Showing posts from December 2, 2018

5 Myths About Weight Loss


Despite all the research in recent years, there are still lingering myths about weight loss – even among experts! I think it’s because the myths sound so good – we want to believe they’re true. But, unfortunately, research just doesn’t back them up. Here are a few of the most popular falsehoods:
Myth: Small changes lead to big results

It’s all about baby steps, right? That sounds good, but will likely just leave you frustrated in your weight loss efforts. Let’s use the well-known, and frequently championed 3500-calorie rule. The theory equates a pound of body fat with 3,500 calories. That means when you burn 3,500 calories through exercise or eat 3,500 fewer calories, or some combination of the two, you’ll lose a pound of body fat. Unfortunately, the reality of the equation doesn’t pan out.

That’s because, after a while, your body will become more efficient and start conserving energy – thus,  working against your weight loss efforts. So, let’s say you walk one…

Can Celery Juice Really Do That?

By Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD

Right now, social media is awash in photos of people with their celery juice. They claim that the green drink cured them of headaches, belly bloat, skin conditions, and irritable bowel syndrome, purged their bodies of all toxins, and left them with a zen-like feeling of pure bliss.

As a dietitian, I’m psyched that celery is suddenly in the spotlight. It’s got a respectable amount of vitamin C, contains the B vitamin folate, and has a little bit of fiber. It’s crunchy, full of water, and refreshing—and of course is also the perfect vessel for peanut butter.

I’ve no doubt that celery juice helps people feel more hydrated in the morning. And I know from personal experience that a green blender drink is a nice, light way to start the day (though in my case there’s usually some pineapple and banana involved too).

But the mythical claims about celery juice leave me more than a little skeptical. If celery juice did, indeed, flush viruses out of the body and cure migrai…

We Are Still Here

Many indigenous cultures that once existed are now part of past history. However, many of those cultures are indeed alive; examples of resilience and strength. Camille Seaman, an award-winning photographer and Native American, was troubled by her childhood experiences hearing her culture and her people described in the past tense. As she says, "we are still here". With her camera and her purpose, she documents the beauty and self-identity of indigenous people through portraiture. Use her essay as a gateway of discovery into the fascinating ways people the world over are "telling our own stories".

How Good People Can Fight Bias

In her new book, Dolly Chugh provides us with tips for recognizing bias and reducing its effects in ourselves and our workplaces.

By Jill Suttie

Are you against racism? At the same time do you find that your dinner parties consist pretty much of people who look like you? Do you believe workplaces should provide equal opportunities for women—and yet your own office is run exclusively by men?

In her new book, The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias, Dolly Chugh explains why people committed to social inclusion can still suffer from unconscious biases that keep them from achieving their ideals. Through storytelling and a thorough review of the science, Chugh provides us with tips for recognizing bias and reducing its effects in ourselves and our workplaces.

According to Chugh, noticing differences between people is a natural part of being a human being. But, because society so often marginalizes certain groups of people—such as women, transgender people, or the differently able…

How Psychology Can Help You Choose a Great Gift

New research offers some guidance for giving the perfect gift—one that will strengthen your relationships.

By Jill Suttie

The season of gift shopping has arrived. While it’s often a joy to think about giving gifts to the people you love, there’s no doubt that it can be a fraught time, as well: It’s not always easy to figure out the right gift to give. And in looking at how often gifts are returned, it’s clear that we don’t always choose well.

While research has often focused on the benefits of giving for the giver, there are clearly benefits to receivers, as well, even beyond the benefits of receiving something you may want or need. Picking the right kind of gift can increase feelings of appreciation, which in turn help to cement and build important relationships. In fact, that’s often the problem: We forget that the point of a gift is to strengthen a relationship.

Now, some recent research is lending guidance for how to give a gift that maximizes a receiver’s happiness and fosters close…

The Extra-Ordinarily Committed Life of Lynne Twist

"We get to meet a lot of amazing, powerful leaders in our work here at Conscious Company and yet some people stand out even more from that rarified group. Lynne Twist is one of those standouts. She's a rare combination of driven and playful; flexible, yet clear. She brings a laser-sharp focus to living her values. She's relentless in her pursuit of changing the dream of modern society, and it's not all talk -- she's authentic about living it day to day. She sees the core worth of every person she's with, whether they're a billionaire or a poor orphan (and she's spent plenty of time with each). If you're with her, she's with you, and she wants to know you." Read on for an interview with Lynne Twist, where she shares about living a life of commitment, how she started the Pachamama Alliance, the wisdom of the Achuar people, on being a conscious leader, and how facing burnout is an invitation to connect deeply with Source.


These Kids Are Learning How to Have Bipartisan Conversations

A first-of-its-kind workshop trains high school students to have productive disagreements.

By Elizabeth Svoboda

It’s 8:30 in the morning, and I’ve arrived at what looks like a Model UN event. Dozens of high schoolers and their teachers are flowing into the University of Southern California’s Galen Center, dressed in their debating best and bantering in various languages. “Hello, My Name Is” badges bob in the dark conference room like fireflies.

All of these students are members of the Junior State of America (JSA), and they’re used to spirited exchanges about government. But they’re here today to practice a different diplomatic skill: having thoughtful conversations across political boundaries. When workshop leader Brooke Deterline—a cofounder of the Courageous Leadership consulting firm—saw civility flying out the window after the 2016 elections, she wanted to foster a kind of baseline empathy in a hyper-partisan time.

“People say, ‘When I try to have these kinds of conversations, they …

Farewell Badger

We cross many thresholds of partings in life; sometimes as the one leaving and sometimes as the one staying behind. Often, the farewell that must be expressed is to some emotion or aspect of ourselves we need to release in order to move forward. Pause for a moment and consider a farewell you are facing. Then open your heart and experience this soulful many-layered story of how to approach partings with grace and gratitude.

The Reformed Prisoner Who Is Paying It Forward

Raul Baez spent twelve years in prison for armed robbery. While incarcerated, he found God and Christianity and became determined to help others who had also lost their way at some point. He decided to create WITO (We Innovatively Transform Ourselves), a nonprofit organization named after his son. WITO helps inmates make good decisions regarding personal finance and character development before they re-enter the world as free people. This program works, as demonstrated by the recidivism rates for those who graduate versus the New York state average. 67 percent or two-thirds of all New York inmates wind up back in the prison system - yet only 28 percent of those who graduate from Baez's WITO program return. Baez dropped out of school in the seventh grade and was a drug addict for twenty-five years. "One thing it taught me was that you start where you're at, with what you got, and you start now", he says about his life experiences. His strength and willing…

Garbage Collector's Gift to a Child With Autism

Sometimes bonds are created in unexpected ways and can lead to extraordinary acts of giving. This video from the nonprofit "Autism Speaks" documents just such a moment between Daniel Newberger, a young boy with autism and Manuel Sanchez, the trash collector who decided to cross the divide from friendly stranger to friend.

Two Surprising Ways to Make Your Holidays Less Stressful

We can find joy even if the holiday season doesn't live up to our expectations.

By Christine Carter

Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering how you’re going to get it all done? Wishing you could just lie down? You aren’t alone.

The holidays can be stressful. Often, there’s a lot to do and a lot to buy and a lot of people to see. Sometimes we get so busy we have a hard time enjoying events that we’re otherwise looking forward to.

But we can make this holiday season less stressful for ourselves. Below are two tips to enjoy the holidays more.

1. Accept that the holidays will probably be, at times, disappointing
Bet you weren’t expecting that one! But acceptance is a strangely effective strategy for feeling happier and more relaxed at any time of the year. When we accept a person or a situation we find challenging, we let go of the resistance that creates stress and tension. There’s a lot of truth to the adage that “what we resist, persists.”

Here’s how this works. When someone or something is being …

Reimagining the Cosmos

In a conversation ranging from free will to the multiverse to the meaning of the Higgs boson particle, physicist Brian Greene, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and author of The Elegant Universe, invites us to a thrilling, mind-bending view of the cosmos and of the human adventure of modern science.

This Year's Most Dangerous Toys

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

Not all the toys in Santa's sack are safe to play with. Among this year's most dangerous playthings are data-collecting dolls and fidget spinners full of lead, a new report says.

"We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that's the case, toy buyers need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for children's presents," said Dev Gowda, of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund.

"No child should ever be injured, get sick, or die from playing with a dangerous toy," Gowda said in a news release from the group.

The organization's annual "Trouble in Toyland" report highlights a number of dangers, including data-collecting toys that may violate children's privacy.

One example is a doll called My Friend Cayla that was found for sale at Walmart and Kohl's.

The doll has been banned in Germany for privacy violations. It is also the subject of a compl…

What to Eat for Healthy Hair

A healthy diet can help your hair stay strong and shiny. What you eat can also keep you from losing your locks. If you’re not getting certain nutrients from food, you might see the effects in your hair.

Essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s, play a key role in the health of your skin, hair, and nails. You should eat some of these foods, which are rich in omega-3, every day:

Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and other fatty fishFlaxseed oilWalnuts and almonds
Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid are also important to your hair. Vegetarians and vegans often don't get enough of them.

Foods with B6 include bananas, potatoes (both white and sweet), and spinach. Major sources of B12 include meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.

You can get folic acid with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and tomatoes. Whole-grain and fortified-grain products, beans, and lentils also have it.

Protein is also critical for keeping your hair healthy, but many people don't get enough. …

Why So Many Drug Recalls?

By Matt Smith

Since the 1990s, American drug companies, and the patients they serve, have leaned heavily on a supply chain that starts in factories on the other side of the globe.

Nearly 8 out of 10 medications Americans take have some component made abroad, largely in developing industrial powers China and India. Globalization has helped keep the costs of those drugs down, but it’s also created a supply chain that’s difficult to police.

That leaves pharmaceutical companies vulnerable to embarrassing recalls that may dampen the benefits of lower costs, says Robert Handfield, director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative at North Carolina State University.

“As pharmaceutical companies have started to offshore, they’re getting more quality issues, more product recalls,” Handfield says. “It’s definitely a trend we’re seeing.”

Problems Began in Summer

For many patients, a series of recalls of blood pressure drugs from China and India has taken that question from the realm of abstract policy…