Blog Posts by Tips on Healthy Living

  • Thriving Through a Layoff: The Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me

    By Joshua Graham
    Author of Darkroom

    Ten years ago, if you had told me that I could find my calling and destiny, but it would take losing my job and career, the big, beautiful house I owned, and enduring months upon months of searching through "unemployment," I would probably have said, "Thanks, but no thanks." And yet, even in the midst of my stable life of 9-hour work days, steady paychecks, health benefits, and familiar routines forged over a decade of work, I yearned to do something more, something meaningful.

    Have you ever sat in your cubicle or office wondering, "Is this all there is to life?" I have. Anyone who knows me knows that I've worn many different vocational hats throughout my lifetime. By the time I settled into my career in information technology, I began to enjoy the benefits of the steady income and all that came with it, such as home ownership, supporting my family, and enjoying material necessities as well as non-essentials. And though it was

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  • Why Going on Vacation Can Save Your Health

    By Kristin Sidorov
    White sand beaches, or maybe a cabin in the mountains... a paradise getaway of your choosing, with cat naps, good books and good friends, miles away from the pings of unending emails and stressful, jam-packed schedules. Ahhh, a blissful, stress-free vacation-can't you just see it?

    Snap back to reality, where unfortunately, taking some time for a little R & R can be downright difficult. If you're like most Americans, you're reluctant to even entertain the idea of taking some time off this summer. The economy is still tough, taking time away from work and busy schedules is easier said than done, and sometimes, just planning a vacation can be more stressful than it's even worth.

    But according to multiple studies, depriving yourself of time off can be bad for your health. That's excellent news for our inner beach bums just yearning for a few days made in the shade, but it's important to realize why that natural impulse to relax is there, and the serious

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  • Rachael Ray Book of Burger Recipe: Bourbon BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches and Green Apple Slaw

    The Queen of Burgers has drawn together her tastiest recipes for the ultimate between-the-buns experience. Here's one that's sure to get your grill-and your family-all fired up! From The Book of Burger by Rachael Ray.

    Serves 4
    Make the chicken: Place the chicken in a medium pot and add the carrot, onion, orange, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pour in enough water to cover. Cover the pan, bring to a boil, and cook at a low rolling boil for 20 minutes.

    Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat. Strain the broth, return it to the pot, and bring to a boil over high heat to reduce for a few minutes.

    Meanwhile, make the BBQ sauce: In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients for the BBQ sauce and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.

    Make the slaw: In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, superfine sugar, salt, onion, and oil; season with pepper. Add

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  • What's Your Kryptonite? Why Finding Our Weakness is Key to Personal Growth

    By Joshua Graham
    Author of Darkroom

    As a young child, I had a relatively small physical stature. I wasn't the shortest kid in the class, but there were more kids my size and taller, than not. Having not even broken 5 feet tall at the age of twelve, I was what you might call a late bloomer. Of course, in high school, I shot up and the whole issue became moot, to the point of some of my friends referring to me as the "big guy." (Then I came to California, where a lot of the women are close to 6 feet tall, but that's another story.)

    But when I was younger, one of my favorite superheroes was Superman because he was practically invulnerable. He didn't have to be afraid of anyone or anything. And he had amazing strength-you know, "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, able to stop a locomotive with his bare hands…" and all along, he was a mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent.

    Every boy wanted to be Superman, right? But one thing I never thought too much about was

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  • 17 Packable, Travel-Worthy Snacks

    By Dr. Mike Moreno
    Author of The 17 Day Diet Cookbook

    So many people tell me they can't stay fit while traveling, but I don't buy it-that just means they don't want it badly enough. Good planning helps you fit fitness into your travel plans. Here are my 17 travel-friendly snacks.

    1. 4 oz. applesauce cups (unsweetened)
    2. Fat-free pudding snack cups
    3. 4 oz. fruit cups, packed in fruit juice
    4. Apple or pear
    5. My Lean Granola
    6. My Power Cookie
    7. Cut up raw veggies: carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, pepper or cucumber strips
    8. Baby carrots
    9. Single-serve box of high-fiber cereal
    10. String cheese
    11. One boiled egg
    12. Small bag of fat-free popcorn
    13. Small bag of grapes
    14. Healthy sandwich with veggies
    15. Beef or turkey jerky
    16. Orange
    17. Edamame

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  • 5 Love Lessons We Can Learn from the Avengers

    Photo by Zade RosenthalPhoto by Zade RosenthalBy Delilah S. Dawson
    Author of Wicked as They Come

    I'm a steampunk vampire romance writer, and therefore, I'm a little crazy and awfully geeky. My husband has a Ph.D. in psychology and actually enjoys talking about feelings. We've been happily married for 10 years and know a few things about fighting fair. And of course we had to see The Avengers in the theater, stat.

    Although the villain and his evil plot are important, the biggest challenge facing The Avengers is that they have a horrible time assembling into a cohesive team. After all, superheroes are by nature outsiders. They're either super strong, super intelligent, or, as in The Avengers (for everyone but Thor), both. Watching them bicker and sulk reminded me a little bit of the early years of my marriage, when we were still figuring out how to fight evil on the same side.

    Anyone in a relationship can benefit from taking a close look at The Avengers and the ways each character has had to put aside their

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  • How to Plan a Wedding While Working Full-Time

    By Laura Schaefer
    Author of The Teashop Girls

    Let's get real about wedding planning. As excited and happy as you are to be getting married, the truth is planning the Big Day is a lot of work. There are a hundred decisions to be made and it can be tough to keep your head above water when you have a full-time job.

    I'm getting married in August, and so far my strategy has been to try to tackle one task at a time and keep things as simple as possible. But no matter how determined I may be to stay calm, there are moments when I worry if it'll all come together. I'm sure my fiancé and I will forget something fairly important, like, you know, having chairs for our guests to sit on (BYOC!). With that in mind, I sought out some tips for women like me who planned their weddings with a lot on their plates. Here, the best gems from their helpful advice.

    Limit the seemingly endless choices. "Give yourself two to three choices of vendors and don't go crazy researching stuff,"

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  • 50 Shades of Mom: 50 Things Every Kid Needs to Hear

    By Josie Brown
    Author of The Baby Planner

    A few years back, the term "mommy porn" was an oxymoron. Today it's a catchphrase describing the yummy mommy's latest literary obsession: erotica. And no, it's not referring to the paperback bodice-rippers touting heaving (hers) and bare (his) chests we found while scrounging for change at the bottom of our mothers' purses. I guess the surrendered wife is back, in heels and in a cage: at least, in her fantasies.

    Trust me, hubbies: After one flick of a horsewhip, she'll gasp, "Honey, you shouldn't have!" and for once, she'll mean it. Expect a call from her attorney in the morning.

    A recent cover of TIME displayed a different kind of mommy porn: a three-year-old, suckling the teat of his comely 26-year-old mother. I'm guessing she'll have second thoughts about saying yes to the photo once the kid's shrink bills pile up. She better hope Universal Healthcare is a reality before he turns twelve. Should the poor boy end up with

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  • Hit a Wall? How to Bust a Weight Loss Plateau in 5 Easy Steps

    By Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN
    Author of The Small Change Diet

    It's not uncommon for me to have patients in my office who have hit a weight loss plateau. For weeks and weeks the weight was gradually coming off and then all of a sudden, it stops. At first I say, "I'm sure the scale will move by our next visit" and when the next visit comes, again, nothing! When this happens, I put the patient on the "Plan B" of weight loss consisting of these five simple steps.

    1. Don't Panic
    Surely panic doesn't get anyone anywhere. I try to reassure my patients that worse things in life could be happening to them and they need to relax. The more stress they feel, the more they are likely to start eating foods that they've worked so hard on limiting.

    2. Step Away from the Scale
    Lots of my patients get too obsessed with the scale and it rules their life. So many factors can influence a number on the scale that has nothing to do with real weight gain, e.g. sodium and bloating. I

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  • 5 Ways to Survive Missing Your Mom on Mother's Day

    By Lindsay Harrison
    Author of Missing

    Surviving a holiday in the wake of losing a parent is always difficult. In the six years since my mother's untimely death, Mother's Day has been a particularly bittersweet affair for me. In the weeks leading up to this Mother's Day, my email inbox has been bombarded with no fewer than 50 offers for Mother's Day gifts. Sure, I would like to give my mother a hot stone massage, a bouquet of flowers, or a box of chocolates, but I don't have that luxury anymore. Living Social even sent me an offer to take my mom on a Sex and the City walking tour. Time Out New York suggested a disco brunch. While I have no choice but to quickly delete these emails, they fill me with a pang of regret.

    I know that I am not alone in this struggle. For all of us who have lost a loved one, and are sadly reminded of that loss on holidays, I have a few suggestions.

    1. Celebrate the living. If there was a silver lining to losing my mother, it was that the

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