Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Savory Broccoli-Cauliflower Roast - Good Housekeeping

Citrus and green olives garnish this simple roasted cauliflower and broccoli side dish, a must-have on the holiday dinner table.

Serves: 12

Total Time: 45 min

Prep Time: 20 min

Oven Temp: 450


  • 4 head(s) (1 1/2 pounds each) broccoli, cut into medium florets
  • 5 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 head(s) (1 1/4 pounds each) cauliflower, cut into medium florets
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup(s) green olives, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish


  1. Arrange 2 oven racks in bottom half of oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. On 18- by 12-inch jelly-roll pan, toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. On another 18- by 12-inch jelly-roll pan, toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Roast 30 to 35 minutes or until vegetables are browned and just tender, rotating pans between racks halfway through roasting.
  4. Meanwhile, from orange, grate 1/2 teaspoon peel and squeeze 1/4 cup juice into medium bowl. Into same bowl, from lemon, grate 1/4 teaspoon peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. Whisk in 2 tablespoons oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pinch freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Arrange broccoli and cauliflower on serving platter. Scatter olives over vegetables. Whisk dressing again and drizzle all over dish. Garnish with parsley.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How to handle your haters

At some point in our lives, we all have to deal with haters. Maybe someone is rude to you on the subway. Maybe you've got a negative person in your office. Or perhaps you receive negative messages on the Internet. Experiencing negativity from others can be a real drag, and it's very hard not to take this stuff personally. I often witness people get so caught up in the negativity of others that they get physically ill over it. Letting haters get you down is a huge waste of time and energy. To help you navigate these relationships, I've outlined three steps for handling the downers in your life.

Step 1: Understand that it's not about you
When people attack us, it's easy to assume that the attack has merit and means there's something wrong with us. I choose to have a different perspective -- I like to have compassion for these folks. Let's face it: A happy person won't waste time being mean to others. Therefore, we must have a tremendous amount of compassion for these people. Anyone who wastes time and energy spreading negativity clearly needs more light in his or her life. Begin by simply reminding yourself that a happy person doesn't harm others. Let this realization help you have compassion for the haters.

Step 2:?Drop the boxing gloves
Through my spiritual practice, I’ve come to understand that “insistence means investment.” When we invest in the illusions of others by defending ourselves or fighting back, we only invest deeper into the craziness. Engaging in negativity creates more of it. Therefore, instead of fighting back or becoming defensive choose to release defensiveness and steer far away from creating more drama. Fighting back is like yelling at a barking dog. There’s no good outcome. Instead, practice defenselessness and witness how much energy and time you save avoiding more drama.

Step 3: Forgive
Forgiveness helps us detach from the negative energy cord that ties us to our enemies. Energy is in everything. If we don't clean up our energy through forgiveness, we'll continue to carry negativity. In the case of handling these negative folks, it's imperative that you practice the F-word: Forgive. Steps one and two will prime you for forgiveness. Compassion will reconnect you to a sense of oneness and defenselessness, which will help you put down the boxing gloves and settle into a new perspective. The final step is to let go fully and forgive. In this step, you'll set the intention. Simply say, "I wish to forgive you and release you." Then let the forgiveness process take on a life of its own.

— Gabrielle Bernstein is the author of “Spirit Junkie.”

10 Great Vegetarian Protein Sources

The average sedentary adult should have 40 grams of protein per 100 pounds of body weight. This statistic also includes those that are vegetarian, and there are many foods that do not contain meat that are great protein sources for vegetarians. This list of 10 foods are rich in protein and contain anywhere between 4.6 - 16 grams of protein per serving.

1. Low-Carb Flat Breads

Low-carb flat breads, including mission tortillas, contain about 30 grams of protein each, making them a great source of protein for vegetarians to choose as part of their diet.


2. Chick Peas

Chick peas are a food that is full of protein. These beans have 16 grams of protein per 200 gram serving. This is by far one of the best sources of protein for vegetarians.


3. Kidney Beans

Coming in third, kidney beans provide 15 grams of protein per 200 gram serving. Kidney beans are rich in protein, and they are a hearty food as well.



4. Baked Beans

Like the other beans, baked beans are high in protein as well. With 12 grams of protein per 200 gram servings, baked beans are a great vegetarian protein source.

Basic Vegetarian Baked Beans Recipe


5. Tofu

Tofu is an alternative to meat. It can be used for cooking various kinds of dishes. A 140 gram serving of tofu contains 11 grams of protein. As well as having a high protein content, tofu is also rich in iron and magnesium.


6. Almonds

Almonds are a nut with a number of health benefits, including having a high amount of protein. A 1/4 cup serving of almonds contains 8 grams of protein. Almonds have a lower saturated fat content and are a great way for vegetarians to get protein.



7. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a high source of protein as well. 30 grams of peanut butter contain 7.5 grams of protein. Although peanut butter is a food that is higher in fat, when added to a vegetarian diet in moderation, it will help to meet the daily recommendation of protein.



8. Soy Milk

Soy milk is another vegetarian food choice that is high in protein. At about 7 grams of protein per 8 ounces of soy-milk, adding this drink to any diet will help reach the daily amount of protein needed by an individual.


9. Dried Apricots

Although at the bottom of the list, dried apricots are also an option that is high in protein. An 8 ounce serving of this dried fruit provides 5 grams of protein. Dried apricots are low in fat and cholesterol and are a great protein option for vegetarians.

File:Apricot and cross section.jpg

10. Avocado

Last but not least is a fruit that is high in protein. Avacado is a protein rich food that provides about 5 grams of protein per 8 ounces mashed. This fruit is great added to any vegetarian diet.

There are a number of foods that provide a  protein source for vegetarians. These choices include fruits, vegetables and nuts. When combined with other nutrient rich foods, these vegetarian options help to provide the daily recommended amount of protein.




Sunday, November 25, 2012

Water Intoxication: How Much Water is Too Much

Amid the modern day mantra to maintain hydration, or to "stay ahead of thirst," It is wise to acknowledge that drinking too much water has an ominous side.

It can be fatal.

Water intoxication affects non-elite athletes more commonly although it can happen to anyone who drinks more water than their body can manage. It is an increasingly recognized problem.

Ingesting an enormous quantity of water too quickly over a short time span causes water intoxication or over hydration because the water ingested exceeds the body's ability to metabolize it safely.

The resulting over hydration will cause dilutional hyponatremia; a state of low sodium levels in the body fluids outside the cells.

The effect on the body will be similar to a fresh water drowning.

When sodium levels drop in the fluids outside the cells, water seeps into the cells in an attempt to balance the concentration of salt outside the cells. The cells then swell because of the excess water. In severe cases, cerebral edema and fluid in the lungs manifests. All of which can be lethal, when left untreated.

As the water content of the blood increases, the body cannot excrete the fluids fast enough. The excess water then goes to the bowel, which pulls salt into it from the body diluting the concentration of sodium in the body tissues leading to massive cellular damage effecting muscle, brain, heart liver, and kidney function. When cell death occurs, water intoxication becomes water poisoning.

Among sodium's varied roles, it helps to maintain blood pressure, electrolyte equilibrium, and allows organs, muscles and nerves to work properly.

Healthy adult kidneys are capable of processing 15 liters of water or almost 4 U.S. gallons, per day, if one drinks the water in small quantities spread throughout the entire day.

It is not advisable, however, to drink 15 liters of water daily over a long period.

The United States Department of Agriculture, food and nutrition information center, in general recommends an average daily fluid intake, including liquids from foods and other beverages, of 2.7 liters or 91 ounces for women, and 3.7 liters or 125 ounces for men spread throughout the day.

It is important to realize that the center's recommendation varies more or less with body mass, activity level, heat, humidity, and health status.

In addition, the average healthy person should ingest no more than approximately 240 milliliters, or close to 8 ounces, in roughly an hour giving the body adequate time to absorb use and excrete the water effectively.

People with known health conditions, particularly conditions affecting water balance, should discuss hydration with a doctor specializing in their particular medical concern.

Hyponatremia, in various forms, affects a wide spectrum of people. It includes those with kidney, liver, endocrine, or heart disorders, and the elderly, as well as people with psychological disorders causing a pathological urge to drink water excessively.

It also, however, may affect otherwise healthy marathon runners who drink to excess for fear of dehydration, as well as people training hard such as boot camp soldiers, according to abstracts published by the National Institute of Health.

It was once thought that athletes should drink as much as they could before thirst set in.

That recommendation no longer applies. Excessive water drinking among inadequately trained non-elite athletes has become such a concern among sports doctors that guidelines are rapidly changing.

In marathons, non-elite athletes are more likely to suffer water intoxication than are elite athletes, due to lack of knowledge about their body's unique requirements.

Fluid and electrolyte needs are widely variable based on the athlete's genetics and environmental conditions.

Elite athletes typically know their body's hourly sweat rate and aim to slowly replace the total amount of fluids and electrolytes lost during that time. Generally, weight lost during exercise per hour + fluid consumed during exercise per hour = hourly sweat rate, according to The International Marathon Medical Directors Association.

Complicating matters is that indicators of water intoxication and dehydration are similar. The treatments, however, are vastly different. Furthermore, hyponatremia can kill more quickly than dehydration.

Thus, at marathons, doctors now do an on-the-spot test for blood sodium levels on collapsed runners to differentiate between hyponatremia and dehydration. Giving fluids to someone with hyponatremia could be fatal, but with dehydration it is life saving.

Moreover, in recent years, over hydration has become one of the most common reported causes of serious heat illness in the Grand Canyon.

Some people hiking the canyon drink large amounts of water and do not eat enough food to provide for electrolyte (salt, potassium) replacement and energy, wrote Patrick J. Bird, PhD, a Professor of Exercise and Sport Sciences at the University of Florida, in his 2000 newsletter.

Fears of dehydration has led to a mistaken belief that the safe thing to do is to drink as much and as often as possible, according to Bird.

Fluid requirements are complex and highly individualized. There is wide variability in sweat rates and renal water excretory capacity, depending on environmental conditions, as well as variable influence on the body's arginine vasopressin levels during exercise, as revealed in studies of hikers who developed hyponatremia in the Grand Canyon.

In addition, the peptide Vassopressin, released from the pituitary, also known as anti-diuretic hormone, fluctuates with the body's fluid and electrolyte balance, thereby influencing water excretion or retention.

Thus, blanket universal drinking guidelines are not possible, according to a consensus of 12 experts at The First International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, 2005

In Marathon runners, studies have shown that the consumption of a carbohydrate/electrolyte-containing sports drink does not protect against the development of hyponatremia from fluid excess, according to the Clinical Journal of the American society of nephrology.

Commercial sports drinks do not contain enough sodium, according to The International Marathon Medical Directors Association.

During the 2002 Boston Marathon, a 28-year-old woman reached Heartbreak Hill, after five hours of running and drinking sports drinks. She struggled to the top. Feeling awful and assuming dehydration, she chugged 16 ounces of liquid.

She collapsed within minutes.

She was brain dead. Her blood sodium level was determined to be dangerously low, according to Dr. Arthur Siegel, of the Boston Marathon's medical team and the chief of internal medicine at Harvard's McLean Hospital.

In February 2005, a Chico State University student, Matthew Carrington, died after being forced to repeatedly drink from a 5-gallon jug and then do calisthenics, during a fraternity hazing.

Carrington was taken to Enloe Medical Center, where his heart stopped. He was pronounced dead from swelling of his brain and lungs caused by water intoxication.

In January 2007, Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old suburban Sacramento woman died of apparent "water intoxication" after participating in a contest - "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" - sponsored by local radio station 107.9 KDND. Contestants were asked to drink 8-ounce bottles of water every 15 minutes, without urinating.

Witnesses estimated that Strange swallowed about 2 gallons or about 7 liters of water in approximately three hours.

An autopsy, performed days later by Sacramento County assistant coroner Ed Smith, revealed no traces of "life-threatening medical conditions" that would have otherwise explained Strange's sudden death.

During January 2000, a 20-year-old trainee in the Army drank around 12 quarts, or 3 gallons, of water during a 2- to 4-hour period while trying to produce a urine specimen for a drug test.

She experienced fecal incontinence, lost consciousness, became confused, and died from swelling in the brain and lungs as a result of low blood sodium, wrote Colonel John W. Gardner, medical examiner of the Office of the Armed Forces, in Military Medicine, 2002;167:432-434.

Quick expert medical attention can often save a victim's life by reinstating electrolyte balance, if too much tissue destruction has not occurred.

When blood sodium testing confirms hyponatremia, oral electrolyte-containing fluid replacement does not work well.

Fluid and electrolyte replacement is complex. The right type of fluid-replacement fluid is critical. Treatment of dilutional hyponatremia traditionally includes the administration of a small volume of concentrated salt solution intravenously, as well as oxygen, and other supportive measures.

A newer investigational oral drug, Tolvaptan, a vassopressin V2-receptor antagonist, is proving to treat water overload, in acute and chronic hyponatremia faster, and more effectively, than other treatments.

It works, without significant side effects, according to the results of two large studies presented at the American Heart Association's November 2006 sessions, by Mihai Gheorghiade, M.D., a cardiologist and professor of medicine at USA's Northwestern University.

The easy-to-administer oral drug, developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical, begins to normalize serum sodium within hours. The normalization is sustained during long-term therapy.

Details of the two studies are in the November 16, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

9 Super-Healthy, Vegetarian Protein Sources

PHOTO: A variety of beans including lentils and peas are vegetarian protein sources.


June 3, 2012

According to the United Nations, the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than the world's plane, train, and automobile fleets combined. So if you're looking for a way to please The Lorax and stay well fed, start getting more of your protein from plants and reduce the amount of meat in your diet, especially the factory-farmed meat that's widely available in supermarkets.

It's not just good for the planet, it's healthier for you, too. Harvard scientists recently completed a study finding that eating a single serving of red meat each day increases your risk of early death, and factory-farmed chicken, often touted as a healthier alternative to beef, can be contaminated with e. coli bacteria that can give you urinary tract infections.

The idea that protein only comes from meat is a myth. Nearly all foods contain small amounts of protein, and it's very easy to get your daily protein requirements from beans, grains, nuts, and certain green vegetables, which have less cholesterol and fat than meat and are usually cheaper, to boot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women get 46 grams (g) of protein each day and that men get 56 g.

Beans and Lentils

Protein Content: beans, 12 to 14 g per cup cooked; lentils, 18 g per cup cooked

Beans and lentils are the cheapest source of protein out there. So whether you prefer kidney, garbanzo, white, black, or pinto beans, "Buy lots of cans of beans, rinse and drain them to remove 40 percent of the sodium, and use them in everything," suggests Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life. "White beans taste delicious in pasta: garbanzo or edamame in stir-fries; black beans and pinto in burritos, tacos, and quesadillas; and lentils or kidney are great in salads and whole grain pita lunches."

To avoid bisphenol A, or BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical, found in metal canned foods, buy Eden Organics brand (the company uses cans without BPA in their liners), look for frozen beans, or buy dried ones and cook them accordingly.

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Nuts and Seeds

Protein Content: Nuts, 3 to 7 g per 1/3-cup serving, depending on the type (peanuts and pine nuts have the most); Seeds, 2 to 5 g per 1/3-cup serving, depending on type

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts are all good vegetarian protein sources. "Try a sprinkle of chopped nuts on everything from oatmeal to yogurt to salad, and nut-based dressings are healthy and delicious," says Blatner. On the seed side, Blatner recommends pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower. "I particularly like seed butter, such as sunflower seed butter, on toast with an apple for breakfast," she says.

Chia Seeds  

Protein Content: 4 g per ounce

Though the protein content isn't as high as some other vegetarian foods out there, chia seeds pack a huge nutritional punch. For starters, they're an incredible fiber resource with nearly half (11 g) of the amount you need every day in a single ounce. That helps fill you up and eat fewer calories. They also contain 18 percent of your daily calcium requirement, more than triple that of milk, which helps your bones. Chia seeds have no flavor, so you can add a tablespoon to any food you wish to without altering its flavor, and unlike flax, chia seeds don't need to be ground in order for your body to absorb all the nutrients.

How Common is Genetically Altered Food?

Tofu and Tempeh

Protein Content: Tempeh, 18 g per serving; tofu, 8 g per serving

"I call tofu the veggie white meat, anything chicken can do, tofu can do, too," says Blatner. "Tempeh [a fermented form of tofu] has a fabulous texture and is a great burger stand-in or perfect crumbled in chili or seasoned or broiled into a high-protein crouton on a salad." Look for organic products to avoid genetically modified soy and hexane, a cancer-causing contaminant that has been detected in heavily processed, nonorganic soy products.

If you're not a fan of tofu or tempeh, you can still reap the protein benefits of soy in soy milk (8 g per glass) and edamame (green soybeans, which have 17 g per cup). But do go easy on soy products, as too much can raise estrogen levels and wreak hormonal havoc in both women and men. Aim for one serving of tofu, soy milk or edamame per day.


Protein Content: Seeds, 6 g per ounce; Milk, 2 g per cup

If you're allergic to soy, or just freaked out by its estrogenic activity, hemp products are your next best bet. Sold as a dairy alternative or as seeds, hemp is one of very few plant proteins that supply you with all the essential amino acids, acids your body can't produce on its own to build muscle and create more protein. The fatty acids in hemp seeds and hemp milk also boost your immune system, and the crop itself is highly sustainable, growing as fast as 10 feet in 100 days and naturally requiring very few pesticides.


Protein Content: 6 g per egg

There's a reason the incredible, edible egg is such a popular breakfast choice. The protein in eggs has the highest biological value, a measure of how well it supports your body's protein needs, of any food, including beef. And the yolks contain vitamin B12, deficiencies of which are common in vegetarian diets and can cause attention, mood, and thinking problems while raising blood homocysteine levels, a risk factor for heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's.

To get the healthiest eggs, find a local producer whose chicken flocks are small and feed off of grass, bugs, and organic grain; studies have shown that E. coli and salmonella contamination in eggs is directly related to the size of the flock.

Greek Yogurt

Protein Content: 15 to 20 g per 6-ounce serving

All dairy products are good sources of protein. A glass of milk provides you with 8 g, but Greek yogurt is a protein powerhouse, with twice the protein and half the sugar and carbs of regular yogurt. In fact, Greek yogurt contains the same protein as a three-ounce serving of lean meat. Top that with a handful of nuts and you could get half of your daily protein intake at breakfast. Mixing different vegetarian protein sources into your daily routine also insures that you're getting the right mixture of amino acids, which aid in building muscle and regulating your metabolism.


Protein Content: 4 g per avocado

All vegetables contain between 1 and 2 g of protein per cup, but avocados (which are technically fruits) surpass them all. Though 4 g may not sound like much, avocado protein contains all nine essential amino acids, the amino acids your body can't produce on its own to build muscle and create more protein, in addition to heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

There may even be a reason these fruits are in season during flu season. "Protein not only builds muscle and maintains organ structures, but is also needed to mount prompt, strong immune responses," explains Carol S. Johnston, professor and director of the nutrition program at Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Health Innovation. "You want to have adequate protein intake daily to have amino acids ready for immune protein synthesis at the time of infection."

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Protein Content: 5 to 7 g of protein per cup, cooked

There are grains, and then there are pseudograins. Grains, wheat, barley, rye, brown rice and corn, all contain decent amounts of protein, and globally, wheat provides more plant-based protein than any other food. But intolerance to the gluten in wheat, barley, and rye is on the rise, owing to the increased use of these grains in processed foods. So if you want to go gluten free, look to corn, rice, and pseudograins, foods that are cooked and served like grains but are technically seeds, including quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, and wild rice. If you stick with corn, replace the standard yellow or white corn products with blue corn, which has 30 percent more protein.

Humanely Raised Beef

Protein Content: between 20 and 25 g per 3-ounce serving, depending on cut

OK, so beef isn't vegetarian, but you don't have to give up meat entirely to get heart-, brain-, and planet-friendly protein. The UN report finding that factory-farming was so bad for the planet also noted that improving animal diets and getting them off of grain was one huge step meat producers could take to counteract global warming. In other words, feeding animals their natural diet of grass and forage is better for our climate than pumping cattle full of corn and soy, which increase "enteric fermentation," or, basically, flatulent cattle that produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas. That diet also produces healthier beef. Grass-fed meats routinely show higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins, as well as lower levels of E. coli, than factory-farmed beef. Shop for grass-fed beef at your local farmer's market, or order it online through U.S. Wellness Meats.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Sikh Woman Balpreet Kaur Turns Cyber Bullying Incident into Inspiration

After someone snapped a photo of her and posted it on online, Balpreet Kaur was ridiculed for following the tenants of her Sikh faith. But instead of hiding or lashing out, she politely posted a reply—and turned a bullying situation into a inspiring example of tolerance, support, and inspiration.

The photo was taken apparently without Kaur's knowledge while she was waiting in line at the Ohio State University Library. In the photo, Kaur's hair is hidden by a large, black turban. She's wearing a T-shirt and yoga pants, glasses, and is looking down at her cell phone; her sparse facial hair is clearly visible. A Reddit user posted it to the "Funny" forum with the quip, "I'm not sure what to conclude from this."

Comments started pouring in, making fun of her appearance, asking if she was transgendered, and taking her to task for not plucking, waxing, or shaving.

Related: Lessons from "The World's Ugliest Woman': Stop Staring and Start Learning

After a friend told her about the thread, Kaur decided to respond to the taunts herself—and take the opportunity to educate people at the same time.

"Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture," she wrote. "I'm not embarrassed or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positive] that this picture is getting, because it's who I am."
As a baptized Sikh woman, Kaur—who is from Ohio—said that she is forbidden from altering her body, as it is considered a sacred gift from God.

"The overarching principal is this body is a tool for service," she explained. "We have to maintain and take care of it while cherishing its original form." That means that going to the hospital and taking medicine is fine, because one should be healthy in order to be of service to others. But cutting one's hair or removing one's facial hair is forbidden, even if societal norms dictate otherwise.

"My hair doesn't stop me from being normal or doing service so its not a hindrance," she said in a later post. "I've been to the doctor regarding this and it's just a side effect of my hormone levels during my teenage years. The hormones have returned to normal, but the hair is still there. That's fine :) I don't regret anything, nor do I view it as an unfortunate thing."

Sikhism was founded in the Punjab region of India in the 15th century; there are approximately 30 million Sikhs in the world. Followers believe in the equality of all human beings and in a single, infinitely powerful, omnipresent, genderless God. Instead of heaven or hell, the religion promotes salvation through a spiritual union with God; ego, anger, greed, attachment, and lust are considered the Five Evils. Sikhs do not believe in recruiting converts, though they welcome those who wish to join their faith. Once baptized or formally initiated into the faith, they vow to wear five religious symbols at all times, one of which is leaving their body hair uncut.

"Yes, I'm a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women," wrote Kaur, who is the president of the Ohio State University's Sikh Student Association. "My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body… by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can."

Her words quickly inspired readers on Reddit and elsewhere to reevaluate their reactions. A cross-post on the Facebook page for Kaurista garnered more than 6,750 likes and more than 850 comments.
"I know that I don't have the courage to live that purely," Shannon Dolce commented on Facebook. "I am inspired to live MORE true to how my creator sees me, though."

"I think we can agree that even the non-religious can benefit from taking a page from your book -- thank you," wrote a Redditor named "anothertimearound".

"You are awesome. If your faith has made you this well-adjusted and positive and secure in your own skin, and focused on the things in life that truly matter, then I am glad that there are Sikhs in this world." Reddit reader "Anna Mosity" wrote. "The world could use more people like you."

A few days later, the Reddit user who posted the picture started a new thread to apologize to Kaur.

"I felt the need to apologize to the Sikhs, Balpreet, and anyone else I offended when I posted that picture," the Redditor wrote. "Put simply it was stupid. Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you're making fun of. It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post."

"I've read more about the Sikh faith and it was actually really interesting. It makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like. I made that post for stupid internet points and I was ignorant." he continued. "Balpreet, I'm sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am. Sikhs, I'm sorry for insulting your culture and way of life. Balpreet's faith in what she believes is astounding."

Kaur says that she's happy to spend time explaining her religion and her appearance to people. "I do not think explaining myself and the way I am is a waste of energy because storytelling in itself is a way to fight the apathy in this world," she explained in a follow-up post on Thursday. "By simple interactions like this, we can better understand each other and make this world more open and loving even if it is just one person or many."


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Freshly ground sea salt and pepper – Andrew

food 006
I taught my 7 year old nephew how to make salt and pepper and how to make this post. It seemed easy for us, but it meant a lot to him.

1 portion of peppercorns
1 portion of sea salt
food 007
In a small plate
Grind the salt and pepper
Mix well
Served with your favorite food

Balsamic Vinaigrette – Jennifer

food 024
My 9 year old niece made this dish and this post with my help. We really enjoyed cooking and posting together. :)

2 portions of Balsamic Vinegar   
1 portion of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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3 dashes of salt
3 dashes of pepper
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In a small bowl
Measure Olive Oil, pour in the bowl
Measure Balsamic Vinegar, pour in the bowl
Sprinkle salt and pepper
Mix well
Served with bread or pretzel
food 019

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Top-Ten List of Funny Quotations about Friends and Friendship

First Top-Ten List

Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.

— Plautus

Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.

— Sicilian Proverb

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

On the road between homes of friends, grass does not grow.

— Norwegian proverb

If I don't have friends, then I ain't nothing.

— Billie Holiday

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.

— Samuel Butler 

To be rich in friends — is to be poor in nothing.

— Anon

A mere friend will agree with you, but a real friend will argue.

— Russian Proverb

Make new friends but cherish the old ones.

— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A loyal best friend is someone who sticks up for you even when you're not there.

— Anon

Second Top-Ten List

Two people are never such good friends as when they are share a mutual dislike of a third person.

- Unknown Wise Person

Having friends you like who are like you is a form of narcissism.

- Laurence J. Peters

Heaven must be an awfully dull place if your best friends end up elsewhere.

- Author Unknown

Everyone should have at least two friends - one to talk to and one to talk about.

- Unknown Wise Person

A true friend is somebody who you call at 3 a.m. and say "I'm in a prison in Mexico" and he replies "No worries, I'll be there in seconds."

- Unknown Wise Person

If you really want your friends to remember you, give them something cheap.

- Unknown Wise Person

A good friend is someone who you will help you move, a really good friend will help you move a dead body.

- Unknown Wise Person

A lifelong friend is someone you haven't borrowed money from yet.

- Unknown Wise Person

Laughing at our friends, we avenge the disappointment they have caused.

- Mason Cooley

A fool and his money are my best friends.

- Unknown Wise Person


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Veggie Barbecue stick

xaxiuque 001

This is a quick and very easy way to barbecue indoor or outdoor.


  • 3 vegetarian hotdogs, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 carrot, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/4 pound (125 grams) oyster mushrooms, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of Chinese barbecue sauce (Char Siu Sauce, available at Asian supermarket)

xaxiu 005

  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or sugar)
  • 3 barbecue sticks


1. Mix sauce with sugar

2. Marinate sauce with hotdogs, carrots and mushrooms

3. Stick hotdogs, mushrooms and carrot on the stick, toast

4. Liquid from the stick will release to the tray, transfer it to a bowl

5. Brush the liquid to the surface of each stick

6. Keep toasting until sauce gets thicken

Have fun cooking!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vegetarian Thai hot pot soup

Make 2 servings

2 cups vegetable both
3 thin slices galangal root
2 stalks lemongrass, cut in 2-inch pieces
4 or 5 Kaffir lime leaves
2 tbls soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp fresh hot pepper
5 shiitake mushrooms, quartered
2 ounces crimini mushrooms, quartered
2 ounces tofu, sliced
1/4 cup diced (1/2-inch) red and green bell peppers
5 or 6 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon minced cilantro

1. In a saucepot, combine the both, galangal, lemongrass, lime leaves, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar and chile pepper; bring to a boil.
2. Add the shiitake mushrooms and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Add the crimini mushrooms and bell peppers and tofu.
4. Bring to boil, remove the pot from the stove, transfer to the hot pot, add the basil and cilantro.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sugar can make you dumb, US scientists warn

Eating too much sugar can eat away at your brainpower, according to US scientists who published a study Tuesday showing how a steady diet of high-fructose corn syrup sapped lab rats' memories. Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) fed two groups of rats a solution containing high-fructose corn syrup -- a common ingredient in processed foods -- as drinking water for six weeks. One group of rats was supplemented with brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while the other group was not. Before the sugar drinks began, the rats were enrolled in a five-day training session in a complicated maze. After six weeks on the sweet solution, the rats were then placed back in the maze to see how they fared. "The DHA-deprived animals were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity," said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats' ability to think clearly and recall the route they'd learned six weeks earlier." A closer look at the rat brains revealed that those who were not fed DHA supplements had also developed signs of resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar and regulates brain function. "Because insulin can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the hormone may signal neurons to trigger reactions that disrupt learning and cause memory loss," Gomez-Pinilla said. In other words, eating too much fructose could interfere with insulin's ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar, which is necessary for processing thoughts and emotions. "Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning," Gomez-Pinilla said. "Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. This is something new." High-fructose corn syrup is commonly found in soda, condiments, applesauce, baby food and other processed snacks. The average American consumes more than 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of high-fructose corn syrup per year, according to the US Department of Agriculture. While the study did not say what the equivalent might be for a human to consume as much high-fructose corn syrup as the rats did, researchers said it provides some evidence that metabolic syndrome can affect the mind as well as the body. "Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think," said Gomez-Pinilla. "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage." The study appeared in the Journal of Physiology.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Moment of Peace, 8pm, Saturday 10th March 2012

The Moment of Peace

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Dean 'Jagaro' Crabb

Founder, Dean 'Jagaro' Crabb
Described by one participant as “Earth Hour for the Soul”, The Moment of Peace is a free, non-profit, annual international event to promote more peace and happiness in our modern busy lives by sitting silently for one hour.  People of all backgrounds, faiths, beliefs, races and religions are invited to celebrate this moment together.  It is an ambitious project to get everyone in the world to just stop and be at peace once a year together.

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So The Moment of Peace just around the corner!

I made a video presentation today for The Moment of Peace that I'd love for you to share with others. There is still time to get more people involved.  Please share it as much as you can.
Find an Event Near You - I'm excited about teaming up with MedMob.org and DoAsOne.com this year to bring you all a truly global experience in 2012. It is now occurring in 300+ cities worldwide! Check out our map or MedMob's map to find an event in your city.  Or get online and synchonise your breathing with others from around the world on the Do As One website.
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Lastly, I'd like to thank all our Major Supporters and the tireless efforts of strangers from around the world who give their time and dedication to make this possible. The world is better because of what you do.

I hope you enjoy participating in The Moment of Peace for 2012 and the expereince of peace within and with others.
This is the People's Movement for Peace!

In Peace & Kindness,

Dean 'Jagaro' Crabb

@dean (on the site)


The Moment of Peace 2012

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Feature Article

Be Open to Receive by Andrew Jobling

07 Mar 2012 12:49 am
Tags: Newsletter Featured, The Moment of Peace, andrew jobling, authors, giving
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Andrew Jobling

While promoting The Moment of Peace last year I was fortunate enough to meet a lovely man and author by the name of Andrew Jobling.  Here is an inspiring article by him.  You can read more about him here and subscribe to his weekly newsletter if you like. http://www.andrewjobling.com.au/

Keep on giving but …

Be Open to ReceiveWow! I am learning some amazing stuff every single day, and I am loving what it is doing for me in my life. I can’t wait to share this week’s article with you! I have just finishing reading this book and, in fact, as it is so amazing I have started reading it again. It is called ‘The Go-Giver’ (as you can plainly see) and is a parable or story with the message highlighting and re-inforcing a concept we already know … the power of giving. It is an engaging story which highlights ‘The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success’. All five of the laws are invaluable and the book had me all the way through – but it wasn’t until the last law, in the last few pages of the book, that the penny really dropped for me. The last law is; the key to effective giving is to stay open to receive…I think we all know why giving is so important, don’t we? Nevertheless, my strongest recommendation is to get and read this book – because from what I have just read and after some self reflection & observation of others I now understand why many people don’t get the full value from their giving. What most people don’t do is … be open to receive.‘Open to receive’ or ‘only to receive’?This is subtle and there is a big difference between being open to receive and only giving in order that you will receive. The mistake I have made, and that many people may have made, is when the only reason I have given something whether it be; time, a compliment, money, a gift or something else is to get something in return. I remember as teenager helping my grandmother move boxes simply so that she would give me some of her amazing chocolate cake – by the way, she did! More recently, I have offered my time, help or services with the intention of getting something in return.

This strategy may work short term and people may be embarrassed into giving what it is you are after, but according to ‘The Go-Giver’, long term stratospheric success will only come when you give without the expectation of receiving, yet staying open to receive. It is confusing isn’t it? It just means give, give, give because you care about people and you want to see them happy and successful – NOT because you want something in return. But also know that when you give, someone else receives and so when others give you will also receive! This is how the universe works – everything is in balance. I hope this makes sense.

There is another thing that holds people back from ‘stratospheric’ success and it is certainly not that they don’t give. In fact many people give far and beyond what others would think necessary, yet they are not open to receive because they don’t feel they deserve to receive. My mum is a perfect example of this …Deserving to receive …

In my book Dance Until It Rains I talk about my mum’s life and her 15 year battle with cancer that ultimately took her life. As a child she was raised in trying times and had to help out with the family & business duties. From a young age she developed the belief that she was not loved unconditionally and had to work to earn her parents love. She was conditioned to just keep giving and to not expect anything in return – she never felt worthy of receiving, until much later in her life. She would often not accept kindness, gestures or help from others as she didn’t feel that she was deserving of it.

Let me tell what I now know. If this is you, and you have a hard time opening yourself to receive from others, understand that you are denying those people the joy that comes from giving! Remember this is how the universe works and stays in balance. If you give then you deserve to receive – make no mistake about it! You must be open to receive.

Enjoy giving and the receiving will take care of itself …

I actually saw a simple example of this in my life just this week. I have a client who buys organic vitamins from me and she makes one small order every month or two. I know she doesn’t have heaps of money and I really like her and so I sell them to her at my cost price, in fact a bit below my cost price. They cost me $51, but I say to her $50 because it is a round number. I pick up the vitamins, I drop them off to her in the city and so it is neither a profitable nor a smart business activity – but I have never really stopped to think about this, because I like helping her out.

During the week I had an appointment in the city and so I stopped to drop the vitamins off on the way. I went to put money in the meter and fortunately it already had enough time on it, so it saved me a massive $1! I then had to drive to get to my next appointment, parked and again there was money and time already on the meter – I saved another $2!! “Big deal” I here you saying … It is a big deal, a huge deal in fact, if you understand and believe what is happening!  I wasn’t giving to my client expecting to receive, but I was open to receive free parking. Perhaps I wasn’t open enough or I would have received more than $3!

Are you ready to receive?

Start giving more than you have ever given before. Give from your heart, with a heart for people and with no ulterior motive – do it because it is a great thing to do and really enjoy the feeling you get as a result. Then open your heart and your mind to receive in abundance and receive you will. Have an amazing week!


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Friday, February 10, 2012

FW: How to stay young


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. " An idle mind is the devil's workshop," And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is God. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

FW: Too much sitting is bad for your health

Hours of uninterrupted sitting can be bad for your health, according to a growing body of medical research.

● A recent study from the American Cancer Society reported that the more leisure time people spent sitting was associated with a higher risk of death. Women who reported sitting for more than six hours per day were about 40% more likely to die during the course of the 14-year study than those who sat for fewer than three hours per day. Men were about 20% more likely to die.

● A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that sitting for long stretches, more than six hours a day, can make someone at least 18% more likely to die from diabetes, heart disease and obesity than those sitting less than three hours a day.

Even if you exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days per week, it may not be enough to counteract the effects of too much sitting during the rest of the day. If you exercise for 30 minutes and sleep for eight hours, that still leaves 15.5 hours in the day. If you have a sedentary job and engage in sedentary activities after work, you are sitting a lot more than moving.

Health experts say the key to staying healthier is to integrate movement into your day as much as possible. The human body is made to move. When you sit for an extended period of time, your body starts to shut down at the metabolic level, negatively influencing things like triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, resting blood pressure, and leptin, all of which are biomarkers of obesity, cardiovascular disease and other diseases.

How to sit less and move more at work

If you find yourself sitting for hours on end, interrupt your patterns. Stand up, move around and get your blood flowing for at least a few minutes every hour. Other suggestions:

● Stand or move around when talking on the phone ● Walk to a colleague to talk rather than sending an email ● Hold a walking meeting with a colleague ● Take the stairs instead of the elevator ● Use the restroom or water fountain on a different floor
● Move your trash can or printer further away from your desk so you need to get off your chair to access them
● Increase your walking. Buy a pedometer and build up to 10,000 steps per day

Thursday, January 19, 2012

4 Bad Habits that Are Making You Sick

What happens when you don't sleep enough, skip breakfast, don't exercise, or hold grudges? Find out how these behaviors are harming your health.

What happens when I only sleep five hours?

The inside story: No one knows for sure why sleep is necessary, but there's no doubt that getting too little throws a wrench into your body's works. For example, studies show that a sleep debt lowers levels of the hormone leptin, which helps keep your appetite under control. Implication: Sleep too little, and there's a good chance you'll be soon overeating. Sleep deprivation also boosts levels of stress hormones, which prompt your body to send more glucose into your bloodstream. Too little sleep also makes your body less sensitive to insulin.

But that's just the beginning. Research shows that sleeping too little shuts down production of certain chemicals in the immune system that defend your body against germs. Shortchange yourself on shut-eye and you may want to have a box of tissues and cough medicine handy: A 2009 study found that people who sleep less than seven hours a night are up to three times more likely to develop a cold.

Other studies show that even modest sleep deprivation - cutting back from your usual eight hours a night to six hours, for instance - can turn up levels of chronic inflammation, which increases the risk for many conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, and osteoporosis.

PLUS: 8 Things That Are Making You Fat

Then, there are the immediate effects. When the alarm clock blares you out of a deep sleep, you're apt to start the day in a sour mood. As the day passes, you're also likely to feel dull witted and foggy. Some neurologists believe that one purpose of sleep is to give your brain a chance to build and strengthen the wiring between neurons. Studies show that well-rested people learn new information faster and have sharper memories. Short sleep reduces your reaction time, too, making you at risk for car accidents and other mishaps.

BOTTOM LINE: While some people can get by on relatively little sleep, most of us need seven to eight hours a night. Experts say one sign that you're getting adequate sleep is that you can wake up on time every day without using an alarm clock.

What happens when I skip breakfast?

The inside story: When you wake up after a long night's rest, your body has gone as much as 12 hours without a meal. That means one thing: You need fuel. More precisely, it means there's probably a shortage of glucose in your bloodstream. If you don't eat breakfast and head out the door with low blood sugar, one organ in particular won't be operating at full speed: your brain, which requires a steady flow of blood sugar to run effectively. And even a mild case of low blood sugar can leave you queasy and jittery. You may also feel less sharp-witted. Studies of school children have shown repeatedly that kids who eat breakfast have better memories and learn more than their classmates who don't.

What's more, blowing off breakfast is a set-up for pigging out later on. "Breakfast is important for keeping your appetite under control the rest of the day," says endocrinologist Suma Dronavalli, MD, of the University of Chicago Medical Center. In other words, skip breakfast and by noontime your groaning stomach will convince you to skip the salad and order a Dagwood-size sandwich, instead. Most people more than compensate for the calories they miss at breakfast by overeating at lunch and dinner - especially foods high in saturated fat, the kind that plugs arteries.

PLUS: Lose Weight Around the Clock

Meanwhile, breakfast skippers are also more likely to snack on junk food between meals. One study found that women who usually nixed breakfast were able to take off four pounds - simply by adding a nutritious meal in the morning. Eat breakfast regularly and you'll not only lose weight, but your blood sugar should shape up, too.

BOTTOM LINE: More than three quarters of people who lose weight and keep it off eat breakfast. Sitting down for the morning meal may also make you up to 50 percent less likely to develop insulin resistance, the problem that causes type 2 diabetes.

What happens when I spend the day sitting around?

The inside story: Remember that old saying "the devil finds work for idle hands"? Spending a lazy day on the sofa may not seem evil to you, but your body finds plenty of ways to make trouble with the sugar, or glucose idling in your bloodstream. Taking a walk or getting any other type of physical activity forces muscle cells to soak up glucose, which it uses to produce energy. On a day when you don't give your muscles enough work to do, glucose goes unused. Over time, a sit-around lifestyle encourages two major problems:

* Your body converts some unused sugar to fat. Build up too much and your butt, thighs, and belly will expand. The latter flab depository is the most worrisome; research shows that fat cells around the waistline produce chemicals that cause insulin resistance and low-grade inflammation, which promotes heart disease and other conditions.

* Having lots of glucose lingering in the blood increases levels of dangerous compounds called AGEs that damage nerves and blood cells. That's why high blood sugar causes diabetes complications such as blindness and kidney disease.

Getting up off the sofa and heading out the door for a walk can help you to avoid these fates, of course. Exercise is a reliable fat burner and research shows that physical activity lowers levels of AGEs, too - among many other benefits.

BOTTOM LINE: Sitting around all day may help you get caught up on your favorite cable shows, but it is also a set-up for bad blood sugar, weight gain, and all the problems they can cause.

PLUS: 13 Ways to Have More Energy at Work

What happens when I spend the day really angry?

The inside story: There's nothing wrong with getting angry - it's perfectly natural and healthy to get ticked off now and then. Staying angry is another matter altogether: It's terrible for you. Apart from wrecking your mood and alienating others, fuming all day can make it much harder to manage diabetes. Anger is a form of emotional stress, which causes your body to release adrenaline and other related hormones. One effect of these "stress" hormones is to raise blood sugar. Also, stress may make you indulge in bad habits, such as eating junk food, which can make matters worse.

There's more. Letting your anger boil all day can damage your heart. Do you get irked and annoyed now and then, but you're able to shrug it off? No big deal. But scientists now know that clinging to anger raises blood pressure. While that's not a big surprise, a recent Yale study found that people who tend to let their anger stew also have high levels of a substance called endothelin, which is known to trigger heart attacks by causing plaques in the arteries (clumps of fat, cholesterol, and other gunk) to burst open and form blood clots. Other research has found that intense, sustained anger can actually cause an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, which can stop your ticker from ticking - permanently.

BOTTOM LINE: Day-long anger can be toxic, so find a way to let it go. Write down your rage in a journal. If a friend or family member made you mad, tell 'em. Or just go outside and scream - whatever helps you blow off steam.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tofu stir-fried with lemon grass and chili paste

Dau hu xao xa ot
My co-author's husband from amthucchay.blogspot.com made this dish.  It is similar to a dish from a restaurant in South Philly.  It was very quick and easy to make but it turned out to be delicious.

  • 5 pieces of fried tofu, cut in half in triangle shape
  • 1 red bell pepper, slice in any way you want
  • 1 table spoon minced lemon grass
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (or water)
  • Canola oil
Spices: salt, soysauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, sugar, chili paste (available in Asian Market as in the picture below):
Tuong ot


1. The trick for this dish is the cooking heat has to be very high.
2. Add cooking oil, when the oil is hot, add lemon grass.  Stir fry until lemon grass turns golden brown and release fragrance
3. Add bell pepper, stir fry 1 minute.
4. Add tofu, mix well.
5. Add spices to taste, mix well.
6. Pour in broth, stir fry in high heat for a few minutes.
7. If you want your bell pepper cooked well then let it cooked until soft, I prefer it to be crunchy.

Happy cooking and eating:)
Phongloc (Translated by Mai)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How to Listen Well

Communicating properly has as much to do with listening as it does with talking to someone else. Learning how to be a good listener will help improve all of your relationships.

When you are trying to talk to someone, it can be easy to tune out what they are saying and let your mind wander. Keeping your focus on the person talking, without interrupting them, has to be done on purpose. Looking at them will help you remember to listen and pay attention.

When it's your turn to talk, repeat what you think they were saying. This is important, because sometimes in communication the meaning can get lost in our interpretation. Repeating it as you understood it, asking if you understand what they meant, will give them the opportunity to correct any misunderstanding by rephrasing what they said so the point is clear. It will also keep you from misunderstanding the meaning and getting angry or hurt over it.

After you have the full meaning of what they said, you can respond to the points made. When you are done, make sure the proper understanding is there of what you meant, by carefully listening to them repeat what they heard. If they didn't understand correctly, repeat what you said by rephrasing it.

Tips & Warnings

Being a good listener is important in any relationship. If you communicate well with each other, you will have much less misunderstanding, hurt feelings and arguments.

When you are practicing listening well, it can be difficult to keep your attention focused. Try to make eye contact, and respond once in a while with nodding or in some other way letting the other person know you are listening. Keeping distractions to a minimum will help you focus on the conversation.

Read more: How to Listen Well | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2303011_listen-well.html#ixzz1jFR1WKGD

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Foods you should be eating to jump-start the new year

By Sarah Bernard

Sugary cakes. Glazed hams. Egg nog. That’s all behind you now. Wipe the slate clean and start the new year on a healthy note by focusing on vitamin-rich foods that you can incorporate into every meal going forward. “Today” show health expert Joy Bauer came by to talk about the superfoods we should all be eating. Thankfully, her picks are delicious and easy to find. From spicy veggies to protein powerhouses to sweet treats...

The best way to reset your eating habits after the holidays is to stock your fridge with fresh, nutrient-rich foods that give you energy and improve your mood.

These beans are filled with high-quality vegetarian protein and fiber, which boost energy and mood. They’re inexpensive and they cook up in 30 minutes or less. Joy suggests making large pots of lentil soup or lentil chili so you can freeze the leftovers.

Toss some Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet, add olive oil and salt, and then bake until they're crispy. We have no doubt they will become your favorite veggie. Added bonus: They're only 55 calories per cup and they help fight cancer and boost memory.

Keeping bags of frozen raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries on hand is a perfect way to make sure you still get antioxidants, especially during the winter months when fresh fruit is hard to come by. Eat them right out of the bag, add them to cereal, or make delicious smoothies.

Hot peppers can suppress your appetite and rev up your metabolism.