The key is figuring out how to appropriately channel your anger rather than lash out. Expert lays out the three easy steps.

1) Figure out exactly what triggered your anger. Was it the rude comment your coworker made during lunch?
2) Consider any other emotions that may be behind your anger. Do you feel embarrassed about the snide remark she made in front of other people? Are you really unhappy with your job but afraid of change, so you don't look elsewhere?
3) Plan a course of action to fix the situation. Have a conversation with your coworker to find out why she made that comment. Check job boards and see what other opportunities are out there.

A good rule: Always "sleep on it" or take some time before reacting. The physiological effects of a triggered emotion affect how you think, says Dr. Lamia. Giving yourself a few hours can help you clearly think through what's going on and the best action to take.


How to know if you should stay or go

to let goThere’s no such thing as a relationship without challenges. However, some stumbling blocks are merely garden-variety annoyances, while others are bona fide deal-breakers. Here is a Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can — and Should — Be Saved.

1. Consider how you and your partner resolve conflicts
In an unhealthy relationship (i.e., one that really isn’t working), when you hit those periods of conflict, you’ll notice either right away or soon enough that you are not a team struggling for mutual well-being. Unsure about whether you and your partner are have an unhealthy conflict resolution approach? When you argue, does it become about who can win and/or who can hurt the other more effectively, or does one (or both) of you become explosive or cruel? Is it characterized by your partner thinking almost exclusively about what is good for him or her, not about what’s good for you or the relationship? If any of these statements ring true for you, it’s probably a wise decision to get out.

2. Recognize the difference between irritating habits and deal-breakers
Some of the most troubling and potentially deal-breaking problems one can face with a partner are immaturity, addiction, unresolved or untreated mental health issues (including the after-effects of trauma, depression and personality disorders) and abusiveness. Each one of these is a big ticket item, meaning it will likely cost you a great deal of emotional energy and time to be in a relationship with your partner and one of these issues. You may decide that, no matter how much you love your partner, you don’t want to put so much energy into dealing with anything so consuming.

3. Think about the consequences of ending the relationship
When debating whether to leave or stay, first considering whether you’ve ever felt frightened of your partner. Has this person ever physically attacked you, or made you feel that he or she was on the verge of it? Has your partner ever forced you sexually? Has your partner said anything like, “You’d better not ever try to leave me” or anything similar that suggested he or she wanted you to be afraid of ending things? If your intuition tells you that your partner may have a volatile reaction, that’s a pretty good sign that walking away from your relationship is a good idea.

4. Imagine a life without your partner
When you’re trying to decide whether staying in your relationship will be truly beneficial or not, ask yourself if you have remained true to who you really are during the time you’ve been with your partner, and what your life would look like if you were no longer together. Remember that having love, approval, kindness and appreciation for yourself is at least as important as getting it from someone else; if these feelings are impossible to have while in your current relationship, it’s time to get back into having a loving, supportive connection with yourself.


Gargle Salt Water for a Sore Throat

Gargle Salt WaterWhen you were a kid and had a sore throat, your mom likely made you gargle warm water with salt in it...and she was definitely on to something. According to Douglas Hoffman MD, PhD, author of the website The Medical Consumer's Advocate, a sore throat is an inflammatory response of the infected tissues, and the salt helps draw out the excess fluid to temporarily decrease swelling and the pain it causes.

Most remedies call for a ratio of 1 tablespoon salt to 8 ounces of water, but it's always better to opt for more salt rather than less.

Just keep in mind that you are treating the symptoms-not the illness. As Dr. Hoffman notes on his website: "The relief is very real, but also tends to be short-lived, since the gargle has done nothing to remove the cause of the sore throat."


Clear Your Clutter, Find Your Life

Clear Your ClutterClutter accumulates so quietly, so insidiously, we may not even notice until it's gotten out of control. Suddenly, we're surrounded by so much debris from our past -from dried-up tubes of Glue to old grudges -that it's a wonder we can even get out of bed in the morning.

As a life coach, many experts help people figure out not only what they want most, but what they need to let go of to discover who they really are -the "stuff" in closets, drawers, attics, and so on. You just have to figure out what you really need and what you don't. Start today, clean your clutter.


How to Say No

say noThere are lots of reasons we struggle with "no." Some feel bound by obligation or by fear of hurting someone's feelings. Others believe they really can do it all (and hate to pass up the opportunity to try). But think about it: Almost every misplaced yes is really a no to you.

By asserting yourself in a considerate, confident way, says negotiator William Ury, Ph.D., author of "The Power of a Positive No," you can be selective about what you take on without jeopardizing friendships -- a people-pleaser's biggest fear. Try our five-step plan so that you can start saying no -- and stop feeling guilty.

Find Your Yes
Before you can even think about getting good at saying no, get clear on what to say yes to in life. If your yes is more time with your family, that will mean turning down obligations that keep you away from home. If it's yes to better health, you'll need to say no to late nights at work that keep you from the gym. The firmer your foundation and connection to your yes, says Ury, the less difficult it will be to say no. After all, you'll be answering to a higher cause.

Buy Some Time
Whenever possible, don't respond to a request on the spot. This keeps you from saying yes under pressure ("Um ... sure, I'll host the baby shower") or reacting emotionally to the request, especially when you're feeling stressed out.

Deliver Your No with Grace and Resolve
The moment of truth can be the most difficult of all, particularly when you're afraid of hurting someone's feelings. Ury suggests a "yes-no-yes" approach: First, share what you're currently saying yes to ("My mother and I always go out for breakfast on Saturday mornings"). Then say no ("So I won't be able to help you set up for the brunch you're hosting").

But don't stop there. After you've turned someone down, affirm your good intentions by closing with another yes -- this time, to a mutually positive outcome ("But I'd be happy to help clean up after it's over"). In so doing, you relieve some of the frustration wrought by closing a door, while sending the message that you respect the other person's needs.

Have a Plan B
Even if the other person gets emotional or reactive after you've delivered your no, don't yield under pressure -- as difficult as this may seem. Instead, take a deep breath and listen attentively to his or her objections. Then, gently but firmly, underscore your no -- and keep it simple and clean; no backpedaling or scrambling for defense.

Cut Yourself Some Slack
Even with practice, some will always find saying no a challenge. For the dyed-in-the-wool people pleaser, there may be a twinge of guilt -- and, for the overly ambitious, regret. Realize that your perennial inclination to offer help is something to be lauded, not criticized.


How to beat The Claw

The Claw machineSquatting menacingly in the corner of your favorite restaurant, movie theater, supermarket or bowling alley, the claw machine is a harsh mistress. There's something unmistakably hostile about its steely, three- or four-fingered grip, and something immeasurably frustrating about the feeling of horror and loss you get as your prize slips from your tenuous grasp at the very last second.

Don't despair. Instead, even the odds a little. Follow these simple tips, and you can't lose.

Study your machine

The more tempting and desirable the prizes, the lower the chances you'll win. Expect machines with expensive prizes to have claws that move faster, grip looser, and generally do everything possible to foil your attempts to snag their contents. If all you want to do is win something, machines with cheaper prizes are a better bet.

Another good idea? Look for machines that aren't packed tight with prizes -- a little space can go a long way. It's also worth sizing up the pile of goodies. Are they stacked in such a way as to make it hard to pull them apart? If the prize you want is tucked under another toy, it's going to be that much harder to grab, as the claw typically isn't strong enough to dig a toy out from underneath other objects. Perhaps a little strategic repositioning is in order before you tackle the big prize -- or perhaps there's another machine with a more favorable arrangement.

Timing is everything

Don't be afraid to take your time. Depending on the machine, you'll likely have a total of 15 or 30 seconds to hit the all-important "Drop" button. There's no harm in taking almost all of that to make sure your alignment is dead-on. Plan to hit the button when there's about five seconds left on the clock, and you'll have ample time for the machine to haul out whatever you've snagged.

Use a spotter

Having two eyes is overrated. Unless you're some sort of ping-pong prodigy, your depth perception probably ain't all that -- and if you want to boost your chances of snagging that awesome claw-machine prize, you're going to need some way of augmenting it. Some sort of cybernetic implant would be ideal, but if you can't swing that, find yourself an accomplice.

How's that going to help? You look after the side-to-side alignment, and have your partner stand around the corner of the machine and take care of the front-back direction. No matter how lousy your depth perception might be, as long as your spotter is on the ball, you'll drop the claw right on the prize every time.

Watch and wait

But that might not be enough. According to a report on the British show Brainiac, some claw machines are configured so that four times out of five (or nine times out of ten) they'll deliberately grab the toy with a greatly weakened grip. Only on that lucky fifth run will it use enough force to actually keep hold of the prize. In other words, they're rigged.

True? False? Nobody seems to know for sure -- except the manufacturers, and you can bet they're keeping a tight grip on the info. Still, if you're sizing up a busy machine, it may make sense to watch other players and see if there's a pattern to their wins and losses.


Tips that help reset your internal clock

rilexHere are some tips to help reset your internal clock and survive your first couple of days back at work or school:

Start going to bed 15 minutes earlier a couple of nights before the time change.
Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier on Saturday and Sunday morning you are used to getting up earlier on Monday.

Go outside early Saturday and Sunday morning.
If you don't have a pre-existing health condition, exercise outdoors, but not after 4 p.m. which can disrupt sleep later.

Refrain from napping over the weekend.
Avoid alcohol on Sunday night. While it might knock you out, alcohol disrupts sleep patterns.

Eat a healthy, substantial breakfast Monday morning to provide you with energy to get through the day.


The Secrets of Happy Couples

Happy CouplesWhat is surprising, experts point out, is that when you ask loving husbands and wives about the key to their devotion, over and over you'll hear the same things, specific habits that mirror these values. Learning these secrets can make your marriage closer too.

They use terms of endearment

Sure, you may find it cloyingly sweet when you overhear other couples talking like 2-year-olds, but endearments are actually a sign of a healthy rapport.

These feelings of intimacy can also come from using a special tone of voice with each other, sharing silly "inside jokes," or pet-naming your spouse's intimate body parts. The point is to connect with some private message system that's meaningful to you alone, as a couple -- not to the outside world.

When the going gets tough, they don't call Mom or Dad

The first task facing all young couples is separating from their families of origin. This doesn't mean you shouldn't go home for the holidays. But if there's a crisis over whether to have a second child or relocate for a new job, or even if there's good news about a big raise or the results of a medical test, the couple should talk about it together first before dialing Mom.

They stay connected to their parents

This doesn't contradict with the above point. You can talk with your mom every day and still be clear about where your attachment to her ends and your love for your mate begins.

Staying connected to parents, siblings, cousins and the like can be excellent for a marriage because it gives a sense of family continuity. It generates positive feelings, especially when you incorporate your spouse into that family. You're sharing that part of you with each other.

They don't nickel-and-dime about chores

It's no secret that most wives continue to do more in the housekeeping and child-rearing departments than their husbands. Still, when partners become double-entry bookkeepers, adding up every dish washed and every diaper changed, they may be headed for trouble.

Most couples think they should strive for a relationship that's 50-50,but the fact is, they should each give 150 percent. In good relationships, couples give everything they can. They don't nickel-and-dime each other, and they respect that each person gives different things.

They give each other gifts

Couples who are deeply connected often give each other presents or write little notes, says Thomas Moore, Ph.D., best-selling author of Care of the Soul. What they're doing is preserving the rituals, and the magic, of their courtship.

The gift should carry no strings. Sarah sometimes comes home from work to find that her husband has prepared a candlelight dinner. But it's not set up to be a prelude to sex.

They never lose their sense of humor

Humor, as many psychotherapists have observed, is the glue that keeps a couple together. When a couple can no longer laugh together, it's a signal that the soul has gone out of their marriage and they are headed for trouble.

But lighthearted couples never mock each other. They instinctively know what is -- and isn't -- fair game.

They take "for better or for worse" seriously

Contented couples encounter their share of life's miseries -- whether it's the car breaking down, a nasty cold or a missed promotion -- but they help each other get through. You don't, for example, hear them say, "How could you let that happen?" when a spouse loses a job. Couples who do well together tend not to do anything that increases their partner's suffering, like become resentful or criticize. In good marriages, people feel safe from the outside world. Each spouse has the feeling, I can count on you, our world is all right.


The Power of Touch

power of touchA study at the University of Virginia showed that holding a spouse’s hand can diminish stress set off by a mild electric shock. A total of 16 couples took part; first the wives received the shocks while their brains were monitored via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Next, each woman held the hand of a stranger during the shock--this dampened the stress response seen in the brain. Finally, the women held their husbands’ hands during the shock and the fMRIs showed that the reduction in stress was even greater.
The Cuddle Hormone

Women who get the most hugs from their partner have the highest levels of oxytocin, a hormone sometimes called the “cuddle hormone,” University of North Carolina researchers reported.

Oxytocin is believed to play a role in social bonding and has a powerful effect on the cardiovascular systems. In the study, the frequent huggers had lower blood pressure. So there you have it, love is good for almost everything. The only exception: it doesn’t help you lose weight.


Fascinating Facts About Cats

CatCats have internal GPS systems.

Lost cats really can find their way home. Various experts point to sunlight angles, the earth's magnetic fields and another capability referred to as PSI Traveling. Whatever the case, recorded facts about cats confirm their often long and arduous journeys to reach home and a favored human companion.

Cats can use pet doors.

For families that maintain indoor-outdoor cats, nothing's more convenient than a pet door. Know who came up with the idea? Gravity King Sir Isaac Newton! According to various tales passed down over the years, Newton was experimenting with light in a darkened room and one of his most prized cats kept opening the door and disrupting the experiment. To keep his work intact and allow the cat free roam, he cut a small hole in the door and covered it with cloth. That evolved into what is today known as a pet door, suitable for both cats and dogs.

Cats can use the toilet, and they can flush.

Cat-training experts say and they claim that there's no need for kitty litter. You can definitely train your cat to use the toilet.


Facebook: Surprising Cause of Stress

Surprising Cause of StressYou love taking a midday break from work and finding out what your pals are up to, but could everyone else's status updates be stressing you out? Maybe, says expert. Social networking, like any relationship, can have an impact on your emotions, adding that online news bites can sometimes, inadvertently, make others feel inadequate.

For instance: the status update from your old friend from high school who announced that she/he's just met her/his soul mate, who's spending time on a two-week Mediterranean cruise, just as you've signed your divorce papers.

Notice how you're feeling when you spend time on Facebook and pay attention to why. If it makes you feel bad, trust your instincts and log off. Call a friend, curl up with a good book, go for a walk-do something that genuinely brings you pleasure."


Happy Couples do stuff together

happy couplesWhen that pheromone-crazy feeling of falling in love passes and happy couples no longer spend all day in bed, they look outward. They start businesses, refinish the attic or take up cooking together.

Of all the variables in a relationship -from commitment to communication- the amount of fun couples have together is the strongest factor in determining their overall marital happiness, according to a landmark study by Howard Markman, Ph.D., codirector of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. Time spent playing together, says Dr. Markman, is an "investment in the relationship"; it provides a relaxed intimacy that strengthens the bond between two people.

So even if your life is impossibly frantic, make the time for play. And do all you can to eliminate distractions. Leave the kids with a sitter, ditch the beeper and cell phone. The activity doesn't have to be anything elaborate or costly. Exercising together, browsing in antiques stores, or renting a classic movie can help bring the two of you closer.


Why a cup of coffee (or two) isn't so bad?

cup of coffeeA couple of cups of joe may perk you up in more ways than you think. Coffee gets a bad rap because of the caffeine, but it may actually help regulate your mood. A recent study published in Archives of Internal Medicine showed that women who drank two to three cups of coffee daily had a 15% lower risk of depression. Photo by iStock

"Caffeine helps activate the brain chemicals involved in mood, like dopamine and serotonin," says study author Alberto Ascherio, MD, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. Coffee is also a rich source of antioxidants and other healthy compounds that may help protect against cancer, according to new research.

One caveat: If you don't drink coffee, don't start (caffeine is a stimulant and can cause jitters or an upset stomach in some people). But if you're a java lover, consider this permission to pour yourself an extra cup.


Expert tips for calming pre-date jitters

pre-date jittersHelp is here. Here're some tips on how to overcome this common problem. We’ve rounded up advice from experts who teach people how to stay calm in nerve-wracking situations. Try their tips below for putting your best dating foot forward.

Tip #1: Keep a healthy perspective about what first dates are really for “The first and most important step in overcoming the fear is to put your first date in perspective: this is not an appointment with the dentist or brain surgeon who may inflict pain on you; rather, it is a conversation with another person. The worst thing that can happen is that you won’t connect with the person sitting across from you — it’s hardly the end of the world! Second, think of this date as a two-way process. You are interviewing a potential partner as much as your date is interviewing you. Is there a good fit here? What looks good on the surface or on paper may not be what it appears to be for either party. Investigate whether this person is a good match for you and whether you want to invest a significant part of your life and energy in future dates.”

Tip #2: Breathe deeply while counting silently to calm yourself down “Here is a simple (but amazingly powerful) breathing technique you can easily do to manage stress while sitting in the car or on the train before a date. While breathing through the nose only, inhale to the count of three and exhale to the count of six. It only takes about two or three minutes to experience a noticeable, full-body calming effect. The reason? Deep breathing triggers your parasympathetic nervous system to counteract the ‘fight-or-flight’ response that underlies your jitters and results in shallower breathing. And if, during the date, you feel yourself getting nervous again, ask an open-ended question, like: ‘So, what’s working at a college really like?’ and then put a soft smile on your face while you breathe the shakes away!”

Concentrate on the present moment instead of worrying about the future “Dating is like auditioning — the stakes are high, so nerves will undoubtedly come into play. I would tell daters the same thing I tell my actors: When you get nervous, put your concentration into the present moment instead of the outcome. Every time you start to think about the future — “Will this person ask me out on a second date?” — force yourself to focus on the conversation at hand. You stand a better chance of booking another date if you can let someone see the type of person you really are, and that you’d be easy to get along with. You can’t do that if you’re draining your own energy trying to figure out what your date wants and what the result might be.”

Release pre-date tension by working up a sweat in the gym
“Work out first! You’ll have a positive feeling from all the endorphins, you’ll feel more confident about your appearance, and you’ll have released the tension from your muscles. Or, instead of going right to the date from your office or home, socialize a bit first — either by meeting a friend somewhere or otherwise putting yourself in a situation where you’re turning on your most positive personality for others. Doing this will make you walk into the date already feeling engaged and ‘up.’ Just do not talk about the upcoming date while you’re socializing, because that will put your mind back on the subject... and could make you nervous all over again.”

Put any negative thoughts in writing, then put a positive spin on them before leaving for your date “Divide a sheet of paper in half. On the left side of the page, write down how your critical inner voices or negative thoughts are undermining your self-confidence. Write them down as though you are talking to yourself; for example, ‘Don’t get too excited about this date. He/she is not going to find you attractive enough.’ Next, on the right-hand side of the page, write down a more realistic or congenial statement about yourself. Like, ‘I may not be a supermodel, but I have good features and a sense of humor.’ Decide which of these more positive, realistic statements you will act on before your date begins. They reflect the real you.”


Tip for Couples: How to fight constructively

couples fightThere's fighting and then there's fighting. When couples start yelling and throwing things, when they dredge up every single complaint they've ever had (or "kitchen-sinking," as marital experts typically call it), you can be sure that they won't be celebrating their silver anniversary together. Studies show that the way couples handle conflict is the most important factor in determining whether or not they stay together, according to experts in relationship study.

Happy couples have learned the art of constructive arguing, whose research has demonstrated that it's possible to predict whether or not a couple will divorce after watching them argue for 10 or 15 minutes. In strong marriages, the partners take control of their disagreements by establishing ground rules. They may, for example, call a mutually agreed-upon time-out if the conflict is escalating and unproductive, agreeing to continue the discussion after a cooling-off period.

They also truly listen to each other and won't prematurely try to solve the problem before they've heard each other out. Above all, no matter how angry they get, they don't resort to name-calling and insults - key danger signs.


Bottled-Water Secret: It’s hurting our planet

Bottled-WaterMost water bottles are made of a plastic called polyethylene terepthalate, or PET. There are two problems with PET bottles.

Problem 1: They take a boatload of crude oil to produce. University of Louisville researchers estimate that around 17 million barrels of oil are used each year to produce PET water bottles—a major reason why bottled water costs roughly four times as much as gasoline.

Problem 2: We’re chucking our water bottles in the trash, instead of the recycling bin. According to the Container Recycling Institute, nearly 90 percent of the 30 billion PET water bottles we buy annually end up in landfills—a huge problem when you consider that PET bottles take from 400 to 1,000 years to decompose.

The bottom line: We should take more tap water whenever possible.


The Most Used Password

lockThe number one way hackers get into protected systems isn't through a fancy technical exploit. It's by guessing the password. That's not too hard when the most common password used on business systems is "Password1."

There's a technical reason for Password1's popularity: It's got an upper-case letter, a number and nine characters. That satisfies the complexity rules for many systems, including the default settings for Microsoft's widely used Active Directory identity management software.

Security services firm Trustwave spotlighted the "Password1" problem in its recently released "2012 Global Security Report," which summarizes the firm's findings from nearly 2 million network vulnerability scans and 300 recent security breach investigations.

Around 5% of passwords involve a variation of the word "password," the company's researchers found. The runner-up, "welcome," turns up in more than 1%.

Easily guessable or entirely blank passwords were the most common vulnerability Trustwave's SpiderLabs unit found in its penetration tests last year on clients' systems. The firm set an assortment of widely available password-cracking tools loose on 2.5 million passwords, and successfully broke more than 200,000 of them.


Why are men always so focused on sex, sex and sex

men and sexChalk this one up to testosterone, the “male” hormone that advises the brain, too. “In utero, the male fetal brain ‘marinates’ in testosterone, which makes his brain’s area for sexual pursuit grow to be two and a half times larger than in a female brain,” Expert says.

And then, the ‘fuel’ that drives this area in the brain — testosterone — increases in a male by 250 percent between ages 9 and 15. So by the time he’s a teenager, a male’s visual circuits — all of which are located in his brain — start focusing on female body parts and fantasizing about how to get a girl to have sex with him, and, you may have noticed, this act of “focusing” doesn’t exactly stop after high school.


Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables

more fruits and vegetablesWe're told to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables, but new rule says to fill half your plate with produce.

A serving of broccoli is about five florets. A serving of raw spinach, one cup. A serving of mango, roughly the size of a fist. It's not surprising that people get confused over what, exactly, a serving is, said dietitian.

Many dietitians say to stop counting and instead make half of every meal produce. You don't need a big mound on your plate. Six asparagus spears at dinner, a spinach salad at lunch, and a sliced banana and some berries at breakfast should do it.

And quality counts: Even two or three daily servings of deeply hued fruits and veggies (like blueberries, bok choy, or red peppers) may help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. It's like darts. The goal is to hit the bull's-eye. But hitting nearby is good, too.


What happens when I spend the day sitting around?

sit all dayThe inside story: Remember that old saying "the devil finds work for idle hands"? Spending a lazy day on the sofa may not seem evil to you, but your body finds plenty of ways to make trouble with the sugar, or glucose idling in your bloodstream. Taking a walk or getting any other type of physical activity forces muscle cells to soak up glucose, which it uses to produce energy. On a day when you don't give your muscles enough work to do, glucose goes unused. Over time, a sit-around lifestyle encourages two major problems:

* Your body converts some unused sugar to fat. Build up too much and your butt, thighs, and belly will expand. The latter flab depository is the most worrisome; research shows that fat cells around the waistline produce chemicals that cause insulin resistance and low-grade inflammation, which promotes heart disease and other conditions.

* Having lots of glucose lingering in the blood increases levels of dangerous compounds called AGEs that damage nerves and blood cells. That's why high blood sugar causes diabetes complications such as blindness and kidney disease.

Getting up off the sofa and heading out the door for a walk can help you to avoid these fates, of course. Exercise is a reliable fat burner and research shows that physical activity lowers levels of AGEs, too - among many other benefits.

Conclusion: Sitting around all day may help you get caught up on your favorite cable shows, but it is also a set-up for bad blood sugar, weight gain, and all the problems they can cause.


Home Remedies that Actually Work

Yogurt to Cure Bad BreathDo you know that everyday items have secret curing powers too? Below are two items that have the power to cure, and get medical explanations behind the home remedies:

Yogurt to Cure Bad Breath

Bad breath comes from a number of places, the two most common being the mouth and the stomach. The neutralizing powers of yogurt and other probiotics treat the latter cause. "Yogurt shouldn't have any effect at all on the bacteria that live on the tongue because it's not there long enough," says Robert Meltzer, MD, a New York City-based gastroenterologist and attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital. However, it likely has a neutralizing effect on the acid that resides anywhere between the mouth and the stomach, including the back of the throat and the esophagus, he explains. "I think almost any milk product or food that contains live cultures would have the same effect." While yogurt can get rid of bad breath that results from gastrological conditions, like acid reflux, it won't have any real effect on bad breath that is the product of gum, liver or lung disease, says Ohio-based dentist Matthew Messina, DDS. Photo: Thinkstock

A Spoonful of Sugar to Cure Hiccups

In 1971, Edgar Engelman, MD, conducted a study to find out if a spoonful of sugar really is an effective cure for hiccups. He assembled a group of 20 patients who had been experiencing intractable hiccups for more than six hours, eight of whom had had them anywhere from a full day to six weeks. Each of the test subjects was given one teaspoon of white granulated sugar to swallow dry, and for 19 of the 20 hiccup patients, the cure was immediate. André Dubois, MD, a gastroenterologist in Bethesda, Maryland, noted in The Doctors Book of Home Remedies that "the sugar is probably acting in the mouth to modify the nervous impulses that would otherwise tell the muscles in the diaphragm to contract spasmodically." But don't try this if you have diabetes symptoms.


Twitter BOSS: Tweet too much is unhealthy

tweetIt's enough to make any PR agent wince. The co-founder of Twitter has urged its 500million users to get off the micro-blogging website and do something else instead.

Christopher Stone said he did not want anybody to spend hours using the site because it is ‘unhealthy’. Instead he said they should dip in and find what they want – then stop and do other things.

Mr Stone was one of the four men who created Twitter in 2006 and has remained creative director, helping it become one of the most influential social networks in the world.

But users have repeatedly complained that it is incredibly addictive, with some staying logged on for 12 hours at a time. At a conference in Montreal, Mr Stone, 37, said using Twitter that much was not what he intended. ‘To me, that sounds unhealthy,’ he said.


Money-Etiquette: When Friends Suggest Splitting Check EVENLY but Your Meal Costs Less

Splitting CheckAt a restaurant, your friends suggest splitting the check evenly, but your meal costs less. If these are people you don’t meet with often, divvying up the check evenly is probably the best way to handle it.

The same goes if you regularly eat out with certain friends and the price of your meal is usually about the same as theirs. “You’d hope that in a group of friends, this comes out in the wash,” says manners and lifestyle expert Thomas P. Farley. “You do not want to be the person who’s whipping out the calculator.”

If, however, you often go out with people who tend to order more-expensive meals and drinks than you do, it’s okay to ask your server for a separate check before the meal, says Daniel Post Senning, of the Emily Post Institute.

In fact, your fellow diners may appreciate the move: They can order as much as they want without feeling as though they’re imposing on you.


Why are men so “physical?”

men so physicalSpend an hour at the playground on a Saturday and you’ll have all the proof you need that males and females are just wired differently when it comes to physical activity. “From the time boys are young, they exhibit much more rough-and-tumble play than little girls do,” Dr. Brizendine explains.

Scientists believe this is because boys’ brains and bodies are marinated in testosterone while they’re in utero and have more of a hormone called MIF (mullerian inhibitory factor), which sends messages to the brain requiring that they be more physically active. When males reach puberty and adulthood, they have 10 times more testosterone than females do, which activates the need to move their muscles in a way that females do not experience, Dr. Brizendine says.

Now that you know this, ask your girlfriend to go shopping for fresh produce with you and let your guy and his buddies bond over a game of pick-up basketball. Just think: an early morning release of that pent-up energy will make him that much more willing (and able) to go see that new Reese Witherspoon movie you’ve been dying to see this evening!


The Surprising Health Benefits of Love

Health Benefits of LoveLove actually can make us healthier, so much so that if you could bottle it, you would have an incredible wonder drug, a Nobel Prize, the thanks of a grateful population and more money than Bill Gates. If a growing body of research is to be believed, love can lengthen your life, ward off stress, boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, protect you from colds and flu, blunt your response to pain, hasten wound healing, and lower your risk of dementia in old age.

Studies have shown that health-wise, men are a lot better off married than their still-single pals; their wives are less likely to suffer from depression than their unmarried bridesmaids. Let a little romance into your life, and you’re less likely to end up in a nursing home when you’re old and gray. Love and marriage (or even love without marriage) turns out to be really, really good for us. Here are the main reasons why:

Love Defuses Stress

Unchecked stress can undermine your immune system, leaving you prey to all kinds of physical ills. Some studies have shown that happy couples produce less of the hormone cortisol when they’re stressed. This is a good thing because too much cortisol suppresses the immune system leaving us open to colds, flu and worse. It also prompts the body to store fat around the abdominal organs.

This kind of “visceral fat” is linked to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Marriage appears to be particularly good for health: rates of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic ailments are all lower in married people than in single ones.

Love Heals Wounds

A study at Ohio State University used a device designed to leave little blisters on the arm and to enable doctors to monitor the immune system’s response at the tiny wound sites. The researchers used a study grant to pay 42 married couples $2,000 each to agree to the blistering procedures and then to talk about topics that provoked tension and at another time to discuss topics that engendered supportive behavior. The upshot? The blisters took a day longer to heal after sessions when the couples disagreed than when they discussed something pleasant. The wounds took two days longer to heal when there was high hostility during arguments.
Better Brain Health

The give-and-take of marriage—or living with a partner—helps keep your wits sharp.

Living as a couple in midlife was linked to lower risk for cognitive impairment (unusually poor memory and mental functioning) in a Swedish study, while other research shows socializing, including getting together with friends, belonging to a club, or doing volunteer work also helps keep your brain nimble.


Pump Some Iron for Blasting Belly Fat

Less Belly FatVigorous aerobic exercise such as fast walking or jogging is great for blasting belly fat, but a total-body weight-training routine boosts results and firms your midsection even more.

A 12-week Skidmore College study found that exercisers who did a high-intensity total-body resistance routine combined with cardio lost more than twice as much body fat--in particular, more than 4 times as much belly fat--compared with cardio-only exercisers.

The resistance-training group also ate a high-protein diet, while the other group followed a traditional, moderate-protein eating plan. Researchers speculate that the extra fat loss may be due to the stepped-up calorie burn you get after lifting weights and the extra protein.


How to Tell if Anyone Has 'Unfriended' You on Facebook

unfriended facebookA new browser add-on alerts Facebook users the instant that someone on their friends list 'unfriends' them - cutting off their link on the social network. It also alerts users when someone rejects or ignores a friend request.

The script, called Unfriend Finder, is free, and has been a huge hit worldwide. Unfriend Finder has been downloaded 44 million times. It can be installed in almost any internet browser. Users see a red counter in their menu bar which comes up '-1' the second someone unfriends them - a dig at Facebook's logo for adding friends, which is a '+1'.

The news will horrify many Facebook users. Facebook itself does not alert people when you click to 'unfriend' them, and it's become normal for people to do so stealthily.

It's a crucial 'get-out' clause from friendships that have grown apart - and useful when relationships go bad. Many users also accept friend requests to be polite, then quietly 'unfriend' the people later if they're not close.

Unfriend Finder's page says, 'Unfriends are people who were previously your friend but have either deactivated their account or have removed you from their friend list.'

'Unfriend Finder will also tell you people you have requested friendship with and who has declined your friend request.'

'Unfriend Finder makes identifying unfriends easy by displaying a red counter in the menubar with the amount of unfriends you have.'

The script works in browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, and can be downloaded for free from the official site. There are Facebook apps that also offer the same functionality, but apps that offer such functions have been a hotbed of spam in the past.

Several apps for smartphones such as Frienemy for Android also offer this functionality - but many cost money, and none offer the simplicity of watching directly in your internet browser.

Unfriend Finder is prone to bouts of down time, though, users say - if Facebook changes its website code, the script will no longer work, and Facebook does so quite frequently.


Smartphone to Improve Your Mood

Smartphone to Improve Your MoodCould a phone be smart enough to work out when we’re suffering from depression?

According to researchers at Northwestern University, the answer is yes. The very smart phone being developed by the scientists would work as a virtual therapist and sense the user’s mood.

And it will even offer a cure. The phone would send a text message urging you to get out and do something to feel better. By learning all the user's usual patterns, it can sense when he or she is isolated.

'We’re trying to develop individual algorithms for each user that can determine specific states, so their location where they are, their activity, their social context, who they’re with, what they’re engaged in and their mood,' said psychologist David Mohr.

So if someone is stuck inside for days and feeling down, the 'Mobilyze!' phone could sense it.

'It can provide them an automated text message, or an automated phone call to make a suggestion to give somebody a call or get out of the house,' he added.

Tests on eight volunteers have shown the phone doctor has helped boost their moods.


Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian Go Topless

KardashianThey unveiled their line of jeans tailored for curvaceous figures last week. But just in case shots of the girls sporting the denim along with tailored white shirts wasn't enough to generate buzz about the range, the Kardashian clan took things one step further and decided to pose topless for their campaign.

Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe can be seen wearing only the jeans they designed, posing intertwined while covering their modesty with their arms. Kim said of the shot on her website: 'Kourt, Khloe and I decided to go natural for our Kardashian Kollection denim shoot with Nick Saglimbeni and pose in only our favorite jeans! What do you think of the pic? I think it’s such a beautiful shot and Khloe and Kourtney both look so stunning! Xo'

The jeans range was a natural step for the reality stars, who are known for flaunting their fabulous curves at every available opportunity. And 31-year-old Kim took to her Twitter account to show the photo to her followers, adding a link to it along with the message: 'Keeping it simple in Kardashian Kollection denim!'


Computer That Can Decode Your Thoughts and Put Them into Words

chipIt sounds like the stuff of science fiction dreams - or nightmares. Scientists believe they have found a way to read our minds, using a computer program that can decode brain activity in our brains and put it into words.

They say it could offer a lifeline to those whose speech has been affected by stroke or degenerative disease, but many will be concerned about the implications of a technique that can eavesdrop on thoughts and reproduce them.

Neuroscientists at the University of California Berkeley put electrodes inside the skulls of brain surgery patients to monitor information from their temporal lobe, which is involved in the processing of speech and images.

As the patient listened to someone speaking, a computer program analysed how the brain processed and reproduced the words they had heard. The scientists believe the technique could also be used to read and report what they were thinking of saying next.

In the journal PLoS Biology, they write that it takes attempts at mind reading to 'a whole new level'. Robert Knight, professor of psychology and neuroscience, added: 'This is huge for patients who have damage to their speech mechanisms because of a stroke or Lou Gehrig’s [motor neurone] disease and can’t speak.


Is This The Best Candidate Yet for A Second Earth?

New EarthAstronomers have found a planet which is one of the best candidates for life ever found by telescopes on Earth. The planet is rocky, like ours, and orbits its sun within the 'habitable zone', where temperatures are just right for liquid water to exist on the planet's surface.

The temperature on the surface could be close to Earth's. 'This planet is the new best candidate to support liquid water and, perhaps, life as we know it,' study leader Guillem Anglada-Escudé said.

The planet was detected using data from the European Southern Observatory's telescopes, which was analysed to look for 'wobbles' in a star's motion caused the gravitational 'tug' of planets orbiting it.

The new planet has a mass around 4.5 times the Earth, and orbits a star called GJ 667C, 22 light years from Earth - just next door, in galactic terms. The new planet absorbs around the same amount of light as our planet.

'This was expected to be a rather unlikely star to host planets. Yet there they are, around a very nearby, metal-poor example of the most common type of star in our galaxy,' said Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UCSC.

'The planet is around one star in a triple-star system. The other stars are pretty far away, but they would look pretty nice in the sky.'


The Folding Electric Car

The CityCarTiny urban car can fold in half and drive sideways, making it ideal for congested cities. European officials have taken the covers off a new electric car that folds in half to fit in to tight parking spots.

The CityCar, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, can also crab sideways, making parallel parking a cinch. The first production prototype of the car - dubbed the Hiriko – was inspected by European Union Commission chief, José Manuel Barroso, and is expected to hit the road in a 20-car trial in Spain next year.

The diminutive car, which weighs less than 500kg, folds up when parked, allowing three or four cars to fit in the average parking space. The car is driven by an electric motor at each wheel, which allows it to spin on its own axis and move sideways into parking spots. The wheel also houses the car’s suspension and steering components. Instead of a U-turn, the Hiriko can do an O-turn.

The lack of an engine or motor up front means the driver and passenger can exit through the front of the car, allowing it to fold in the middle and park nose-to-kerb in a spot that would usually require parallel parking.

The two-seater, which has a 100km range, will be initially trialled in Spain as part of an inner city car sharing scheme. The car’s lithium-ion batteries are placed low in the floor of the car, which frees up passenger and luggage space while keeping the centre of gravity low. Its makers say the car can be recharged either at home, in the office or by parking in special recharging spaces.


Simple Tips for a Happier Relationship

Happier RelationshipWhat's your New Year's resolution for 2012? To exercise more? To be more productive? We bet "a more honest and open relationship" isn't on many of your lists. That's because tons of people put their relationships on autopilot, hoping the kinks will just work themselves out - and then they argue each and every day, and end up resenting each other. The best way to have a happy relationship is to keep working on it, so even if you're not currently in a relationship rut, follow these 12 tips from our staff and you'll keep being happy.

1. Say "please" and "thank you." This shows your partner you appreciate them and keeps you from taking each other for granted.
2. Grab your partner's butt every day (or at least every other day).
3. Kiss every morning!
4. Say "good morning" every morning.
5. Cuddle.
6. Spend at least one night a week with your significant other and family/friends, i.e. don't hole up all by yourselves.
7. Use baby talk/pet names very sparingly. If you overuse these, you could damage your relationship since you won't be able to relate to each other seriously.
8. DO THE DISHES. Set up some type of system for who does them when.
9. Practice listening.
10. Practice honesty, even when it's uncomfortable.

11. If you and your partner are indecisive about where to eat or what movie to watch, play the "5-3-1" game. One person names five choices, the other vetoes two of them, and then the first person eliminates the remaining two. Ta-da, no more "Where you do want to eat?" "I don't care, what do you want to do?" (From 8 Relationship Tricks Happy Couples Use)

12. If you live together, make sure you each still have your own private space where you can retreat to work, think, or partake in bizarre grooming rituals that the other person wouldn't want to see.


Drinking Water: It will help you de-stress

Drinking WaterBeing sure to sip water throughout a stressful day can soothe stress-induced symptoms as diverse as headaches, tense muscles, fuzzy thinking, a pounding heart, and low energy. That's because stress taxes all your basic body systems and when you're dehydrated, the effects are magnified.

Given that more than half your body weight is water, just a 2-percent reduction in hydration has a dramatic impact on energy levels and cognitive function and dehydration further raises levels of cortisol, the "stress hormone.

Water won't wash your stress away. But it can provide you with more energy, ease tension, slow breathing, and reduce the strain on your heart.

Eight by eight -eight 8-ounce glasses a day- is a good general rule of thumb, but it's a myth that's the magic amount for everyone, because there are so many variables. The "right" amount for you depends on factors including your age, your activity level, your health level, medications you're taking, and the weather. So how do you know if you're drinking enough? Follow your thirst, and know that you're on the right track if you have straw-colored urine.


Don't skip breakfast!

breakfastWhen you wake up after a long night's rest, your body has gone as much as 12 hours without a meal. That means one thing: You need fuel. More precisely, it means there's probably a shortage of glucose in your bloodstream. If you don't eat breakfast and head out the door with low blood sugar, one organ in particular won't be operating at full speed: your brain, which requires a steady flow of blood sugar to run effectively. And even a mild case of low blood sugar can leave you queasy and jittery. You may also feel less sharp-witted. Studies of school children have shown repeatedly that kids who eat breakfast have better memories and learn more than their classmates who don't.

What's more, blowing off breakfast is a set-up for pigging out later on. "Breakfast is important for keeping your appetite under control the rest of the day," says endocrinologist Suma Dronavalli, MD, of the University of Chicago Medical Center. In other words, skip breakfast and by noontime your groaning stomach will convince you to skip the salad and order a Dagwood-size sandwich, instead. Most people more than compensate for the calories they miss at breakfast by overeating at lunch and dinner - especially foods high in saturated fat, the kind that plugs arteries.

Meanwhile, breakfast skippers are also more likely to snack on junk food between meals. One study found that women who usually nixed breakfast were able to take off four pounds - simply by adding a nutritious meal in the morning. Eat breakfast regularly and you'll not only lose weight, but your blood sugar should shape up, too.

More than three quarters of people who lose weight and keep it off eat breakfast. Sitting down for the morning meal may also make you up to 50 percent less likely to develop insulin resistance, the problem that causes type 2 diabetes.


Omega Supplements and Body Weight

Omega SupplementsThere are two types of polyunsaturated fats that are essential to your health and must come from your diet: omega-6 and omega-3.

Both types are required by our bodies and both are found in large amounts in our brains. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are unquestionably beneficial, because they reduce both weight and inflammation and are very critical to healthy brain function.

However, while our bodies do require some omega-6, the excessive amount in the average American's diet has been shown to increase appetite and weight, and also promote inflammation in your body tissues. Extraordinarily heavy dose of omega-6 is not good for us, inflammation plays a critical role in coronary disease.

What is it about the modern diet that's leading you to eat too much omega-6? Like omega-3, omega-6 fats occur naturally in small amounts in plants and in the meat of animals that eat plants, while nuts and seeds tend to have more omega-3. The problem for us today is that there is more than 20 times as much omega-6 as omega-3 in the our diet.

The culprit? Industrially processed vegetable oils, like corn and soybean oils, which according to Lassek, are added to most prepared foods. A problem arises when the balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is off. Omega-6 is easily found in the standard diet, while omega-3 is not. Our body needs a ratio of 1:1 omega-6 to omega-3, but the typical of us consumes at least 15 times as much omega-6 as omega-3.


What happens when you don't have enough sleep?

lack of sleepNo one knows for sure why sleep is necessary, but there's no doubt that getting too little throws a wrench into your body's works. For example, studies show that a sleep debt lowers levels of the hormone leptin, which helps keep your appetite under control. Implication: Sleep too little, and there's a good chance you'll be soon overeating. Sleep deprivation also boosts levels of stress hormones, which prompt your body to send more glucose into your bloodstream. Too little sleep also makes your body less sensitive to insulin.

But that's just the beginning. Research shows that sleeping too little shuts down production of certain chemicals in the immune system that defend your body against germs. Shortchange yourself on shut-eye and you may want to have a box of tissues and cough medicine handy: A 2009 study found that people who sleep less than seven hours a night are up to three times more likely to develop a cold.

Other studies show that even modest sleep deprivation - cutting back from your usual eight hours a night to six hours, for instance - can turn up levels of chronic inflammation, which increases the risk for many conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, and osteoporosis.

Then, there are the immediate effects. When the alarm clock blares you out of a deep sleep, you're apt to start the day in a sour mood. As the day passes, you're also likely to feel dull witted and foggy. Some neurologists believe that one purpose of sleep is to give your brain a chance to build and strengthen the wiring between neurons. Studies show that well-rested people learn new information faster and have sharper memories. Short sleep reduces your reaction time, too, making you at risk for car accidents and other mishaps.

While some people can get by on relatively little sleep, most of us need seven to eight hours a night. Experts say one sign that you're getting adequate sleep is that you can wake up on time every day without using an alarm clock.


What happens when I spend the day really angry?

angryThere's nothing wrong with getting angry - it's perfectly natural and healthy to get ticked off now and then. Staying angry is another matter altogether: It's terrible for you. Apart from wrecking your mood and alienating others, fuming all day can make it much harder to manage diabetes. Anger is a form of emotional stress, which causes your body to release adrenaline and other related hormones. One effect of these "stress" hormones is to raise blood sugar. Also, stress may make you indulge in bad habits, such as eating junk food, which can make matters worse.

There's more. Letting your anger boil all day can damage your heart. Do you get irked and annoyed now and then, but you're able to shrug it off? No big deal. But scientists now know that clinging to anger raises blood pressure. While that's not a big surprise, a recent Yale study found that people who tend to let their anger stew also have high levels of a substance called endothelin, which is known to trigger heart attacks by causing plaques in the arteries (clumps of fat, cholesterol, and other gunk) to burst open and form blood clots. Other research has found that intense, sustained anger can actually cause an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, which can stop your ticker from ticking - permanently.

Day-long anger can be toxic, so find a way to let it go. Write down your rage in a journal. If a friend or family member made you mad, tell 'em. Or just go outside and scream - whatever helps you blow off steam.


The 4 Best Sweeteners to Have in Your Kitchen

SweetenersThere are many sweeteners products nowadays, according to the most recent study conducted by reliable resource, here are the 4 top best guys in sweeteners products:

Good Guy #1: Stevia

"We need to be off of sugar, but we need good alternatives, and stevia is the safest sweetener there is, period," says Gates, who coauthored The Stevia Cookbook: Cooking with Nature's Calorie-Free Sweetener (Avery Trade, 2004). All types of stevia are extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant, but some forms taste better than others, says Gates. People tend to overuse powders, in which the sweetness is really concentrated, so if you've tried powders in the past and didn't like them, try liquid forms, explains Gates, who helped develop a liquid stevia sweetener product. Stevia contains zero calories, but its one downfall is that it doesn't work well for baking. Expect to see more stevia on store shelves, as Coke and Pepsi got the green light to use Truvia (a sweetener made in part from stevia) starting later this year.

Good Guy #2: Sugar alcohols

Popular sugar alcohol sweeteners include xylitol, sorbitol, and erythritol, natural sweeteners made through a fermentation process of corn or sugar cane. They contain fewer calories than sweeteners like pure sugar and honey, but more than stevia. They also leave a cooling sensation in the mouth, and have been found to prevent cavities, explains Dr. Gerbstadt. Just don't overdo it—too much can cause GI distress.

Good Guy #3: Organic, raw local honey

While honey does boast higher fructose levels, it also contains a bounty of cancer-defending antioxidants, and local honey has been said to help alleviate allergy symptoms. Don't limit raw honey's use to your tea, either. Use it to speed healing on burns, and as a natural antiseptic on cuts and scrapes. Honey also has a low glycemic index, so adding it to your tea or yogurt won't lead to energy-busting blood sugar drops later in the day.

Good Guy #4: Blackstrap molasses

Although heavy on the calorie content, blackstrap is rich in iron, potassium, and calcium, making it a healthier choice than nutritionally defunct artificial sweeteners or even regular refined sugar, despite the fact that blackstrap and refined sugar both come from sugar cane. (Dr. Gerbstadt says calorie-containing sweeteners are not recommended for people with diabetes.) We like the organic, Fair Trade Certified version of blackstrap molasses from Wholesome Sweeteners.


Twitter Needs to Do More to Protect Children from Abuse and Exploitation

twitterA child protection unit has called on Twitter to help tackle online child abuse by working harder to report suspicious activity.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) centre said 'more can be done' to safeguard children who use the micro-blogging website.Social networking sites Facebook and Bebo both report far more incidents of illegal activity to Ceop than Twitter does.

Peter Davies, head of Ceop, said: 'Providers of online services have a responsibility to safeguard their environment in order to minimise the risk to children and close down opportunities for offenders.

'Many companies work closely with us to enhance their ability to do this, including Facebook and Bebo.

'The centre does receive reports relating to material on Twitter but it’s important to say these amount to a very small proportion of 1,000 reports a month relating to a wide range of online environments.'


iPad 3 Claims Machine Will be Very Similar to Last Year's iPad 2

iPad3Popular Apple-watching website iLounge claims to have had a first hands-on with iPad 3, behind the scenes at CES. The claim isn't too outlandish: iLounge broke a story about iPad 2 at CES last year, which turned out to be authentic.

Apple itself never exhibits at CES, but the various third-party companies that make cases and add-ons for iPad do - and it's from these that iLounge claims to have had its sneak preview.

Most tech insiders also agree that a new iPad is due, and soon. Predictions of a launch date for the gadget range from as early as February to a later spring launch.

The site's editor-in-chief, Jeremy Horwitz claims to have seen a pre-production model of the upcoming gadget - and goes so far as to claim that others might have seen the gadget too, but it's so similar to iPad 2 that they would have had no idea.

Horwitz claims to have seen a casing for the device, not the screen itself - a crucial point, since an ultra-high-resolution screen is strongly rumoured to be the big improvement that Apple delivers this time round.


Are vegetarians thinner?

vegetarians thinnerIt’s well-documented that vegetarians are healthier than the general population. People who do not eat meat, fowl, or fish have a lower risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, less incidence of type 2 diabetes, lower rate of hypertension, and lower overall cancer rates.

Now research shows vegetarians are skinnier, too. Because of the way the body metabolizes different types of food into energy, a plant-based diet can actually boost calorie burning by up to 16% for three hours after eating a meal.

Vegetarians tend to consume less fat, especially saturated fat, which mainly comes from animal products. Vegetarians consume more fiber, which is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, but not in animal products.


Foods to help you settle into slumber

sleep betterHere are some foods that help you sleep: Almonds, oats, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and wheat are all good sources of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin and melatonin.

Pair foods that contain tryptophan with complex carbohydrates for even better results.

Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains help the brain to release insulin, which clears the way for the tryptophan to be absorbed. So, although it sounds more like breakfast, maybe a small bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with almonds would make a nice snack.

Cherries and mangoes contain melatonin, which is thought to induce sleep and now researchers are saying that some red grapes may contain melatonin, too.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin studied fruit flies and found that potassium might be one of the important elements responsible for sleep.

So, foods like bananas, which contain both tryptophan and potassium may be especially good for sleep and paired with a complex carbohydrate may be even more effective. Try some sliced bananas on whole-wheat toast.

A cup of chamomile tea will help you to relax and de-stress. Chamomile is a flower, so it’s not really tea. Real tea contains caffeine, so you want to avoid that. Just a small cup of herbal tea will do the trick.

Don’t drink too much before bed or you’ll be up during the night to go to the bathroom and that can interfere with your natural sleep cycle.

Eat a light snack or very small meal about one to four hours before bedtime. A meal with carbohydrates will help you to fall asleep more quickly, but can also cause weight gain if you do this on a regular basis.

You also don’t want to eat too close to bedtime because then your body will be busy digesting instead of settling itself into sleep.

And finally, avoid spicy or fatty foods before bedtime. Spices are stimulating and can keep you awake. They may also cause heartburn and interfere with sleep. Fatty foods take longer to digest and will keep your body stimulated when you want it to be relaxed.


Symptoms and How to detox from technology?

detox from technologyThese are symptoms identified as showing your tech habits might be unhealthy:

You can’t go more than a few minutes without checking your smartphone for email or texts.
You log onto Facebook many times a day so you won’t miss an “important” post.
You feel your phone vibrate and whip it out of your pocket and discover it was a case of “phantom pocket vibration syndrome.
You excuse yourself to the restroom specifically to check in with your online world.
You sleep with your cell phone next to you and say you are using it as an alarm when, really, you want to be able to check texts that come in during the night.

How to detox from technology

Most people can benefit from stepping back. Start with 15 minutes of going without checking emails, texts, or social networking sites. Then enjoy using your tech toys for a one-minute "tech break" — a time to use technology. As you discover you aren’t going to miss anything drastically important and start to feel more at ease and focused, you can increase the time between tech breaks.

Rather than fighting kids' compulsion to be connected, it’s more productive to help them gradually expand the time they can stay focused on something other than their mobile device or computer. For example, ask your child or teen to put down their device during a family meal but assure them that they can have a one-minute tech break every 15 minutes afterwards. Gradually increase the time between tech breaks. This strategy is even being implemented in schools where some kids’ anxiety about checking their devices can make it difficult for them to focus in class.


The truth about sugar

sugarHow much sugar can you eat without compromising your health? The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends women limit their consumption to less than 6 teaspoons per day. The AHA wants men to stick to less then 9 teaspoons, and for kids 4 to 8 years old, only 3 teaspoons of sugar are allowed.

Six teaspoons of sugar might seem like a lot if you visualize a pile of table sugar, but is it? One teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams.

Added sugars, added disease: The overconsumption of added sugar has many negative effects on our bodies. According a study published by the American Heart Association in 2010, it can lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease, both of which are epidemic in the United States. The study also points out a growing body of research that indicates too much sugar is linked to high blood pressure. Plus, sugar causes tooth decay.

A 2010 study published in the journal Diabetes Care reported that people who drink one 12-ounce soft drink a day have a 15% greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes and people who drink two soft drinks a day have a 26% greater chance.


Re-purpose old magazines

magazinesRather than tossing all of those trees immediately into the recycle bin, you can give them a brand new life, here are several tips:

Give them away to a friend.
Donate to doctor’s offices or anywhere else that has a waiting room.
Donate them to a school or library.

Cut out the images and text for collages. Collage is always a fun craft to do with kids!

Save them up until the holidays get here, and create these adorable upcycled Christmas trees.

Cut out perfect squares, and use your old magazines to make fun pinwheels. The covers work best, or you can double up pages).

Use cut out images and words to make your own custom marble magnets.
Turn a stack of magazines into a sweet planter.
Transform old magazines into sweet little recycled gift boxes.

Shred the pages to make confetti or for packaging valuables.
Fold them into homemade envelopes.


People who know how to say "NO" are more productive

SAY NOIt's easy to get distracted or overwhelmed at work. But one of the secrets of highly productive people is that they learn when and how to say "no." For starters, say "no" to whiners, complainers and distracting people.

One way to do that is by wearing headphones, that sends the message that you're busy and it drowns out the noise as well. When it comes time to say "no" to the boss, tread lightly but firmly. You don't have to spell out n-o per se; rather, ask your boss to prioritize what's most important given what's on your plate.

When an employee does that, the boss usually comes to their senses and they get it. You don't want to make your boss the enemy; you want your boss to know you're there for the company, and that you're there for them. If they know that, they're more likely to listen to what you say.


Green Tech: VW's New Chopped Beetle E-Bugster Leaked

VW Electric E-BugsterElectric E-Bugster concept chops the Beetle’s top and replaces its petrol engine with plug-in drivetrain. Leaked images and details of a funky new version of the Volkswagen Beetle that runs purely on electricity have been revealed online.

The E-Bugster concept will be unveiled at this week’s Detroit motor show, and appears to be a tribute to the eye-catching Ragster concept that was shown six years ago at the same show.

The tough looking new version boasting a three-inch (7.6 centimetre) roof chop, which, while not quite as dramatic as the Ragster’s six-inch (15.2cm) cut, still lends the car a beefier, more masculine presence.

The electric powertrain is capable of producing 85kW of power and 270Nm of torque, with the 315 kilogram lithium-ion battery pack sitting at the rear of the E-Bugster’s body.

Volkswagen claims the range of the electric Beetle is about 130 kilometres, and that it can be recharged to 80 per cent of its capacity in only 30 minutes. A production version of the E-Bugster hasn’t been confirmed but is expected within the next two years, though it’s not likely to carry over the chopped lid.

In other news, Volkswagen will also reveal a hybrid version of the Jetta that is already confirmed for production later this year. The Jetta Hybrid combines VW’s well-known 1.4-litre turbocharged engine with a small electric motor which can propel the car using electricity only for two kilometres, at speeds of up to 70km/h.


First Class on Airbus A380 Looks Like Starship Enterprise

Airbus A380The interior, designed by Marc Newson includes LCD touch panels, leather seating, plants, sheepskin-covered full-length beds and more than 1,000 videos to choose from.

'At first glance, this may look like the interior of the USS Enterprise, but it's actually the first class cabin on a Qantas A380, complete with personal suites and centre socializing area,' writes TechEBlog this week.

The first class cabin of Qantas's A380 super-jumbos looks astonishingly like the U.S.S. Enterprise in Star Trek - although you'll have to settle for earthly routes such as London to Sydney and Sydney to Los Angeles.

The central area is provided for flyers to stretch their legs and sit down for a drink.Each berth even has a dresser for storing clothes - naturally, pyjamas are provided.

There are just 14 berths in the whole cabin.Flyers are provided with noise-cancelling headphones, and the touchscreen-controlled LCD panels in every berth give access to more than 1,000 different programmes.


How to Write the Perfect Email

emailsEmails are key to communication in the office. Yet, as a rule, they are badly written. So by consistently sending sharp, well-composed electronic messages, you will make yourself stand out from the crowd, and these are 10 tips of how you do it:

1. Hone your subject line
Try to be more specific. Instead of giving your email the name 'Byrne project', call it 'Byrne project: new deadline for phase 2'. Your email is already more interesting than most.

2. Don't bury the lead
If you want to annoy people, make them read three paragraphs before you get to the point. If you want to rise in the company, state your purpose in the first sentence or two and then get to the why and how of the matter.

3. Request further action
End emails with a suggestion or a request for action. An example would be: 'I will call you on Monday at 10am to discuss this' or 'When can we get this done?'. Otherwise, nothing is likely to happen.

4. Be human
People who would never dream of being cold and abrupt in person, often come across that way in their emails. Being businesslike doesn't mean being impersonal. Try to remember that the recipient, like you, is a human being.

5. Proof your email
Just one misspelling, grammatical error or typo can make a sender look careless and disrespectful. Sending 'clean' emails lifts you above the sloppy crowd.

6. Check the address
Always make sure that you are sending your emails to the right person. It's so easy to press the 'send' button, only to discover that your message is heading straight to the desk of the very person you don't want to see it. Be especially careful about the content. You never know who may unwittingly forward your email on.

7. Behave yourself
Avoid sensitive subject areas, such as sex, race, religion and disabilities. Apart from being inappropriate email topics, especially in the workplace, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble over them. You may not think you are causing any harm, but others may think differently. You could end with a discrimination claim being made against you.

8. Stop copying in everybody
All you're doing is irritating people who are not directly involved in the project.

9. Pick up the phone
If you have to spend more than 5 minutes on an email, call instead. It's easier to explain things on the phone, and you can always follow up with a shorter email to confirm the details of your conversation. In some cases, it might be even better to make face-to-face contact.

10. Skip the redundant
If all you have to say in your e-mail reply is "Thanks!" refrain from sending it. You're just clogging an inbox.