• The Truth About Junk Food

    Refinery29By Grace McCalmon, Refinery29

    Soda, potato chips, nachos, candy, doughnuts, curly fries, and (my personal favorite) late-night cheesy bread from a certain national pizza chain that shall remain nameless - what do all these things have in common? They're tasty and delicious delights, obviously. But, they also all fall under the classification of junk food - otherwise defined as: Any food that's high in calories, low in nutrients, and generally tastes so good you wonder why you can't eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course, you don't because these foods are bad for you. But, what does "bad" actually mean?

    We decided to find out. Using Time Magazine's list of the Top 10 Iconic Junk Foods as a guide, we compared ingredients and investigated the three common denominators: fructose, fat, and food dyes. And, what we found has us reconsidering what we grab when we need an afternoon snack. Click ahead to get the whole story on what you eat.

    Related: How Healthy Is Your Diet,

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  • shovelsI've asked this question before, but I'm asking again, because I find it so fascinating: Do you have any "treats" that don't look like treats? What are your treats?

    In my forthcoming book, Before and After, about how we make and break habits - really - I identify a bunch of strategies we can use to change our habits. Perhaps the most delightful one is the Strategy of Treats. (To be notified when the book is available for pre-order, sign up here.)

    What exactly counts as a "treat?" A treat is different from a reward, which must be justified or earned. A treat is a small pleasure or indulgence that we give to ourselves just because we want it.

    Treats give us greater vitality, which boosts self-control, which helps us maintain our healthy habits. When we give ourselves treats, we feel energized, cared for, and contented, which in turn boosts self-command. When we don't get any treats, we feel depleted, resentful, and angry, and we feel justified in self-indulgence. We start to

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  • A linea nigra in a woman who is 22 weeks pregnant.(Newser)- A Canadian woman who looked very pregnant and said she was carrying quintuplets wasn't pregnant at all-and her boyfriend is devastated. Only when Barbara Bienvenue, 37, showed up to deliver her babies at a Quebec hospital last week did a nurse inform the man that there was no pregnancy.

    "She let me choose the names," boyfriend Paul Servat, 35, told the Toronto Sun while sobbing. "I lost everything, it was my whole life." Now she's receiving psychiatric care and he's refusing to see her again, CTV reports.

    Bienvenue first told him in September that she was having twins, then triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets. She even grew a big belly and had morning sickness. But doctors say she was experiencing a "phantom pregnancy" or pseudocyesis-a rare disorder that gives a woman pregnancy symptoms for months or even years when there's no baby. Now Servat plans to return or give away gifts they received thanks to a Facebook page about her pregnancy.

    "Not only has he lost

    Read More »from Woman Faked Quintuplet Pregnancy for Months
  • From food carts to microbrews, here are the superstars of the Portland dining and drinking scene.

    Lardo Lardo
    Four-wheeled fare

    Choosing among Portland's fleet of 600 food trucks and carts is a tall order. The gold standard may be Lardo (pictured back in its wheeled days--it has since graduated to brick-and-mortadella status). Rolling or stationary, the place has always been a meat-lover's paradise with perfectly crisp fries cooked in rendered pork lard. A current favorite is the Big Egg Breakfast Cart, which serves up farm-fresh egg sammies and breakfast burritos.
    More favorite Portland food carts

    New Deal DistilleryNew Deal Distillery
    Local libations

    Nestled along "Distillery Row," socially conscious New Deal Distillery crafts vodka and other spirits from organic and local ingredients--including water drawn from the Bull Run watershed.

    Pok PokPok Pok
    Full-tilt Thai

    Fish sauce chicken wings and papaya salad are among Pok Pok's Southeast Asian fare--some of the most authentic this side of the Pacific.
    Who wins in a food fight between

    Read More »from Best Places to Eat in Portland
  • Steal her shape-up tips and get a bod as amazing as Shakira's--even if you didn't just pop out a baby! Go behind the scenes at Shakira's cover shoot!
    by Erin Bried

    Dewey NicksDewey Nicks
    Have a goal.

    Shakira's: Be camera-ready for The Voice just about two months after welcoming son Milan with her pro-soccer-player boyfriend, Gerard Piqué, 26. "After the delivery, you look like a shar-pei!" says the singer, 36, who spent a month at home in Barcelona getting back in shape.

    Shake it.
    "I did Zumba throughout my pregnancy," Shakira says. (We love the mental image.) "That helped me not gain too much weight." Post-baby, she did Zumba four to five mornings a week and even trained privately with its creator and CEO, Beto Perez, for a week.

    Push yourself.
    "Two minutes of ab work isn't enough," says the star, who focused on tightening her stomach throughout her workouts.

    See more: 6 Moves To Resize Your Butt and Thighs

    Rock what you got.
    "I'm quite proud of my rear," Shakira says. To tone it, Kaiser

    Read More »from Shakira's Amazing Body Secrets
  • You're not eating enough of this. (Photo: Corbis)If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, it's hard not to wonder, “What’s wrong with me?” but try not to overthink it, as stress can harm your fertility, according to a study of 500 women published Monday in the journal Human Reproduction. “This is the first time that stress has been scientifically proven to affect fertility,” lead study author Courtney Lynch, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at Ohio State University, tells Yahoo Shine. “Until now, the stress-fertility link has only been anecdotal.”

    The study found that women with high levels of a stress indicator called “alpha-amylase” are 29 percent less likely to get pregnant each month and more than twice as likely to meet the clinical definition of “infertile” (the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sex.) “It’s important to pay attention to the signs; if you’ve been trying for five or six months and are worried, talk to your doctor about relaxation techniques,” says Lynch. But stress is just one

    Read More »from 5 Bizarre Reasons You're Not Pregnant Yet
  • by Amy Valpone

    Montrose Digital StudioMontrose Digital Studio

    These high-fiber snacks are surprisingly easy to make and are big on taste--despite being free of gluten, diary, and soy. They're delicious even if you don't have any food allergies!

    1. Trail Mix Quickie Oats: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/3 cup Enjoy Life Foods nut-free trail mix, 1/4 cup gluten-free oats, 1/3 cup almond milk; microwave on high for 5 minutes until oats are warm and water is absorbed. Add more almond milk if needed. Serve warm.

    See more: The Best Shoes for Spring 2014

    2. Cranberry Coconut Yogurt: 1 cup dairy-free coconut milk yogurt topped with 1/4 cup Earthbound Farm organic dried cranberries, 3 tbsp. pistachios, and 1 tsp. coconut flakes.

    3. Cocoa Roasted Walnuts and Chickpeas: Drain 1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas; toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1/3 cup walnuts, and 1 tbsp. cocoa powder. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven; set aside to cool for 5 minutes and serve.


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  • By Michael Mosley

    Many common static stretches could actually be detrimental. If you want to stretch before exercising, try these dynamic movements from FastExercise instead.

    It's widely believed that static stretching-the kind that involves holding a movement, such as bending over and touching your toes-makes your muscles more flexible, primes them for activity, and reduces the chance of injury. That belief, widespread though it is, doesn't seem to be based on hard evidence. Indeed, the kind of stretches most of us think we should do before exercise-touching the toes or extending the hamstrings-have no obvious advantages and may be detrimental.

    When Dr. Ian Shrier, of the Centre for Epidemiology at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, reviewed the evidence on pre-workout stretching for The Physician and Sports Medicine Journal several years ago, he found that stretching immediately before a gym session actually led to a reduction in muscle power. The effects were small

    Read More »from You're Stretching the Wrong Way: Here's the Right Method
  • One of the texting drivers as caught by Singer. Photo: Brian SingerTwits who are guilty of TWIT (texting while in traffic) can really make your blood boil. But what can you actually do about these drivers who are putting your life in danger? Join San Francisco artist Brian Singer’s quest to shame the menaces, for one. He’s heading up an ongoing project that takes photos of the offenders in action (snapped only by passengers or pedestrians, of course), and posts them on Facebook and this blog. As of this month, he has been blowing them up and paying to have them slapped on billboards.

    More on Yahoo: Texting, Dialing While Driving Raises Crash Risk

    “It’s nothing against the people themselves. I think we’re all sort of guilty of texting and driving at some point,” Singer tells Yahoo Shine. His aim is to grow the project to the point where it could both raise awareness and “change behavior.”

    More on Yahoo Shine: Bus Driver Fired for Helping Hungry Student Fights Back With Lawsuit

    A TWIT billboard in San Francisco. Photo: Brian SingerSinger’s other social commentary projects over the years have focused on

    Read More »from Will Publicly Shaming Drivers Who Text Save Lives?
  • What Makes Dark Chocolate Healthy?

    The bacteria inside us love it: researchers(Newser) - You've probably heard about the highly convenient health benefits of dark chocolate. As io9 points out, the stuff is good for your heart, your brain, and even your teeth. But just why is it so healthy?

    Researchers are explaining that the healthy bacteria in our digestive systems love dark chocolate. When they munch on it, the process releases compounds that reduce cardiovascular inflammation. That cuts our heart disease and stroke risk, io9 reports.

    The experts reached their conclusions by studying how cocoa powder interacts with digestive enzymes and bacteria contained in our feces, the Los Angeles Times reports. They learned that certain molecules from the chocolate can't be absorbed by our bodies on their own. Fortunately, once those molecules get to our colons, the bacteria take action.

    "These little guys say, 'Hey-there's something in there that I can use,' and they start to break it down," says Louisiana State researcher John Finley. About two tablespoons a day

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