Blog Posts by genConnect.com

  • How "No Strings Attached" Relationships Became Popular

    RAMONA BRULAND: It's "No Strings Attached", friends with benefits, and all that that entails. With me to talk about this topic and this film is Dr. Alan Altman. He has 35 years experience as a professor at Harvard Medical School. He's also the president of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health, one of the foremost academic and clinical research societies dedicated to women's sexual function and dysfunction. He's also a consultative gynecologist for menopausal and sexual dysfunction here in Aspen, Colorado. Thank you so much for joining us today.

    DR ALAN ALTMAN: Absolute pleasure.

    RAMONA: Quite the title there. Sitting next to you, we have Dr. Marianne Brandon, clinical psychologist. She is a diplomat in sex therapy through the American Association of sex educators, counselors, and therapists, serving individuals and couples in Annapolis, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and the surrounding areas. Thanks for joining us today.

    DR MARIANNE BRANDON: My

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  • 5 Career Tips from the Director of "Black Swan"

    Darren Aronofsky and Natalie PortmanDarren Aronofsky and Natalie PortmanDarren Aronofsky is doing something right. Aronofsky directed "Black Swan" - the psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman that's getting all the Oscar buzz. He also directed the Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei groundbreaking movie "The Wrestler," which was the it film of 2008. When I recently heard him eloquently speak at the Film Society at Lincoln Center about the craft of filmmaking and acting, a common theme resonated throughout: Working hard and staying focused.

    1. Be present. How many times have you sat in a dreadfully boring meeting only to create a mental list of things you need to pick up from the grocery store on the way home from office? Better yet, how many times have you had to stop yourself from logging onto Facebook yet again during a conference call? Lucky for us, Aronofsky reminds us to stay focused and in the moment, courtesy of the actors he gets to work with. "Finding the moment, being present which is what actors do and that sort of became my defined

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  • Moving Forward After Tucson

    The tragedy experienced in Tucson, leaving six dead including 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, has left many coping with a loss so shocking that it can feel impossible to move forward.

    Typically, the new year brings with it hope, possibilities and resolutions. For those who have lost a loved one or are coping with a loved one's terminal illness, the new year can be a mixed bags of emotions. We know that grieving is an ongoing process that never ends but waxes and wanes over our life span. From Dr. Barbara Okun's and Dr. Joseph Nowinski's research, personal and professional experience, there are a few things you can do to help with the grieving:

    • Talk to family members, friends, support groups (virtual or real) about your feelings and focus on positive shared memories
    • Talk to your loved one - aloud, internally or writing
    • Take care of yourself by eating healthfully, sleeping sufficiently and walking or some other physical activity
    • Take some time for self soothing -
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  • The Best Foods for Your Heart

    February is American Heart Month. It is understandable that a whole month would be dedicated to 'heart health' since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

    By eating healthy and exercising you can minimize your risk for heart disease. Other ways to minimize your risk is by meditating and doing yoga, which helps lessen the stress in your life. However, eating the right foods and limiting or avoiding others, is a must in order to have a ticker that will last for a very long life.

    Let's look at what to eat for a stronger heart:

    Lean protein: Skinless chicken, fish, egg whites soy and an occasional serving of fat-trimmed meat (trimming fat before cooking meat or poultry; drain off fat after browning and skim the fat off of homemade soups and stews).

    At a Restaurant? Eating Out Smart

    Produce: 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetables provides minerals - and contain a substance found in plants that helps ward off

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  • Foods That Fight Aging

    Who doesn't want to look younger? Most of us are looking for the next new way to maintain our youthful looks and energy. Unfortunately, there is no "magic pill" to turn back the clocks - yet! And turning to Botox, liposuction or other quick fixes are not the answers in the long run. The best ways to slow the aging process is simple:

    Eating smart.

    The Age Accelerators

    The Whites: White bread, white potatoes, white rice, and all things sugary taste great but go straight to the hips. They are also not good for your skin. The simple carbohydrates turns to sugar or glucose in the body, and they can be the skin's enemy. Too much of it can cause acne and also strip the skin of elasticity. Your best alternative is to always go whole grain.

    Salt: Too much salt can cause skin to turn leathery. Too much sodium results in facial bloating and big bags under the eyes. By drinking lots of water those toxins can be flushed out of your system and the puffiness will also go down.

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  • How Chicken Soup Books Continue to Warm Souls

    The First Chicken Soup Book, 1993The First Chicken Soup Book, 1993Amy Newmark's goal is to warm hearts. As the publisher, author and editor of the 18-year-old series Chicken Soup for the Soul, Amy is responsible for finding the stories that will touch the world. genConnect.com had the unique opportunity to ask Amy our questions. From the book that made her cry to her secret to publishing, year after year, titles that continue to inspire, here's what Amy has to say:

    Q. Which story or stories from any Chicken Soup for the Soul made you laugh the hardest?

    Amy: A recent story comes to mind immediately, in our book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters. One of our editors, Barbara LoMonaco, wrote it about her husband Frank, who is obsessed with keeping his cars clean and ding-free, to the point that he parks the car at the far end of parking lots and always makes her walk long distances to their destinations. One day, after he found the perfect parking spot at the far end of a parking lot, and she walked a long distance to and from a

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  • What do you think of the modern sexual phenomenon, Friends with Benefits (FWB)? Have you experienced it? Do you want to?

    A growing number of men and women are engaging in this type of relationship. In fact, in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy (July 2010) one survey of college women showed that the majority of their "hook-ups" were with friends or acquaintances. In this study, at the end of the first semester in college, 56% of women reported having engaged in a hook-up that resulted in oral sex at least once in their lifetime, while 42% said the same about intercourse.

    The Friends With Benefits trend has also caught Hollywood's attention with movies set to hit theaters this year addressing this kind of fling. On January 21st, we have "No Strings Attached," where Emma (Natalie Portman) has a strictly physical relationship with her best guy friend Adam (Ashton Kutcher). Six months later, another movie comes out with two pals rolling around under the covers -- this one actually

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  • Nutricosmetics: Eat, Drink and Look Better? Yes!

    Beauty foods, antioxidants cocktails and nutritional supplements with skin benefits define a growing category of wellness known as Nutritional Cosmetics (or more readily known as Nutricosmetics).

    Rated a top 10 trend for 2010, Nutricosmetics are essentially the "missing link" between personal care and optimal beauty. Increasingly, North Americans are becoming more educated and sophisticated in their understanding on the benefits of how optimal nutrition relates to how they look and feel. As the medical aesthetic and spa industries are the experts in total wellness and beauty, consumers are seeking Nutricosmetics here to work along with their total beauty and treatment programs.

    The 411 on Nutricosmetics
    There are many factors that can accelerate skin aging that may include hormonal imbalance, inflammation, smoking and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. As the skin ages, the cells are more susceptible to environmental stressors. These stressors stimulate the production

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  • Contrary to Popular Belief, Older Women Are Better in Bed

    You've probably never even thought about it. What impact does this culture have on your sex life?

    It may surprise you to learn that the answer is quite a bit.

    Our culture provides much of the context for the way we understand the world - such as how we perceive and interpret our experiences, and the expectations we hold for ourselves and others. Our culture influences whether we think insects are good eatin', if we think going topless in public is appropriate, and whether or not sexual monogamy is reasonable.

    Are You With the Right Partner?

    Culture is, of course, not the only influence on these variables, but it is nonetheless a significant one. As a result, you might find it interesting to determine exactly how Western culture impacts who you are as a sexual being. The problem is that Western culture endorses myths about human sexuality which many men and women buy hook, line and sinker. People then become critical of themselves and their lovers when they don't live up to our

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  • Red Flags This Relationship Won't Last


    This is a topic that often brings people into my therapy sessions. You are in a new relationship, it is seemingly going well, it is getting serious, yet there is something that is holding you back from making that ultimate commitment. Here are the four red flags that this relationship may not last ...
    1. Love and sex are not enough to sustain a long term relationship. This is a mistake so many couples make. There are many ingredients that go into a healthy relationship - and love and sex are only two of them. It's crucial to evaluate other aspects of the relationship that are equally important such as friendship, values, religion and communication skills. Plus: Common Sex Problems Solved
    2. Something feels wrong. It's important to listen to both your head and your heart when making a commitment. If something feels wrong, it probably is. It's important to evaluate what is not working well for you. Could this be your own psychological baggage, or is there really a problem in this

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