Blog Posts by Reader s Digest Magazine

  • Don't Be a Sunscreen Slacker!

    SunscreenSunscreenIt wouldn't be summer without hot dogs, fireworks, and sunscreen-or perhaps guilt over skipping sunscreen (studies show as many as 40 percent of adults don't use it). But it's never too late to start. Reader's Digest combed the latest product reviews from Consumer Reports, Prevention, Good Housekeeping, and more to find the best sunscreens for any scenario. Before you buy: Remember that only products with SPF 15 or higher can say they prevent burns and skin cancer, according to new FDA rules.

    1. Excuse: I hate reapplying when I'm at the beach.
    Choose: Broad-spectrum products with at least SPF 30. sprays and foams make applying less annoying.
    Try: Aveeno Continuous Protection sunblock Lotion Spray SPF 70 ($11.99 for 3 oz., target), Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray SPF 30 ($9.50 for 5 oz., drugstores), Coppertone Oil Free Foaming Sunscreen Lotion SPF 75+ ($9.99 for 6 oz., drugstores).

    2. Excuse: Sunscreen irritates my skin.
    Choose: Broad-spectrum products free of dyes, fragrances,

    Read More »from Don't Be a Sunscreen Slacker!
  • Healthy Snacks to Satisfy Any Craving

    Delicious, healthy, and fast oatmeal.Whether you're craving salty, sweet, baked, or crunchy, here's the healthy snack for you.

    Salty: Kalamata Olives
    We love the oval shape and bold flavor of these salty Greek olives, and we must admit we love sucking on the pits - it keeps us from eating more! Each olive is 10.5 calories, assuming it's not dripping in olive oil. So 10 of them make a lovely, 105-calorie snack.

    Sweet: Chocolate-covered raisins
    Each one is around 4 calories, no worse than a carob- or yogurt-covered raisin. So go for the gusto. Two-dozen of them - which makes a rather nice pile, we think - is just 96 calories. And talk about sweet: Raisins are naturally rich in sugar, and, then there's that luscious milk chocolate - that says it all.

    Savory: Muffin pizza
    Spread 1 tablespoon marinara sauce and 2 tablespoons of grated cheese onto half an English muffin, sprinkle with a little oregano and/or basil, and bake in a toaster oven at 350°F until the cheese bubbles. A real treat at just 120 calories!

    Baked

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  • 6 Extraordinary Uses for Dishwashing Soap

    Help your lawn.Help your lawn.Who knew? Dishwashing soap isn't just for scrubbing plates-see how the liquid can kill ants, beat greasy hair, and more.

    1. Kill weeds kindly. Be gentler to the environment-not so much to weeds-by using a natural plant killer rather than harmful herbicides. Mix 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with 1 cup of salt and 1 gallon of white vinegar. Pour the solution on weeds sprouting in the cracks and crevices of sidewalks, front walks, and patio pavers.

    2. Wash away ants. Outdoor ants can be just as annoying as indoor ants, particularly if they've invaded the crevices in your patio where you eat. Get rid of them with a simple 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar with a dash of dishwashing liquid. (You can substitute glass cleaner for the vinegar if you want.) Spray the affected area with the mix, wait a few minutes, then happily return to your picnic.

    3. Green your lawn. Fill the reservoir of a 10- or 20-gallon hose-end sprayer with water and 12-ounce can of beer or non-diet cola,

    Read More »from 6 Extraordinary Uses for Dishwashing Soap
  • Three Surprising Things Your Garbage Reveals

    Garbage ManGarbage Anthropologist
    William Rathje is professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, where a study called the Garbage Project has existed for many years. Says Rathje, "The food that we throw away can be very revealing." Among the study's findings:

    Halloween garbage contains candy wrappers but no candy, while Valentine's Day garbage contains both wrappers and candy. "On Halloween what's important is the candy; on Valentine's Day what's important is the gesture," Rathje concludes. (One could also conjecture that children do not throw away candy, but some adults do.)

    The more repetitious a family's diet is, the less food they throw away. (They keep buying the same limited number of foods and eating them without wasting any surplus.) Paradoxically, more food that is considered in short supply is discarded than foods considered abundant. This is because consumers tend to overbuy the "scarcer" foods, which then go bad before they are eaten.

    Buying processed foods such as

    Read More »from Three Surprising Things Your Garbage Reveals
  • 5 Outrageous Markups on Everyday Products

    10 Shocking Markups10 Shocking MarkupsSticker shocker: You might not think much about how products are priced, but we did the math to calculate how much of a mark-up you're paying.

    1. Text messages: 6,000% markup

    Phone users commonly pay 10 cents per text message, but sending the message only costs the carrier a sixth of a cent. If the phone company applied text-message mark-ups to a short phone call, you'd pay $120 for the call.

    2. Greeting cards: 200% markup

    When you buy a greeting card from a drugstore, chances are you're paying at least three times what it cost the company to make. Hello, free e-cards! Or get crafty with the crayons.


    3. Wine at a restaurant: 300% markup
    Restaurants routinely charge as much as $30 for bottles of wine that retail online for $7 or $8. Check if the restaurant allows BYOB in advance, or opt for a non-alcoholic beverage.

    4. Bottled water: 4000% markup
    A $2 water bottle costs the manufacturer only about 5 cents to make.

    5. Precut produce: 40% markup
    Precut fruits and Read More »from 5 Outrageous Markups on Everyday Products
  • Mindful Eating: Less Food, More Satiety

    Eating mindfully.Eating mindfully.We're conditioned to constantly overeat, but these simple tricks from the book 'Eating Mindfully' can help you have a happier relationship with your plate.

    1. Switch Hands
    If you're a righty, put your fork or spoon in your left hand for a change. You'll have to work a little harder on hand-mouth coordination, which will shift you out of autopilot or mindless eating (i.e., inhaling your lunch in mere minutes) into mindful eating which involves eating consciously, staying more focused during mealtime, and ultimately eating less while still feeling satisfied.

    2. Turn Your Fork Upside Down
    Do you stab or scoop with your fork? Americans tend to scoop up food, which can promote mindless eating; British people, on the other hand, keep their forks turned down and stab food to pick it up.

    Another utensil trick: Pick smaller ones. A baby spoon or shrimp fork will slow down your eating pace and help you take smaller bites.

    3.Take One Bite at a Time
    We've all scarfed down food too quickly

    Read More »from Mindful Eating: Less Food, More Satiety
  • 4 Reasons Marriage is Better Than the Gym

    Healthy couple.Healthy couple."Marriage is sort of like a life preserver or a seat belt," University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite, Ph.D., author of The Case for Marriage, told The New York Times. "We can put it in exactly the same category as eating a good diet, getting exercise, and not smoking."

    Marriage helps health most when couples imitate each others healthy habits. When Brigham Young University researchers checked up on 4,746 married couples ages 51 to 61, they found that couples are mirrors when it comes to health status: A man in his early 50s in excellent health had a very low chance of having a wife in fair or poor health. But if the man's health was poorer, the chance of his wife being in fair or poor health increased. Why? Couples live in the same environments when it comes to food, exercise, and stress reduction. They also share emotional stresses.

    Healthy living is a win-win choice for married couples. You not only improve your individual health and longevity, you also create wonderful

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  • 6 Shocking Acronyms Your Doctor Doesn't Want You to Know

    Say goodbye to confusing medical abbreviations with this cheat sheet.Medical speak is filled with tricky shorthand that can be confusing, condescending, and even life threatening. Here's some of slang that doctors might use.

    P.M.S.: Poor Miserable Soul

    G.O.M.E.R.: Get Out of My Emergency Room

    D&D: Divorced and Desperate (middle-age female who visits doctor weekly for male attention)

    Related: Decode Your Doctor's Language »


    H.O.N.D.A.: Hypertensive Obese Non-compliant Diabetic Adult

    L.O.L.I.N.A.D.: Little Old Lady in No Apparent Distress

    F.L.K.: Funny-Looking Kid

    More You Might Like:
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    13+ Things Your Landscaper Won't Tell You

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    7 Common Items with Hidden Health Risks

    Read More »from 6 Shocking Acronyms Your Doctor Doesn't Want You to Know
  • Mindful Eating: How to Feel Full with Less Food

    Eat well, eat less.Eat well, eat less.We're conditioned to constantly overeat, but these simple tricks from the book 'Eating Mindfully' can help you have a happier relationship with your plate.

    1. Switch Hands
    If you're a righty, put your fork or spoon in your left hand for a change. You'll have to work a little harder on hand-mouth coordination, which will shift you out of autopilot or mindless eating (i.e., inhaling your lunch in mere minutes) into mindful eating which involves eating consciously, staying more focused during mealtime, and ultimately eating less while still feeling satisfied.

    2. Turn Your Fork Upside Down
    Do you stab or scoop with your fork? Americans tend to scoop up food, which can promote mindless eating; British people, on the other hand, keep their forks turned down and stab food to pick it up.

    Another utensil trick: Pick smaller ones. A baby spoon or shrimp fork will slow down your eating pace and help you take smaller bites.

    3. Take One Bite at a Time
    We've all scarfed down food too quickly

    Read More »from Mindful Eating: How to Feel Full with Less Food
  • 6 Secrets for a Well-Behaved Pet

    A well behaved cat.A well behaved cat.Is your pet's bad behavior driving you crazy? Here's how to fix six common problems.

    Problem: Your cat has accidents around the house.
    Solution: After cleaning up a cat "accident," wipe the area with a cloth moistened with ammonia. The pungent odor will kill the smell of cat urine and will prevent the cat from returning to the same spot to relieve itself.



    Problem: Your cat keeps digging up the plants in the garden.
    Solution: Stockpile orange, grapefruit, and lemon rinds in the freezer over the winter. In the spring and summer, poke the rinds into the soil of flower and vegetable gardens, then cover them with a light dusting of soil.

    Problem: Your dog repeatedly digs up the same spot in the yard.
    Solution: Scatter a crumbled cake of toilet freshener over the area-the smell will keep the dog away.

    Problem: Your cat jumps onto all your furniture.
    Solution: Place strips of double-sided adhesive tape on tables and other surfaces that are off-limits to your cat. Cats hate the feel of the

    Read More »from 6 Secrets for a Well-Behaved Pet

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