Blog Posts by Oprah.com

  • How Your Nose Can Control Your Brain

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Jena Pincott

    It May Freak You Out (a Little)
    Yes, you can inhale fear--and it changes your brain, found a German study in which "fear sweat" sniffers showed increased activation in neural circuits associated with empathy (not so for sniffers of normal sweat). After breathing it in for at least five minutes, you may feel more anxious (and not know why), as volunteers did in a study at the Monell Chemical Senses Center.

    RELATED: Martha Beck's 6-Step Guide to Taming Your Fears

    It May Geek You Out

    In an experiment led by Denise Chen at Rice University, female volunteers scored higher on a word-association test after smelling sweat from the armpits of horror-movie watchers (compared to neutral or no sweat). Through learned association, inhaling "fear" or "stress" sweat may make us more alert and vigilant--which translates into a cognitive boost.

    It Can Trigger Your Sexual Sixth Sense
    We've all heard about the power of smell and its role in choosing lovers who are

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  • 5 Swimsuit Trends We're Crazy About

    By Adam Glassman




  • 7 Indulgences that Aren't Actually Bad for You

    By Lynn Andriani


  • How to Find $2168 in Your Kitchen

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Candace Braun Davison

    Juicers and Personal Blenders

    Between the rise of cleanse diets and the April 2013 release of Gwyneth Paltrow's clean-eating cookbook, It's All Good, juicers are one of this year's most sought-after appliances. New, used or refurbished, the highest demand is for Norwalk models. "It seems to be the Cadillac of juicers," says eBay Dean of Education Jim Griffith. Bids for Norwalk's styles range anywhere from $493 to $2,795. Along with juicers, single-serving blenders (like the Magic Bullet) make up six of the top 10 bestsellers in Amazon's Kitchen Small Appliances category.

    RELATED: 11 Scrumptious (and Energizing!) Breakfast Recipes

    Michael Graves for Target Kitchen Gadgets

    From 1999 to 2012, designer Michael Graves crafted functional-meets-modern kitchenware for the company and attracted a cult following in the process. Almost any item can be sold for a profit, says Griffith, but the white Pop Art Toaster--in great condition--is worth about $200,

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  • 5 Easy Stress-Busters You Had No Idea Existed

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    The De-Frazzler You Already Have in Your Purse

    That pack of gum you carry around in case of a yellowtail-and-scallion emergency can freshen your mood as well as your breath. Researchers from Australia and England found that when agitated people chewed gum, they felt less anxious, more alert and had 18 percent less cortisol (the stress hormone) in their saliva. The study authors hypothesize that chewing increases blood flow to the brain, which helps with alertness and may also distract us from irritants.

    RELATED: 5 Ways to Bring Yourself Back From Burnout

    Aromatherapy That Could Work Even When Your Nose Is Stuffed Up
    Many people swear that dabbing on essential oils help relax them. For times when this isn't practical, CalmAid supplements contain 80 milligrams of lavender oil in a gel-pill form. We wondered how the odorless softgels would work, but clinical studies (sponsored by the manufacturer) showed that taking them daily for 10 weeks helped decrease anxiety better

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  • 4 Ways to Grow the Very Best Herbs

    Photo: Chris CraymerBy Henry Vierra

    Prep the soil.
    Whether you're growing herbs in a planter on your windowsill or outdoors, Vierra recommends using a well-mixed combination of peat moss, compost and dirt. "It should be loose enough for water to drain and for the plant's roots to grow and pull nutrients from the soil," he says.

    RELATED: What's The Eco-Impact of Your Everyday Choices

    Plant seeds no deeper than half an inch.
    The finer the seeds, the shallower they should lie in the soil. Pack them too far into the earth and the weak sprouts won't have enough energy to break through to the surface. Plus, the warmer soil near the top helps spur growth. (Just make sure your plants get six to eight hours of sunlight daily.)

    Water wisely.
    Herbs will rot and die in soggy dirt, says Vierra, as the swampy conditions overwhelm the roots. To check if you're over- or under-watering, grab a tiny chunk of soil just beneath the top layer and squeeze it in your hand. If it starts to crumble, water more often. If it

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  • Healthy Snacks that Taste like Dessert

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

    The No-Bake Brownie
    The virtuous ingredient list--which includes honey, coconut oil, almond butter, almonds, walnuts, dark chocolate, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, goji berries and oats--is one reason to love these brownie-like bars. The other reason: There's no oven required.

    Get the recipe: No-Bake Chocolate Almond Bars

    The Nutritional Powerhouse for When You Feel Like a Nut
    Frothy egg whites are the surprising ingredient that help cinnamon and sugar stick to almonds in this simple roasted snack. The nuts are excellent sources of magnesium, which can help you feel more relaxed.

    Get the recipe: Cinnamon-Glazed Almonds

    The Simplest Fruit-and-Chocolate Combo Ever
    Whether you prefer to think of this as a smoothie you eat with a spoon or a dairy-free pudding, there's no arguing that whipped bananas and pears plus dark chocolate chips are a delicious combination. Use well-ripened fruit to ensure the finished dish is sweet and smooth.

    Get the recipe: Banana Pear

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  • The 5 Biggest Mistakes Women Make when Trying on Clothes

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Amy Shearn

    Setting Yourself Up for a PNB (Pants Nervous Breakdown)

    I don't think I'm alone in feeling that, next to swimsuit shopping, there is nothing more likely to induce a nervous breakdown than looking for pants. It turns out there is actually a reason for this, and it's not (just) my freakishly short legs! Fashion blogger Marie Denee, editor in chief of TheCurvyFashionista.com says, "In production, pants are cut in batches of 100s, so the top one in the batch will fit slightly differently--especially in the same size and especially in jeans--so it's important to bring one size up and down into the dressing room when you are trying out bottoms."

    RELATED: Peter Walsh's Rules for Decluttering Your Closet

    Avoiding Anything with a Dry-Clean-Only Tag

    We've all been burned by a perfect dress that wound up costing a fortune in dry-cleaning bills. But did you know that you don't always have to listen to those washing-instruction tags? Lindsey Boyd, one of the

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  • 3 Swimsuits that Make You Look 10 Pounds Thinner

    By Oprah.com



    Want to camouflage your stomach area? Try dark colors, built-in inner mesh for tummy control and lots of ruching. These three suits fit the bill.


  • 7 Fruits and Vegetables that Reverse the Signs of Aging

    Photo: ThinkstockBy Nicole Frehsée

    The human diet contains thousands of antioxidants--nutrients that may help do everything from preventing wrinkles to killing off cancerous cells. But while many foods from chocolate to popcorn promise these health benefits, your best bet for a long, vibrant future begins with produce.

    RELATED: 12 Ways to Improve Your Family's Health

    Tomatoes
    Lycopene, an antioxidant that can combat free radicals (molecules or ions that can damage healthy cells and suppress your immune system), gets the credit for tomatoes' ability to help protect against some cancers, including lung cancer. If possible, opt for Classica tomatoes--in a study of 13 tomato varieties, Classicas ranked highest in lycopene.

    Kale
    This popular leafy green is a major source of vitamin K (one cup cooked contains almost 12 times your recommended daily value), which may help ward off heart disease and osteoporosis. Ask for Winterbor kale at your local farmers' market--in addition to vitamin K, this variety contains

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