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  • Is Your Personality Making You Fat?

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    While you can't change who you are (not easily, at least), you can outsmart your inner eater.

    How many times have you been skydiving?

    Our image of adrenaline junkies usually involves people with the kinds of bodies that look amazing in jumpsuits and wet suits. However, an analysis by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of more than 50 years of data from almost 2,000 people found that excitement seekers are more likely to be overweight or even obese. That's probably because when they're not jumping out of airplanes, they can always get a small rush by sneaking out for a midday margarita or blowing off the treadmill to go to a rock concert.
    Change your behavior: To tip the scales in their favor, excitement seekers don't need to order plain, sauce-less, steamed everything when they go out to eat, says Keri Gans, RD, a nutrition counselor and author of The Small Change Diet. Instead, Gans suggests finding healthier ways to take risks-like ordering your dish

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  • A Pup Named Oprah Changes the Life of a Wounded War Vet

    Photo: Peggy McDonnell VancePhoto: Peggy McDonnell VanceBy Meredith Bryan

    Oprah's reputation precedes her. "She's a social butterfly," people say. "She's so outgoing that she forces you to engage. You can really talk, and she will listen."

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    Sergeant William Pagan (left) and puppy raiser Vijay Ramroop with Lab Oprah, November 2011.

    The Oprah in question has golden ears, a soft, lustrous coat, and is prone to dousing complete strangers with slobber. At the moment, though, she's snoozing contentedly behind the podium at the front of the room, where a prison official is welcoming us to today's Puppies Behind Bars graduation ceremony. Oprah, along with three other Labrador retrievers napping alongside her, has lived for about two years at Fishkill Correctional Facility, just north of New York City, where she's been lovingly trained by inmates to become a service dog for a wounded war vet. Today she'll start her new life in Philadelphia with Sergeant William Pagan, 31, whose two tours of duty in Iraq have

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  • The 5 Pots and Pans You Really Need

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

    To Get a Perfect Sear and Browned Bits: The Frying Pan

    Sure, you can pan-fry vegetables, fish and meat in a nonstick pan and have an easier time doing the dishes, but if you want caramelization-also known as the process that makes a piece of salmon a little crusty on the outside yet tender on the inside instead of cooked through but decidedly soft-a frypan (aka skillet) is a must. The surface also gives you those tasty browned bits that make for deeply flavored gravies and sauces. And its sloping sides simplify stirring, turning and flipping ingredients, whether you're making pork chops or pancakes.
    Size: 10-inch

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    Make sure to...choose a frying pan made of a metal that conducts heat efficiently, such as anodized aluminum, cast iron, lined copper or stainless steel-wrapped aluminum.
    But don't...cook with it using the highest heat. Keep the flame between low and medium-high; otherwise, you risk burning food and

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  • Solve the Water Crisis by Soaping Up

    Photo: Courtesy of LifeSoapBuy soap, bring clean water to a community thousands of miles away. That's the premise behind LifeSoap, a new company that sells trios of organic bar soap--which it calls Boxes of Joy--and pledges 90 percent of the after-tax profits to fund clean water and sanitation projects in developing countries.

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    For $20 a month, LifeSoap delivers a fresh Box of Joy to your door every four weeks, along with an update on their humanitarian projects. The company's 25-year-old founders, Juwon Melvin and Aaron Madonna, are passionate about solving the clean water crisis-and making great soap.

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    Their bars combine organic oils with soothing ingredients like oatmeal and shea butter (and skip synthetic fragrances, colors, and preservatives). LifeSoap's first project, rehabilitating wells and building latrines at a school in Nicaragua, is already under way.

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    More from

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  • 3 Reasons You're Still Suffering from Allergies

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    You're mistreating yourself.

    Four out of five allergy sufferers never visit a doctor, and few people know what to take and when. If you're sneezing and have red, itchy eyes and a drippy nose, choose an antihistamine, says Sakina Bajowala, a board-certified allergist and immunologist with a private practice in North Aurora, Illinois. Antihistamines block the actions of symptom-triggering histamines throughout the body.

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    They'll kick in within a few hours, but for optimal relief, start taking them before symptoms hit (Bajowala adds that many antihistamines--even "nondrowsy" versions--can make people sleepy and recommends taking a 24-hour-action pill at bedtime). If your main problem is a stuffed-up head, Bajowala suggests an oral decongestant, which temporarily decreases the swelling of the nasal tissues. You can wait until after your head feels full of cotton--but avoid taking at night, because decongestants

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  • 3 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill (and Save the Planet)

    Photo: Ann CuttingPhoto: Ann CuttingBy Rachel Mount

    A $5 pint of strawberries left molding and forgotten in the back of the fridge. Half the cantaloupe you bought for a smoothie, languishing in the crisper. Your famous lasagna, cooked on the eve of back-to-back after-work plans, half of it now destined for the trash. If cleaning out your fridge each week supplies a steady diet of frustration and guilt, consider this: A family of four can waste more than $1,940 worth of food each year. That includes roughly 15 gallons of milk, 12 dozen eggs, 160 pounds of chicken and beef, and 240 pounds of fresh produce.

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    As hard as that loss is for your budget to swallow, it's even harder on the environment--consider the water and energy required to grow food, and the fuel used to transport it. But you can stop the flow from fridge to trash by simply buying things you'll actually eat and enjoying them before they spoil. These tips will save you money, curb how much you toss, and quash

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  • 5 Products that Will Make You Want to Clean

    Photo: CaldreaPhoto: CaldreaBy Lynn Andriani

    Caldrea Ginger Pomelo Countertop Cleanser

    Fresh ginger nicely complements pomelo, a crisp citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. This cleanser also has grapefruit essential oil. Use it on surfaces all over the house, from wood tables to walls to porcelain sinks.

    Ginger Pomelo Countertop Cleanser, $9 for 16 ounces, Caldrea through

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    Photo: Murchison-HumePhoto: Murchison-HumeMurchison-Hume Boy's Bathroom Cleaner

    Going on the assumption that boys' bathrooms always smell much worse than girls', Sydney-based Murchison-Hume created a natural but effective cleaner for the grimiest lavatory jobs. The Australian white grapefruit scent is fresh and lovely.

    Boy's Bathroom Cleaner, $10 for 16.9 ounces,

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    Photo: Better LifePhoto: Better LifeBetter Life Einshine

    Each product from this green company has a clever name, from Even the Kitchen Sink scrub to Oak-y Dokey wood cleaner. But it's the Einshine stainless steel

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  • 6 Hidden Fat Traps on Restaurant Menus

    Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul

    Sneaky Salads

    You order the dressing on the side, but this calorie-saving tactic can backfire. Chefs like to keep dressing to a minimum--too much can make a salad wilty, says Mike Schwartz, chef instructor for the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and founder of BAO Food and Drink. A restaurant's usual drizzle of salad dressing will barely cover the bottom of a 4-ounce ramekin, though, and that looks cheap, so Schwartz says chefs will almost always send out extra. Take two large spoonfuls and mix in with your greens, then set it out of reach. Picking around deep-fried tortilla strips, Chinese noodles and croutons are no-brainers, but those other crunchy bits (like sunflower seeds and banana chips,) are often roasted in oil or salt. Even good-for-you ingredients can multiply at restaurants. Tracy Gensler, RD, a Best Life nutritionist, says she recently measured out a cup and a quarter of walnuts in her take-out dinner salad--that's a full cup more than a

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  • The 2 Spring Runway Trends Everyone Can Pull Off

    Photo: Getty ImagesPhoto: Getty ImagesBy Adam Glassman

    '60s Proper

    "I love this take on '60s style. Think Jackie O sophistication as opposed to Austin Powers silliness: ladylike and understated, but not above a good graphic print and whimsical detail. Sweet and chic."

    RELATED: O's Spring Fashion Handbook for Every Budget

    Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio DPhoto: Ben Goldstein/Studio D

    Coat: Ann Taylor, $198,

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    Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio DPhoto: Ben Goldstein/Studio DPurse: $46,

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    Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio DPhoto: Ben Goldstein/Studio DA favorite piece from Kate Spade's new watch line! Watch: Kate Spade, $295,

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    Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio DPhoto: Ben Goldstein/Studio DDress: Kate Spade, $378,

    Belt: Talbots, $49,

    RELATED: How to Wear Colored Denim

    Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio DPhoto: Ben Goldstein/Studio DJacket: Milly, $490,

    RELATED: 3 Ways to Wear Spring's Must-Have Jacket

    Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio DPhoto: Ben Goldstein/Studio DSo Jackie O! Sunglasses: Coach, $138,

    RELATED: 8 Stylish Pairs of Round Sunglasses

    Photo: Getty ImagesPhoto: Getty ImagesWorld Traveler

    "This look takes you to faraway

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  • 5 Easter Treats that Aren't Chocolate Bunnies

    Photo: Hawthorne & WrenPhoto: Hawthorne & WrenBy Lynn Andriani

    Easter is the second most important candy-eating occasion of the year for Americans, who consumed 7 billion pounds of candy in 2011, according to the National Confectioner's Association. But these baked goodies make a strong case for breaking with least until all the standard stuff goes on sale April 9.

    RELATED: Oprah's Snack Secrets

    Instead of marshmallow chicks, try...
    Hawthorne & Wren's Donut Muffins. These cinnamon-sugar bombs have the same light, sweet coating as a marshmallow chick or bunny (they also freeze just as well), but are free of the finger-dying neon color. The company sends 20 in a basket lined with a green linen napkin, and is offering free shipping on all Easter orders.

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    Instead of jelly beans, try...
    Magnolia Bakery's Easter Cookie Basket. This beautiful basket delivers the same color punch as bowl full of jelly beans, consisting of miniature meringues in pastel green, pink, blue, lavender, yellow and

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