Blog Posts by Reader s Digest Magazine

  • Dirty Restaurant Secrets the Kitchen Crew Won't Tell You

    What's going on back there? Keep your budget and health in check with these insider secret restaurant tips from the other side of the kitchen doors.

    Our waiters don't wipe down the menus between customers...
    ...or salt and pepper, or bottles of ketchup and mustard. It may come as no surprise to a germaphobe that restaurant kitchens are bacteria paradise. But bugs dwell on tabletop items too. Good Morning America sent a team of scientists to swab the items on the tables of 12 restaurants, including the items mentioned above. They found that menus carried the most germs, with an average count of 185,000 bacteria-nearly 16 times that of the second most germ-infested item, pepper shakers. (Everyone looks at the menu. Not everyone loves pepper.) Next time you're out, place your order. Then wash your hands before you eat.
    Also: 13+ things your pizza guy won't tell you »

    We get sick, too.
    But taking a sick day is not always the reality. According to a recent study by The Food Chain Workers

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  • Scientists Prove Your Face Does Have a "Good" Side

    Your "good" side is more science than pose. Scientists at Wake Forest University showed research subjects photographs of 20 male and female faces take from opposite angles. The participants uniformly found the left side of the face more appealing than the right. Since the brain's right hemisphere is better at signaling emotion than the left-and controls the left side of the face-facial expressions tend to be stronger on the left. Perhaps that's why iconic paintings like Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring lead with the left side.

    I've now become obsessed with the science of expression. It turns out I'm not alone. The New Yorker magazine recently created a short video, using clips from classic Ben Stiller flicks such as There's Something About Mary, Zoolander, and Along Came Polly. In the video, the actor's face is analyzed by dividing it into two halves. Staff writer Tad Friend examines how the right side of Stiller's face expresses his romantic, sincere, leading man side; the left

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  • How Gen Y Stays #Healthy

    Being a functional adult is, more than anything else, time-consuming. You have to hold down a 9-to-5 without whining about it, shop for groceries and cook real meals (read: not Mountain Dew and Pringles), stay current on Aaron Sorkin and The New Yorker's opinions of him, be fiscally responsible (even when Zara is on sale), and keep the world up to date on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Really, there are no hours left for the most time-consuming thing of all: being well. Bad. I know.

    So, in response to this absurdly demanding iteration of adulthood, I've resisted the urge to hide in my room eating Froot Loops and watching Boy Meets World reruns. Instead, I've curated Twitter so all my health updates are in my pocket. Five idle minutes waiting for the bus, and I'm a well-advised, health-conscious grown-up.

    Here are the most handy and healthy Twitter handles that I now follow:
    · @goodhealth: A one-stop shop for fitness, nutrition, and wellness advice.
    · @zeo: Apps,

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  • 10 Proven Migraine Cures (Plus the Ones that Don't Work)

    Are migraine attacks taking over your life? Tried everything, but the throbbing headache and nausea won't go away? Maybe you need a proven cure.

    Works for Everyone: A Very Low-Fat Diet
    According to the Headache Center of Atlanta, migraines are triggered by stress (80% of adults), hormones (65%), odors (44%), lights (38%), smoke (36%), heat (30%), food (27%), and other disruptions.

    In an unrelated study, participants followed an extremely low-fat diet (where less than 10-15% of their calories came from fat each day) for 12 weeks. At the end, nearly all reported having at least 40% fewer headaches. When they did experience pain, it was 66% less severe, and the migraines were about 70% shorter.

    Also: 11 Healthy Ways to De-Stress with Food »

    Works for Everyone: Vitamin B, Feverfew, Melatonin, Butterbur
    Vitamin B2: A Belgian study found that 60% of people who took 400 milligrams of this vitamin everyday had half their usual number of migraines.
    Feverfew: This popular herb offers "mild and

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  • 7 Weirdest Ice Cream Flavors

    Spicy hotCreative geniuses across the country keep inventing odd ice cream flavor combinations to tempt (or shock) our taste buds.

    Flavor: Lobster
    Where to get it: Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium
    Bar Harbor, Maine
    What's in it: Butter-flavored ice cream with lobster chunks
    PLUS: Quiz! Name that classic candy >>

    Flavor: Cold Sweat
    Where to get it: Sunni Sky's Homemade Ice Cream
    Angier, North Carolina
    What's in it: Ice cream base, hot sauces, and pequín, habanero, and Thai chili peppers (store owners ask you to sign a waiver before you eat this!)

    PLUS: 97 no-cook, no-fuss, no-mess meals >>

    Where to get it: Amy's Ice Creams
    Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas
    What's in it: Amy's sweet-cream mix with Guinness beer

    Where to get it: The Ice Cream Store
    Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
    What's in it: African vanilla ice cream with bacon bits

    Flavor: Akutaq
    Where to get it: Throughout Alaska
    What's in it: Whipped animal fat, berries, sugar, and boiled fish

    PLUS: 21

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  • 14 Things Your Salesclerk Won't Tell You

    Shopping.Shopping.1. If a good customer buys a dress, I'll hang it up for her and put it in a nice plastic bag. But if you've been rude to me, I'll smush it into a bag that's too small.

    2. Sure, I'll put that sweater on hold for you. But most of the time, you don't come back. So don't blame me if I sell it to someone else.

    3. Even though I seem friendly, I'm not your friend. Please don't take me hostage with your small talk.

    4. I won't ask a yes-or-no question like "Can I help you?" Instead, it's always an open-ended "What can I help you find today?"

    PLUS: 10 ways hotels use promo photos to fake you out >>

    5. It is way tacky to buy placemats, use them for your party, then return them to the store. At least wipe off the food crumbs first.

    6. My pet peeve? Customers who paw through a stack of shirts. Now I've got to spend 15 minutes board-folding that whole pile again

    7. This is not a garage sale. I can't give you a lower price just because you haggle.

    8. Even though

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  • 7 Lies Men Tell Women

    Lies men tell women.Lies men tell women.He says he loves you in that dress, but should you believe him? Men lie to women. Women lie to men. And most people agree that some lying is even necessary -- to avoid petty squabbles and to grease the wheels of a relationship. But consistent lying -- even about minor matters -- can unglue a marriage. Women need to know what kind of lies to watch for, when to accept the lies and when to call a partner's bluff. Here are some of the most common lies men tell women:

    1. "Me? I graduated top of my class."
    This is a classic case of the runaway male ego, designed to present a man in the best light and impress a woman. When the lies continue into marriage, it's not long before the truth will out. Playwright Neil Simon recalls what happened after his first hit play, Come Blow Your Horn. Every morning he'd leave for his office, telling his wife he was writing his next play. In fact, Simon had become so engrossed in a dart game he'd devised that he had not written a word. "For two months I lied

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  • One Simple Change: Stop Saying ‘I’m so Busy’

    Just as I was stressing about how I was too busy to write this blog post during a short workweek, I came across this terrific essay about "the busy trap" on the New York Time's Opinionator blog. Author Tim Kreider's revelations about the problematic rise of a "we're-too-busy" culture rings so true, especially among these lazy days of summer.

     © iStockphoto/Thinkstock © iStockphoto/Thinkstock

    Here, one takeaway I'll remember when I'm trying to justify skipping my nightly email check to watch one more Elmo video with my toddler, or trying to go more than a few hours before checking the Facebook app on my iPhone:

    Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration - it is,

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  • Common Ailments: When to Call the Doctor

    From age spots that could be cancerous to bad breath that could spell kidney trouble, we found expert answers to determine whether your health issue is minor, or needs medical attention.

    1. "This pimple looks...weird."
    Don't call if... you get a little acne every once in a while.
    Call if... if your skin is severely inflamed, if you have painful fluid-filled lumps, if your skin is always flushed, or your blemishes don't respond to over the counter treatment within three months. These symptoms could indicate the beginning of Rosacea, a skin condition.

    Also Popular: 60-second health checks »

    2. "All of a sudden, I've been noticing more spots on my skin."

    Don't call if... you start getting dark, smooth freckles. These age spots are a natural sign of getting older.
    Call if... a spot starts to tingle, itch, change size or color, or bleed. Some skin cancers, like melanoma, can look like age spots.

    Also Popular: Take a Quiz! 10 secret fitness tests you should be able to do »

    3. "Lately,

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  • 6 Brainy Habits the Wisest People All Follow

    Intelligence may be somewhat innate, but wisdom can most certainly be learned. Here's how to wise up at any age, taking a cue from the habits that the wisest people all follow. How many of these do you do?

    They work at being social.
    Studies show that people who stay connected to others demonstrate higher levels of wisdom than those who are more isolated. Make an effort to join a new club, reconnect with far-flung friends on Facebook, or invite an old friend or new co-worker for coffee. Next time you're at a party or gathering, single out someone who's standing alone and strike up a conversation. People generally love to talk about themselves; you, on the other hand, have a harder job: to listen closely.

    Also popular: Foods that make you dumb »

    They practice being open-minded.
    Wisdom involves being able to understand all sides of an issue without letting emotions or personal feelings get in the way. Being open-minded means finding empathy and realizing that everyone has a life story

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