatos. “What you might not be aware of is that those antioxidants convert to pro-oxidants when the oil exposed to heat over a prolonged period of time — which means consuming it can actually damage your body.” She suggests refrigerating olive oil as soon as you get home. Same thing goes for anything containing healthy fats, such as nuts, nut butters and fish oil in any form. Stocking your kitchen with nutritious choices is the first step to healthy eating — and arranging your storage areas in a way that encourages you to reach for them ensures the kickoff to a slim new season. Source

April 2015
MOTI Apple thinks the key to a better life is a high-end watch that connects to your phone and tracks your health. But could a much simpler piece of technology actually make the difference you’re looking for? Kayla Matheus, the 25-year-old creator of MOTI, a small desktop gadget in pre-production, thinks so. MOTI’s purpose is to help you practice good habits by offering tangible encouragement: It sits on your desk, lights up and vibrates to urge you along. Matheus has been developing the idea since last fall at 30 Weeks, an experimental program sponsored in part by Google that helps designers create and launch products. MOTI isn’t ready for consumers yet — though you can apply to be one of 50 beta testers — but it’s expected to enter production by the end of summer. You’ll decide what you want MOTI to help you with (running every day, maybe), and you’ll press its single button whenever you do that thing. Its “face,” if you could call it that, will flash different colors, and the device will vibrate and chirp to mark your achievements. Users are supposed to put it in plain view so they can’t ignore it. “The problem with most habits is delayed gratification,” Matheus told The Huffington Post during a recent interview at 30 Weeks’ New York City office. “MOTI celebrates with you.”

MOTI will flash angry red lights at you if you slack off. (Source)


Complete your task, give it a press, and MOTI will light up and chirp. (Source)

MOTI is built around the premise that you need three things to develop a habit: a trigger, routine and reward, Matheus explained to HuffPost. If you’re running to lose weight, for example, it would help to have something that prompts you to get off the couch and into your gym shoes. Otherwise, it’s easy to avoid doing it. It also helps to have a reward. Sure, you’ll get endorphins from the activity, but that’s not exactly tangible. If the reward is fitting into smaller jeans, it might be weeks before you achieve that. In the meantime, MOTI’s positive feedback of bright lights and literal good vibrations could help spur you along. MOTI might seem simple, but it’s purposefully designed to counterbalance the glut of wearables, fitness apps and push notifications you may have noticed cropping up in the world around you. You could think of it like a sort of 21st century Daruma doll. In traditional Japanese culture, an individual would set a goal by marking one of the doll’s eyes. After days, weeks or even months of staring at the thing, that person would finally mark the other eye when their wish was fulfilled. daruma doll Hey, it worked in the 1700s. If you have MOTI sitting on your desk, it’s tough to ignore (unless you shove it into a drawer or something, defeating the point entirely). If you use a fitness app, it’s pretty simple to swipe a notification away. “We ignore push notifications,” Matheus said. “Out of sight, out of mind.” That said, Matheus is developing an app that will pair with MOTI to help users keep track of their goals, but the hardware comes first. moti Concept art for different MOTI designs. To make sure users don’t ignore MOTI, it needs to be cute. Currently, there are three finished prototypes: One of them has little arms, another has pointed ears and the last is simple and rounded. When Matheus was developing the idea, she fashioned a crude device out of a koala plush. She said that even in the more developed stage that MOTI is in, people tend to see either an eye or a face in it. “We react to it like we’re being watched. Hopefully not in a creepy way,” Matheus said. Source

April 2015
Acupuncture works wonders! There are a lot of misconceptions about acupuncture, but the truth is that this practice has been around for more than 3,500 years and provides relief to people around the world. Below, find ten of the most common myths about acupuncture:

Myth 1: Acupuncture hurts — after all, we’re talking needles

Fact: Although we use needles, they are very slender and fine (about the size of a cat whisker). You may or may not feel an initial prick, sometimes described as a mosquito bite. Any discomfort will either fade on its own or ease up as your acupuncturist adjusts the needles. You should experience a Qi (pronounced “chee”) sensation, often described as heaviness, throbbing or an electrical sensation. That’s your body’s healing energy doing its work

Myth 2: Acupuncture is ancient folk medicine; no legitimate healthcare professional would recommend it

Fact: Acupuncture is a treatment option that many medical institutions recommend. Even the United States military uses acupuncture. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds many clinical research trials on acupuncture. Both the NIH and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize acupuncture as a valid treatment for a wide range of conditions.

Myth 3: Most people who use, or practice, acupuncture are into ‘New Age’ healing

Fact: On the contrary, you probably have a friend, coworker or neighbor who receives acupuncturetreatments.

Myth 4: Acupuncture may conflict with medication, physical therapy and other ‘mainstream’ conventional medical treatments

Fact: There is no conflict between acupuncture and conventional medicine; they complement one another. Acupuncture works nicely as an adjunct to your conventional treatment plan.

Myth 5: Acupuncture is only useful in treating pain

Fact: It’s true that acupuncture helps relieve joint pain, including knee pain; back pain; headache; stomach pain and menstrual cramps. However, acupuncture is also used to treat nausea/vomiting, chemotherapy side effects, morning sickness, hypertension (high blood pressure), allergies, depression, infertility and other conditions.

Myth 6: Acupuncture has a lot of side effects and you’ll need time off work

Fact: Acupuncture has few to no side effects. After your acupuncture session, you can usually carry on with your day without any restrictions.

Myth 7: Acupuncture’s effects are psychological. It doesn’t really do anything

Fact:  Acupuncture and its effects are far from psychological. Studies show that during acupuncture, our brains begin to release chemicals such as endorphins (natural painkillers) Acupuncture also has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps people’s immune system.

Myth 8: Once you start acupuncture, you’ll always need acupuncture

Fact: For most conditions, acupuncturists strive to improve your main problem so you do not have to return for more treatment. For chronic conditions, some people stay on a maintenance schedule, however, such as returning once a month, because acupuncture continues to help.

Myth 9: If you do not see results in one or two treatments, then you’re unlikely to benefit from acupuncture

Fact: The response to acupuncture is always an individual one. Some people respond quickly — within one, two or three treatments. Others need a full course of eight to 10 treatments. Acupuncture’s effects are cumulative, building with each treatment, so the acupuncturist will assess its effects after you complete a full series of treatments. Acupuncturists use a variety of styles and techniques, so if you do not see results with one clinician, seek out another acupuncturist.

Myth 10: You’ll need a doctor’s referral or a prescription for acupuncture

Fact: Guidelines vary by state. In the state of Ohio, you do not need a doctor’s referral or prescription for acupuncture but a physician should perform a diagnostic exam  for the condition you plan to treat. It is important you seek out a qualified and medically licensed acupuncturist before starting any course of treatment. Source