Are Walnuts an Illegal Drug?

Hey you!  Yes, you.  Do you think walnuts are an illegal drug?  Me neither.  The FDA recently ordered Diamond Foods, Inc to stop selling walnuts because they do not treat the medical conditions listed on their website.  Diamond Foods, Inc, bases the information on their site upon years of research on the health benefits of walnuts.  While processed foods like Baked Lays and Cheetos can make the “heart healthy” claim, Diamond Foods is now being forced to stop selling walnuts.

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The Two Best Learning Tricks for Kids

Do you remember your high school science classes?  If so, you probably remember being taught that our brain cells die as we age. I distinctly remember my Biology teacher turning to us in amazement and stating, “And do you know when they begin to die? Around the age of 20!  From there, your brain cells die.”  How encouraging.

We now know that this is false.  You can form new brain cells at any age with physical exercise and music, particularly in the hippocampus (memory) and the prefrontal cortex (the CEO of your brain).  This shows us that we can reverse the brain changes associated with depression and the symptoms associated with ADHD with exercise, too, but let’s focus on your kids for  now.

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And We All Ordered A Trenta

Check out this clever Starbucks infographic at HolyKaw.com.  I consider this proof that those baristas are sneaking something more than caffeine in Starbucks coffee.  Sneaky baristas.

(Click the image or here to see full version)



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13 Reasons to Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Whenever we go out to dinner, I can’t help but notice that the sweetener packets still consist of all three colors:  pink, blue, yellow. Here are my top 13 reasons you should avoid all of them.

1. Aspartame (Nutrasweet) can deplete your serotonin levels via phenylalanine, an amino acid. Serotonin helps you stay happy and satiated and when depleted, we feel anxious, irritable, sad, and sleepless.  We also tend to crave carbohydrates.   Unless you want to feel pissed off and fat at the same time, avoid aspartame. Continue reading “13 Reasons to Avoid Artificial Sweeteners” »

To Start Your Weekend Right

I love this song-I could listen to it 100 times a day.  It taps into the sappy part of my brain that makes me think about Channing Tatum my husband.

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Goodbye, Baby Days

Savanna fell asleep on the couch while watching “Tangled” on the iPad, and all I could think was this:

HOW ON EARTH DID SHE GET SO LONG??  Continue reading “Goodbye, Baby Days” »

How to Be Happy

I am reposting this article from Thanksgiving because this topic is so important.  So many people use antidepressant medications before learning about the power of our behaviors to create healthy, happy moods.  If you haven’t read this yet, enjoy-if you have, it’s worth the read again.  Ciao!

I was talking with one of my girlfriends yesterday, and she told me that most of her friends use antidepressant or anxiety medications.  I was amazed to hear that one of her friends uses both Cymbalta and Adderall, and is trying to discontinue using her Cymbalta.  Yikes.  We all know someone who uses this type of medication, but how many people really understand how these work and what we can do on our own to create similar changes in mood related neurotransmitters?

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A Must Watch: Steve Jobs at Stanford

This is Steve Jobs Commencement speech to the Stanford class of 2005.  It’s not a new video but if you’ve never watched this, it’s worth your time. Continue reading “A Must Watch: Steve Jobs at Stanford” »

Marriage, Cigarettes, and Health

If you think marital strife isn’t a big deal, think again.  While it’s normal to argue with your spouse, the way that you argue could have detrimental effects on your health that are far worse than you may think.

Marital fighting that includes hostility may have the same effect on your health as smoking or having high cholesterol. In other words, you could be a health nut who eats nothing but spinach, berries, and salmon each day and still have the same chance of dying from cancer as a smoker if you fight nasty with your spouse.  How’s that for a wake up call?

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Meditation and Fried Lizards

Do you ever feel run down? Burnt out?  How do you break the cycle of chronic stress and burnout?  Most people choose unhealthy ways to relax when feeling fried-think overeating, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and just about any bad habit or addiction out there.  These are all the result of normal people trying to feel better.  What can you do that will help you feel more restored, rested, and less run down?

Meditation is becoming widely recognized as one of the top ways to relax, restore central nervous system balance, and even live a longer.  Meditating is one of several primary ways to elicit the relaxation response, a function of the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system.  What is that?  Why does it matter?   Continue reading “Meditation and Fried Lizards” »