Blog Posts by Tips on Healthy Living

  • 4 Ways to Get Any Space Ready for a Party

    Envision your plan well in advance, moving furniture and cleaning up the space a week before your party. You won't be exhausted on the big day with this advice from Tori Spelling's CelebraTORI: Unleashing Your Inner Party Planner to Entertain Friends and Family.

    MOVE MOUNTAINS
    Unless your furniture is built-in (which I doubt, but if it is, aren't you fabulous?), you have infinite possibilities to change the way the space works. If you are not having a sit-down dinner, start by moving all your dining chairs out of the party space. This lets people circulate around the table or gives you the option to push the table against a wall. You'll still use the table as a food station, but this creates more space in the middle of the room.

    Assess if there is any other furniture you should move out of the space. If you expect people to stand for most of the party, remove low cocktail tables. If you are worried about overcrowding, remove standing lamps.

    DECLUTTER
    Once you

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  • Is Christmas Making Us Fat?

    By J. Michael Zenn
    Author of The Self Health Revolution

    Most people know America is facing a "diabesity tsunami" (diabetes plus obesity). I don't want to be a Grinch, but the truth is 70 percent of Americans are overweight-and almost 40 percent of us are obese and diabetic or pre-diabetic. That's a 25 percent increase in only 3 years. How could this be?

    We Never Lose the Weight We Gain During the Holidays
    What most people don't know is that nearly 60 percent of our annual weight gain happens over a 6-week period every year: Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year's. During this very short, six-week time frame, most of us gain 3 to 5 pounds. Come March, despite New Year's resolutions, the excess weight is still with us. In fact, the data shows that we typically never lose the weight we gain over the holiday season.

    Here's the punchline: Unless you do something differently, this Christmas you're probably going to add 3 to 5 pounds to your waistline-and you're not

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  • How Can Kids Trust School Now? 6 Ways to Help Rebuild

    By David Horsager
    Author of The Trust Edge

    If you're a parent with school-age children, the last few days have been heavy, to say the least. The tragic events in Newtown, Conn. have once again raised the question: How safe are our schools? And it's not only the adults that wonder. Our kids feel this uncertainty, too.

    Despite recent events, schools remain one of the safest places for kids. But that can be a tough fact for them to accept if school no longer feels safe. If your children are asking questions, here are some things you can do to restore their trust and confidence.

    1. Kids want reassurance.
    For many children, what happened in Newtown is the first time they've heard of a school shooting. And with anything new or unexpected, your kids will be confused. Be prepared to answer repeated questions as your kids try to understand what happened. Do your best to listen and be clear with your kids by answering their questions in age-appropriate ways.

    2. Kids

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  • Shop at More Than One Store to Save Big on Groceries

    It doesn't have to take hours each week: Here's a strategy to help you cash in on the best sales and deals in your area. From The Money Saving Mom's Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year by Crystal Paine

    Consider your options. Shopping for groceries doesn't only have to happen at stores that are specifically designed as "grocery stores." Consider all the options in your area that sell food and household items:
    • Co-ops
    • Dollar stores
    • Scratch-and-dent stores
    • Overstock stores (Big Lots, etc.)
    • Big box stores (KMart, Walmart, Target)
    • Warehouse stores (Costco, Sam's Club, B.J.'s)
    • Drugstores (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid)
    • Asian markets
    • Bulk food stores
    • Community-supported agriculture groups (check to see if there's one in your area at LocalHarvest.org)
    • Farmers' markets
    • Health food stores

    Search online or pull out the phone book to see what

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  • 3 Ways to Keep Your Holiday Travel Stress-Free

    By Elisha Goldstein
    Author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler

    The holidays are upon us, and for many people that means trains, planes, and automobiles. One of the companions often traveling with us (and one we'd rather not have along) is anxiety. The holidays are stressful enough, but tacking on transportation always seems to amp it up.

    The stress cycle thrives on a series of interactions between thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Just the thought of traveling may cue a judgment like, "The airports are going to be so packed. This is going to be just awful." This often only encourages more stress, anxiety, or frustration-which then tenses the body and tips us off balance. But there's something we can do to create stress-less travel.

    One of the things that can help us shift out of our stress and anxiety is to become present, get outside of our heads, and widen our perspective. I'm fortunate enough to have worked with a number of people who struggle

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  • What to Do when Holiday Gift-Giving Fills You with Anxiety

    By Rob Waller
    Author of End of Worry

    The holiday shopping list is done: Chocolates for the in-laws, a football for the sweet kid next door, a book for Uncle Jim. But what to get my mother? You would think that with nearly 40 years of buying presents for her I would've gotten the hang of it by now. For some of us, these concerns can become all-consuming fears. Will my spouse think less of me? What will my niece tell her friends? Did I give my brother that last year? None of these questions have a definite answer-especially because I threw away last year's gift list.

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a common condition where the sufferer is stuck in cycles of worry-they just don't seem to be able to let it lie. It can cause muscular tension, disturbed sleep, tiredness, and family arguments. This is especially tricky when the worry is about questions that really don't have an answer, or when "big issues" like family and faith are involved. Will there be a family fight? Have

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  • How to Fight Holiday Stress by Maximizing Your Brainpower

    By Dr. Sandi Chapman
    Author of Make Your Brain Smarter

    Feeling stressed out this holiday season? Does your brain feel like Grand Central Station during rush hour? Are you on overload and overdrive? Follow these tips for keeping your brain fit during the holiday season and maximizing your cognitive performance.

    1. Rest during the holidays. Even a quick nap invites mind renewal and innovation, so schedule periods of brain downtime to seek "a-ha" moments.

    2. Practice sorting the essential from the trivial. Make a list of your top 10 tasks and goals that you want to complete each day. Identify the two items that are most pivotal to your success and sense of major accomplishment each day.

    3. Avoid brain drain. Limit multitasking; it diminishes mental productivity, elevates brain fatigue, increases stress, impairs sleep patterns and reduces overall health by altering immune system.

    4. Give your brain a workout. Write down high-level take-home messages to share

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  • Gift Guide: What to Give, What Not to Give, and for Re-Gifters, How to Get Away Clean

    By Philip Galanes
    Author of Social Q's

    No more scented candles! If we wanted our homes to smell like "Summer Rain" (with its sticky humidity and propensity to mildew), we'd move to Seattle-or buy the stinky candle ourselves. Don't take my word for it. I've got scads of letters to prove it. They come to me care of "Social Q's," the advice column I write for the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times (and now a book of essays about how to skate through the most awkward moments of your life).

    The holidays are a few of them. And while we're on the subject of holiday gifting, please put down that "personality" sweater, jaunty hat, sachet of lavender potpourri, and zippy necktie. Now! We don't want them. Trust me.

    Cases in point: I am a 35-year-old woman, and my father has given me a silk scarf for every Christmas and birthday since I was 21. Do you know how many silk scarves that is?

    Let me guess: Twenty-five too many?

    Or this one: My children have decided

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  • Make it Work: Tim Gunn's 12 Fashion Do's and Don'ts

    By Sharon Knolle
    In Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible, the ever-stylish Project Runway fashion guru declares "Thou shalt look fabulous." His informative book, co-written with Ada Calhoun, provides a history of clothing through the ages-did you know jeans originated in Italy?-and suggests which clothes look best on you. He doesn't just preach fashion do's and don'ts, although Gunn isn't shy about sharing which clothing trends he can't stand.

    Here are some of our favorite Gunnisms as he goes through the typical closet, item by item.

    1. "Tight underwear is your friend, America!"
    In years past, women had to wear corsets or girdles to "control" their figures, but with the liberated styles of the 20th century, more and more people want to just let it all hang out. If you also want to look good in your clothes, a little constraint is a small price to pay, Gunn argues, especially since less constricting garments like Spanx are available. "You have to make a choice between freedom

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  • The Best Holiday Movies, Memories, and the True Meaning of Christmas

    By Karen Kingsbury
    Author of The Bridge

    It was 1970 and we were a one-station-wagon Michigan family. I was the oldest of five kids, a kindergartener consumed with the sheer magic of snow and Santa Claus and Christmas. Times were tight, the cupboard rarely full. My dad worked three jobs to keep food on the table, and as December drew near he talked often of the meaning of Christmas.

    The real meaning.

    During Thanksgiving weekend he had an idea. A new movie musical was playing at the local theater. It was Scrooge, starring Albert Finney. "Let's all go," he announced. The chill of November air painted a pale red on his cheeks and his smile stretched across his face. "I have a feeling it'll be a classic." My mom mentioned something about the cost, but my dad waved off any worry. "This is Scrooge. Some things are worth the money."

    And so it was. I remember partway through the movie catching a glimpse of my dad, quiet tears falling down his face. The depth of emotion

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