photo credit: Tina RuppSkip extreme resolutions in favor of small, smart health changes you can actually stick to.
by Stephanie Abramson and Lisa Whitmore
Resolutions are great, but let's face it: The more radical they are, the more likely you are to drop them. And then feel bad about doing so. Instead, try adapting a few smart new habits based on science-supported statistics. The changes you'll make to your routine are practically effortless (will you have a hard time, say, incorporating chocolate into your diet?), but they can have life-altering benefits.
Related: Quit Counting Calories
The stat: Eat chocolate five or more times a week and you may be 57 percent less likely to have coronary heart disease than people who don't.
The details: Studying more than 4,900 people, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, found that those who ate chocolate-dark, milk, whatever!-five or more times a week were less likely to have heart disease than chocolate teetotalers. While the study didn't
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photo credit: Tina RuppSkip extreme resolutions in favor of small, smart health changes you can actually stick to.Read More »from Health resolutions made easier
How to read the subtext in your movements-and in those of others.By Sarah Smith, Photos by Peter Hapak Every Move You MakeEvery last gesture-whether it's a tilt of the head or plain fidgeting-tells a story. Do you look down when you speak? Play with your hair? Lean to one side? Learn what you're tel
By Karen AspFend off holiday weight gain with these easy eating tricks. And don't miss these holiday tips:Gingerbread Treats for the HolidaysDrink Pairings for a Holiday Meal35 Easy, Elegant Recipes for Christmas Dinner
Which is better for you, hard or soft cheese? Roast beef or Ham? Real Simple helps you make the healthy eating choice this season.By Sally Wadyka More holiday tips:The Stress-Free Holiday Party PlanHoliday Recipes Real Family Kitchens10 Ideas for Sugar Cookie DoughWays to Straighten Up After a Holid
photo credit: Michael Rosenfeld, Getty 1You've been watching what you eat, and yet the pounds refuse to budge. These secret diet saboteurs may be to blame.Read More »from 7 secretly (and shockingly) unhealthy foods
by Kate Rope
You know how some sneakers are specifically engineered for workouts and others, it turns out, are suited for nothing more than making fashion statements? Well, foods are like that too. Some are dressed up to look like they're good for you when in fact they're anything but. When you're trying to eat well, it can be maddening when unhealthful impostors-filled with sugar, fat, and sodium-undo your good work. Here's how to spot and stop seven of them.
Related: 24 Nutritious (and Tasty) Snacks
1. Energy Bars Just because they come in a tiny package that says they're loaded with vitamin and minerals, energy bars are not necessarily a healthy choice. In fact, "a lot of them are nothing more than glorified candy bars," says Sari Greaves, RD, nutrition director for Step Ahead Weight Loss Center in New Jersey. "They can be packed with enriched white flour, high
photo credit: Bob HiemstraSure, you could just hand over a gift, but why not present your presents in a more creative way?
by Vanessa DiMaggio and Sarah Humphreys
This is a fact: It's woefully easy to get overwhelmed by the prospect of purchasing-or making-holiday gifts. But don't let that suck the joy out of the actual act of giving itself. A gift exchange should be fun; with the right approach, it can also be imaginative, rewarding, and, yes, even a way to cut back on presents. Holiday party planners, etiquette experts, and readers share strategies for making a gift exchange more memorable.
Make Gift-Giving More Surprising
For Friends and Family:
- Start a rotating gift box. Anna Baldwin, a reader from Arlee, Montana, does this with her three best friends from college: She fills a box with locally made, low-cost items-one for each friend-and a personal note, and mails it off. The first friend takes out a gift, puts in three of her own, adds to the note, and ships everything on to the next. The box
Preserve memories for your children with these unexpected keepsakes.Read More »from 5 surprising items to save for your kids
by Sarah Robbins
1. Insignificant objects from significant occasions.
People should pass along the diamonds and the Picassos. Kidding! In all seriousness, focus on keepsakes that represent something you're passionate about, things that will help your kids understand what matters to you. In 1968 I went to a concert in London featuring the Doors and Jefferson Airplane. A handbill was given out, and I held on to it. I kept it in a folder, and each time I moved, I would find it again. I didn't think much about it until I talked to the person who appraises rock memorabilia for the TV show I appear on. To my surprise, that handbill was valued at about $1,000. But, of course, in terms of nostalgic value, it's worth even more.
Eric Silver is the director of Lillian Nassau, a New York City-based antiques gallery, and an appraiser on PBS's Antiques Roadshow.
Related: Start a New Family Tradition
2. Something mortifying from
When a holiday card just won't cut it, follow these guidelines for a well-written (non-obnoxious) holiday newsletter.Read More »from The Dos and Donâ€™ts of Sending a Holiday Letter
Sending out a holiday newsletter that recaps your year and shares what your family has been up to is a lovely tradition. But it's one that can quickly cross into over-share territory or poor manners. Real Simple talked to etiquette experts to find out how to craft the perfect year-end letter.
Related: 30 Magical Holiday Cards
Whom to Send it To
It's important to make the distinction between the personal and professional contacts on your list. You don't need to send your accountant, your boss, or your clients an update on your son's winning soccer season, or your family trip to the Grand Canyon. However, there may be some crossover with long-term business acquaintances who have become friends. When in doubt, ask yourself if you would like to receive a holiday update from them, recommends Michelle Slatalla, Real Simple's Modern Manners columnist. If you would like to be