Blog Posts by Tips on Healthy Living

  • How to Prevent Teen Smoking

    The best way to keep adolescents from smoking is to focus on issues close to their hearts-how it affects their looks, their popularity, and their physical performance-says Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., author of You and Your Adolescent: The Essential Guide for Ages 10-25. These six smoking myths summarize what they need to know-and may help remind adults who are trying to quit, too.

    Myth: Smoking is sexy.
    Facts: Smoking causes bad breath, yellow teeth, gum disease, hacking coughs, excess phlegm, smelly hair, stained fingers, and burn holes in your favorite clothes. Surveys show that most teenagers do not want to go out with, much less kiss, someone who smokes.

    Myth: Cigarettes are relaxing.
    Facts: In reality, the opposite is true. Just one puff on a cigarette causes heart rate and blood pressure to increase. The reason smokers feel that cigarettes are relaxing is that they are addicted to nicotine. When the nicotine from their last cigarette wears off (about a half hour

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  • 10 Drastic Ways to Cut Your Expenses by $600 Per Month

    If you've done your budget and are still coming up short each month, you need to cut expenses. But how? These short-term sacrifices will get you in a better long-term financial standing. From The Money Saving Mom's Budget by Crystal Paine.

    If you are in a real bind, here are ten ways to significantly cut your expenses:
    1. Downsize Your Home. If you are renting, do the math to see if moving to a smaller house or apartment might be worth the effort. If you're bursting at the seams as it is, streamline your life and get rid of clutter. Maybe you'll find you can actually get by with a smaller living space, or at least you'll figure out that you don't necessarily need to get a bigger place. The less stuff you have, the less space you need to comfortably live.
    Possible savings: $150 or more each month.

    2. Become a Single-Car Family. This won't work for everyone, but it's worth considering long and hard if there's a way you can eliminate all but one vehicle for at least a short time

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  • 5 Ways to Make 2012 Your Healthiest Year Yet

    Ready to make 2012 your best year yet for your body, your health, and your life? Many people are familiar with the Atkins Diet, which has helped millions of people lose weight and improve their health. Here's how to use the plan to achieve your weight-loss resolutions, plus two delicious, low-carb comfort food recipes to keep you satisfied.

    Small changes lead to big results. When you try to change too many things at once, you may be sabotaging yourself. For example, instead of resolving to lose 50 pounds, set a more realistic goal of 10 pounds. This simple change sets you up for success instead of likely failure. Once you lost that first 10 pounds, set a new goal to lose another 10 or 15 pounds. In addition, if you are a diehard couch potato, resolving to work out seven days a week for hours at a time is unrealistic, and could lead to burnout or even injury. Start slowly to make exercise a part of your routine by walking a couple of miles five days a week. Once this becomes a

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  • Language Lessons: How to Learn Spanish the Easy Way

    By Kristy Ojala
    My brother once told me a great joke: "What do you call someone who knows three languages?"
    Me: "Trilingual."
    "What do you call someone who knows two languages?"
    Me: "Duh, bilingual. Where is this going?"
    "What do you call someone who knows one language?"
    Me: "Uhhh, unilingual?"
    "No, American!"
    Ba dum bum.

    In all jokes lie some grain of truth, and this one may be painful to hear. But there's no better time to make good on that New Year's resolution or long-standing-since-college vow to really, truly learn a new language. You'll appreciate it when you travel (and feel less helpless/stressed out) or meet someone and get to practice your new-found language skills.

    For me, that desired fluency is Spanish. It's fast, furious, passionate. It's easy to pronounce and it doesn't require you to learn another alphabet. It's the No. 2 language in the United States and rapidly rising: Currently more than 35.5 million people over the

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  • Working Mothers: 8 Ways to Find a Job You Love

    By Nicholas Lore
    Author of The Pathfinder

    How can you find a career that's engaging and fulfilling and allows you to be the best mom you can be? Whether you are a new mom, frustrated with your current job, or a mother who has decided to go back to work, this guide is chock full of creative solutions for creating a unique career that is perfectly suited to you and allows you to balance work and time with your kids.

    Working moms who are both successful and satisfied at work spend their days using their top strengths and talents in a career they enjoy and care about, doing work that supports their dual roles. Here's how you can design and find work you love:

    1) Don't make unnecessary compromises. Many mothers have painted a mental picture that focuses on all the difficulties inherent to combining work and parenting. Usually work-life balance is front and center. Most moms start off assuming that major compromises are inevitable. Instead, start with a blank canvas

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  • 7 Great Family Bonding Activities from Lisa Oz

    For one week, reserve a block of time each day to connect with the people who mean the most to you: your family. From Lisa Oz, author of Us: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships That Matter Most.

    Day 1. Have family breakfast together. If you or your spouse normally leaves before everyone else, let your boss know you will be running a little late. Sit down at the table, and before you eat, take a moment to express gratitude that you are a family.

    Day 2. Have family date night. Do something fun all together. Go to dinner or bowling or miniature golf. Or just stay home and play board games. Try to avoid things like movies or TV. This activity is about bonding, and when you are watching something, you can't really speak to each other.

    Day 3. Make a family values document. Get together for half an hour and brainstorm a list of the things that are important to you and your loved ones. For our family these things are telling the truth, saying you're sorry, letting go of

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  • The Best-Rated DASH Diet: Why it Works

    The DASH Diet has been named the No. 1 Best Diet Overall and the Best Diet for Healthy Eating by U.S. News & World Report. Why? The diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, isn't overly limiting, is heart-healthy, and focuses on key nutrients eaten in whole foods such as fruits and veggies-not in pills. Making simple changes are the answer, says Thomas Moore, M.D., author of The DASH* Diet for Hypertension: Lower Your Blood Pressure in 14 Days-Without Drugs.

    To create a diet that would lower blood pressure, we knew we needed to study people who have healthy blood pressure and incorporate into our diet the characteristics of their eating patterns. For this we turned to two main sources.

    Non-Westernized peoples: In stark contrast to the United States, where one in four adults has hypertension and over half of people who reach the age of 60 develop high blood pressure, many non-Westernized populations have low rates of hypertension, and their people do

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  • Cute Workout Gear: 10 Great Websites to Inspire Your Next Workout

    By Deborah Goldstein
    Ready to hit the gym or run in the snow? Motivation comes in spades the first week of January. Beyond that, it doesn't hurt to seek inspiration in the form of new workout gear. If Santa didn't bring you new yoga pants or a warm jacket, finding your own stylish new duds will help you look good, feel good, and put you in the right state of mind. Here's where to find fashionable, functional activewear you'll look great in while you work up a sweat.

    Lululemon Athletica: Is a pair of low-rise yoga pants really worth $98? If they're uber-flattering, non-chafing, and by Lululemon-well then, yes. Yogis and runners are so crazy for their high-quality products, there are blogs dedicated to the brand.

    Team Sparkle: Their fun, flashy running skirts and "racing legs" (footless leg warmers) scream "team spirit"-great for groups competing in an event or relay together.

    Athleta: Part of the GAP empire, Athleta offers a wide range of styles, colors, and sizes

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  • Pantry Makeover: Replace the Old Processed Goods with Healthy Snacks

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

    Out with the old and in with the new! Isn't that what we say in the New Year? There's no time like the present, so let's start right away on your kitchen pantry. At this point the holidays are indeed over, and there isn't one good reason for you to still have holiday candies, cookies, and cakes hanging around. You've had your fill, and it's time to stock up on healthy foods.

    Here are some really simple, affordable items that should be found in your pantry in 2012:
    Beans: These are one of the most versatile and nutritious foods I know and one of the easiest to cook with. Simply open up a can of your favorites-black beans, garbanzo beans (chick peas), cannellini beans, or kidney beans-drain, then rinse under cold water, and toss them into a salad, pasta dish, or soup. Or put them into a blender and create your own bean dip or hummus variation. This will make a great snack with raw veggies, whole-wheat crackers

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  • The 10 Commandments of Weight Loss for Life

    A series of small lifestyle changes can help you lose weight-and keep it off for good. Learn how to stop dieting and make honest behavioral moves that will keep you slim. From Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, author of The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You.

    Small Change 1: Create a healthy eating schedule. Don't skip meals. Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and ideally two snacks a day. When you eat every three to four hours, you're less likely to overindulge or eat the wrong foods.

    Small Change 2: Brighten your plate, naturally. Build all your meals with low-calorie fruits and veggies. They help fill you up without filling you out. Half your plate should contain veggies, especially at dinner. Have fruit for dessert more often than not.

    Small Change 3: Think before you drink (sip, guzzle, or chug). Always think about your drink. Don't waste calories on sugary beverages with no nutritional content. Choose water, seltzer, low-fat milk, and other low-calorie,

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