Health and Beauty http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4803/all en-US 7 All Natural Home Remedies for Colds http://www.wisebread.com/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/homemade-miso-soup-Dollarphotoclub_76459071.jpg" alt="homemade miso soup" title="homemade miso soup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband is a high school English teacher. My daughter is in her first year of preschool. Sickness is a way of life for us with so much exposure to germs. In fact, we just got over a full month of passing around two nasty cold viruses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-natural-remedies-for-stomach-pain?ref=seealso">12 Natural Remedies for Stomach Pain</a>)</p> <p>Here are some helpful cold remedies that won't send you running to the store, as you likely have most of the ingredients sitting around in your kitchen cabinets. The best part? They're all drug-free!</p> <h2>1. Miso Broth</h2> <p>From upset stomach to coughs and colds, this delicious <a href="http://vibrantwellnessjournal.com/2012/11/08/healing-with-miso/">Miso Soup</a> doubles as a cure and healthy meal option. Miso is made from fermented soy and rice, and it's full of good-for-you living enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. My husband skips the veggies and simply warms a few cups of water on the stove. He then dissolves a tablespoon or two of miso in it and sips all day long.</p> <h2>2. Veggie Broth</h2> <p>You don't need to go out and buy miso if you don't have it already. Instead, try this <a href="http://faithfulprovisions.com/natural-healing-broth/">Healing Broth</a> that combines the goodness of garlic, ginger, lemon, cloves, and cayenne pepper. And water for hydration, of course. Simmer on the stove and strain before drinking. The cayenne pepper acts like an expectorant and helps get all the gunk out of your system.</p> <h2>3. Garlic Snack</h2> <p>I love how garlic tastes minced in olive oil. But did you know garlic is a <a href="http://thechalkboardmag.com/would-you-wouldnt-you-gnaw-raw-garlic-for-cold-flu-season">powerful antioxidant</a> with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties? In other words, it's great for fighting cold and flu viruses. You can munch on a whole clove to get the benefits. For those of you with sensitive stomachs, try mincing garlic and letting sit with some olive oil and honey before eating on a cracker.</p> <h2>4. Vapor Rub</h2> <p>Or try mixing together some <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/10/homesteading-natural-vapor-rub.html">DIY Vapor Balm</a> &mdash; much like the popular ones on the market &mdash; using olive oil, beeswax, and essential oils (peppermint and eucalyptus). This balm is wonderful for easing chest congestion and discomfort. The benefit here is knowing exactly what you're rubbing into yourself. You can also make different strengths to suit all your family members by adding more or less essential oils.</p> <h2>5. Salt Gargle</h2> <p>Most of us know about the mighty <a href="http://www.healing-oceans-family-wellness-center.com/salt-water-gargle.html">Salt Gargle</a> to relieve scratchy, sore throats and wash away germs. But are you doing it correctly? Combine &frac12; to &frac34; teaspoon salt with one warmed cup of pure water. Chlorinated tap water will irritate your throat, so skip that in favor of something filtered. Or you can dechlorinate water by leaving it out in the open for 24 hours.</p> <h2>6. Apple Cider Vinegar Drink</h2> <p>My family has long used unfiltered apple cider vinegar as a cold cure. It's pretty darned effective at <a href="http://homeremediesforlife.com/apple-cider-vinegar-sinus-infection/">thinning mucus</a> and clearing out sinuses. Dilute two to four tablespoons of ACV into one cup of warm filtered water (same reason to avoid tap water, as explained above) and add raw honey for taste if you like. Drink up four to six times a day to help kill bacteria and soothe your sore throat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-awesome-ways-to-use-apple-cider-vinegar?ref=seealso">12 Awesome Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar</a>)</p> <h2>7. Honey Coat</h2> <p>Honey is an effective, natural cough suppressant. So, skip the pricey cough drops and syrups and use this mixture of <a href="http://www.reformationacres.com/2014/11/homemade-medicine-made-simple-sweet-lemon-honey-thyme-cough-syrup-recipe.html">honey and lemon</a> instead. Combine a half cup of honey with half a lemon, two cups of water, and some fresh or dried thyme leaves. Store this homemade syrup in your refrigerator for around a month.</p> <p><em>What are your flu-season go-to home remedies? Please share a dose in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds" class="sharethis-link" title="7 All Natural Home Remedies for Colds" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-it-really-costs-to-get-sick">This Is What It Really Costs to Get Sick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, frugal eating</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty colds cures Health home remedies illness Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:00:14 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1283630 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee art.jpg" alt="coffee art" title="coffee art" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's well established that the <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-the-brain-need-s/">brain uses more energy</a> than any other organ, accounting for up to 20% of the body's total energy needs. Feed your hungry brain these foods to keep it buzzing along at its optimal speed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-science-says-are-actually-making-you-dumber?ref=seealso">6 Foods Science Says Are Actually Making You Dumber</a>)</p> <h2>1. Avocado</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/avocados.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>This creamy fruit is a staple for many meatless dishes and for vegetarians and vegans who don't eat meat. It's unique among fruits because it is rich with high-quality protein and fats, compounds we typically associate with meat and dairy. It's <a href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/avocado-brain-function-6231.html">good for the brain</a> (and the body) because it aids blood circulation. Scramble it in eggs, mash it up to spread on toast, or slice it and sprinkle with a little salt, black pepper, and turmeric for a savory breakfast or snack.</p> <h2>2. Fresh or Frozen Blueberries</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/blueberries_0.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Blueberries prove that good things come in small packages. When it comes to <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/your-brain-on-blueberries/">brain health, research says</a> they stave off a number of diseases such as Alzheimer's, enhance learning, and improve motor skills. They're very high in fiber, and though they have a touch of sweetness, they don't spike blood sugar. But make sure you use fresh or frozen blueberries. Dried blueberries often have sugar added and aren't as healthy. And since they have a fairly short growing season, substitute cranberries, pomegranates, cherries, grapes, and blackberries for many of the same health benefits.</p> <h2>3. Salmon</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/salmon%20meat.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>We know salmon makes our skin glow and it's very heart healthy. It's also <a href="http://womensbrainhealth.org/great-minds-think-alike/why-is-salmon-good-for-your-brain">highly beneficial for our brains</a> because of its omega-3 fatty acids. This healthy fat has been found to enhance memory (and therefore fight memory-related diseases brought on by aging), elevate mood, and reduce depression. This makes it a winner of a meal any time of year, especially in the winter when the short days and long nights can cause us to to feel blue.</p> <p>While farmed salmon is cheaper, I suggest opting for wild salmon whenever possible. You'll pay a bit more for it, but it has a much higher level of omega-3s than farmed salmon, so you don't need to eat as much to get all of the health benefits. If salmon isn't available or it's too expensive, tuna is a great alternative and it has vitamin B6, another vitamin important to brain health. Eggs are another option for vegetarians or for people who don't like fish.</p> <h2>4. Seeds and Nuts</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/peanuts_0.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Toss them in oatmeal or on top of salads, spread them on toast or fruit, and incorporate them into trail mix and baked goods. <a href="http://www.ageright.org/2013/08/08/nuts-and-seeds-the-stars-of-brain-healthy-foods/">Seeds and nuts</a> give us fiber like fruits and veggies and protein like meat and dairy. This helps give our brains an energy boost and it keeps that boost going throughout the day. When it comes to brain health, the vitamin E and magnesium makes seeds and nuts especially valuable. Be careful to avoid sweetened nuts and nut spreads that are highly processed and contain a lot of sugar. Best bet for nut butters &mdash; make your own in a food processor or at the dry goods stations in grocery stores like Whole Foods. All nut, no additives.</p> <h2>5. Coffee and Tea</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/coffee%20art.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>What? Your morning brew of coffee and <a href="http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/11/tea-6-brilliant-effects-on-the-brain.php">tea</a> makes you feel good and is good for you? You betcha! Along with that kick of caffeine that gives you a noticeable and often immediate charge, both beverages have fiber and antioxidants, and they've been shown to <a href="http://www.drperlmutter.com/coffee-can-save-brain/">aid memory and stall aging in the brain</a>.</p> <p>But there are some do's and don'ts when it comes to coffee and tea. Do make it free-trade, organic, and fresh. Don't drown it in sugar and heavy dairy, and don't have more than two to four cups per day. To add a bit of sweetness and get an added health benefit, I like to sprinkle in a warming spice like cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg. You can also use a sweetener like stevia or agave nectar that is a much better alternative than granulated sugar because these alternatives don't spike, and then crash, your blood sugar. <a href="http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/low-blood-sugar-and-memory">Spikes and crashes in blood sugar</a> actually cause damage to your brain.</p> <h2>6. Oatmeal and Brown Rice</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/fried%20brown%20rice.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The high amount of fiber in <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/531680-is-oatmeal-good-for-your-brain/">oatmeal</a> and <a href="https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/cereal/brown-rice.html">brown rice</a> keeps our hearts healthy and our blood pumping, and what's good for the heart is good for the brain. Oatmeal also has the added benefits of protein and omega-3, so it's an especially important food for vegans and vegetarians. Also oatmeal lends itself to adding so many other brain healthy foods like blueberries, seeds, and nuts, and it pairs perfectly with a steaming cup of coffee or tea.</p> <h2>7. Dark Leafy Greens</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/arugula%20salad.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Whether you like kale, spinach, arugula, or romaine, <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20434658_4,00.html">get your greens every day</a>. Blend them up in smoothies, make them a base for your salad, or chop them up in a stir-fry. They're an excellent fuel for your whole body, and what makes them so valuable for your brain is their high iron levels without the fat and calories that come from many kinds of iron-rich meat. When we're iron deficient, our thinking gets clouded and our memory dulled. Healthy iron levels enhance our learning abilities and give us the energy needed to get the most out of life.</p> <p><em>Are you getting enough of these delicious brain foods?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-that-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">7 Foods That Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing">If You&#039;re Eating These 6 Things, Your &quot;Diet&quot; Is Doing Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Food and Drink General Tips Health and Beauty brain food brain hacks health food healthy eating Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1284260 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grilled-salmon-salad-Dollarphotoclub_65341125.jpg" alt="grilled salmon salad" title="grilled salmon salad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Abraham Lincoln once said, &quot;In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.&quot; True. But also&hellip; a few more years couldn't hurt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-long-and-prosper-with-these-15-small-healthy-habits?ref=seealso">Live Long and Prosper With These Healthy Habits</a>)</p> <p>Over the last 150 years, human life expectancy has doubled, mainly due to modern medicine, technology, and advances in diet. How can you make sure you're taking full advantage? To live longer and healthier, incorporate these incredible foods into your diet.</p> <h2>1. Vitamin D</h2> <p>You may have heard about these <a href="http://blog.23andme.com/health-traits/getting-long-in-the-telomeres/">wondrous things called telomeres</a>, the tips of DNA whose length has been proven to correlate with longevity. Vitamin D acquired through a wide variety of sources including sunlight, dairy, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna directly impacts the length of telomeres. <a href="http://sciencenordic.com/vitamin-d-prolongs-life">The more vitamin D we have, the longer our telomeres</a>. Milk, it does a body good.</p> <h2>2. Probiotics</h2> <p>Much of our immunity, the ability to prevent and fight disease, <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426535">lives in the flora of our gut</a>. Sugar and highly-processed foods (essentially almost any food product that has a commercial on television!) eats away at our fabulous flora. To maintain healthy flora levels, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/probiotic-remedies_n_1507166.html">eat a healthy dose of foods that are high in probiotics</a> such as pickled and fermented veggies and yogurt.</p> <h2>3. Antioxidants</h2> <p>Antioxidants are compounds that <a href="http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/050311p32.shtml">reduce the likelihood of disease and fight aging</a>. Luckily, they can be found in a wide variety of foods. Some of the most potent antioxidants are in a class called <a href="http://www.healthline.com/health-news/food-polyphenols-boost-gut-health-and-longevity-121213">polyphenols</a> and they're found in foods such as organic raw chocolate and green tea.</p> <h2>4. Vitamin B12</h2> <p>Keep your energy pumping by getting your fill of <a href="http://www.nextavenue.org/article/2013-05/fiftysomething-diet-boosting-your-longevity-odds">vitamin B12</a>. B12 is involved in the production of nerve cells, red blood cells, and DNA. It's also heavily involved in brain health. Vegans and vegetarians have a tough time getting enough B12 because it is found in greatest abundance in meat, fish, and dairy so if you are vegan or vegetarian you can get a synthetic form of B12 in fortified cereals and tofu.</p> <h2>5. Turmeric</h2> <p>Indian cuisine makes full use of this magical spice so it's no wonder that people from India often have very long life expectancies. <a href="http://mrvitaminsnews.com.au/alzheimers-disease/curcumin-from-curry-spice-improves-vascular-and-cognitive-health">Turmeric contains curcumin</a>, an active ingredient proven to fight inflammation and blocks cancer causing pathways in cells. It's also perfect sprinkled on roasted veggies, salads, and even in smoothies.</p> <h2>6. Vitamin A</h2> <p>Found in great abundance in carrots, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens such as kale, vitamin A <a href="http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02759/facts-about-vitamin-a">fights infection and improves eye health</a>. But be a bit careful with this one because it is possible to have too much of this good thing, and that causes nausea and irritability. One helping of any of these veggies per day provides you with more than enough to stay healthy without making you sick.</p> <p>Modern medicine is a marvel and we're so lucky to have it. However, the food we eat has just as much to do with our health as any miracle drug, and probably more. Incorporate these foods into your diet and you'll be living in up while living well. Buon appetitto!</p> <p><em>Are you getting enough of these life-lengthening foods and nutrients?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hungry-have-a-drink">Hungry? Have a drink.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-in-defense-of-food">Book review: In Defense of Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter">7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Food and Drink General Tips Health and Beauty food nutrients Health lifespan nutrition Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:00:11 +0000 Christa Avampato 1282998 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-grocery-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_7434297.jpg" alt="woman grocery shopping" title="woman grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're all pinching pennies at the grocery store these days, but sometimes the cheapest items available might not be the healthiest. So where should we loosen the purse strings? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turbo-charge-your-diet-with-superfoods?ref=seealso">Turbo-Charge Your Diet With These Superfoods</a>)</p> <p>I've asked nutritionists to weigh in on some higher-priced healthy foods which are worth the splurge. These are their suggestions.</p> <h2>1. Berries</h2> <p>If you have a love/hate relationship with fruit, you're not alone. It seems like every day one health guru is telling you to add more fruit to your diet while another is telling you to cut back on all that natural sugar. Berries, however, seem to be the exception to that rule, as they're lower in calories and sugar than many other fruits, and are packed full of vitamins and nutrients that <a href="http://www.shape.com/blogs/weight-loss-coach/summers-secret-weight-loss-weapon">promote heart health, weight loss, and healthier-looking skin</a>.</p> <p>Dr. Yanyan Li, assistant professor of nutrition in the College of Science and Humanities at Husson University, focuses her research on phytochemicals (natural plant components with health benefits), and she believes that berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, are worth the extra money.</p> <p>&quot;Although rather expensive, they are full of strong antioxidants,&quot; Dr. Li says. &quot;Antioxidants help remove free radicals that are associated with a variety of chronic diseases and the aging process.&quot;</p> <p>Personally I've been loading up on blackberries lately, since they're a <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/07/24/157276973/you-can-never-have-too-many-blackberries">tasty, low-cal way to consume omega-3s, fiber and antioxidants</a>. One cup only contains 62 calories, which means that I get the pleasure of a sweet snack without all the guilt.</p> <h2>2. Cruciferous Vegetables</h2> <p>While I've never had a problem consuming fruits, vegetables have been harder to integrate into my diet. In fact, until fairly recently the only bean I liked was of the jelly variety. Slowly but surely, I'm making strides toward putting more greens on my plate &mdash; even though they make my grocery bill inflate.</p> <p>There's a silver lining, however. According to Dr. Li, &quot;Cruciferous vegetables &mdash; such as broccoli sprouts, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, arugula, and radish &mdash; are high in multiple cancer-preventive components, including carotenoids and isothiocyanates.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Chia Seeds</h2> <p>Hard to believe that your Scooby-Doo Chia Pet is a super-food source. Yep, that's right &mdash; the same seeds used to grow chia &quot;hair&quot; from terracotta pop-culture icons are a concentrated <a href="http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/">source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids</a>, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. While they're not cheap, they're easily consumed by sprinkling and mixing them into your ordinary diet.</p> <h2>4. Organic Butter</h2> <p>Butter is okay in moderation, even healthy, but non-organic butter can contain toxin residues that tend to be fat-soluble &mdash; and that's not a good thing. Alexander J. Rhinehart, <a href="http://www.aznutritioncenter.com/">certified clinical nutritionist and owner of the Arizona Nutrition Center</a>, explains:</p> <blockquote><p style="margin-left: 40px;">The body often stores toxins away in fat tissue, and consumption/exposure to these same toxins have been linked to insulin resistance and weight gain. As butter is a pure fat, toxin residues can be concentrated in butter &mdash; not to mention any synthetic hormones that had been given to the cows. The residues from feed fed to the cows can find their way into your butter. I recommend opting for the organic butter &mdash; you get an A+ if it is made from grass-fed cows like Kerry Gold Irish Butter &mdash; which has a richer gold color due to higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid.</p> </blockquote> <h2>5. Coconut-Based Products</h2> <p>You're not getting out of the grocery store with a basket full of healthy coconut-based product on the cheap, but at least you can feel better about all the good stuff you're putting into your body.</p> <p>Birgitta Lauren &mdash; president of <a href="http://www.expectingfitness.com/">Expecting Fitness</a>, which is dedicated to exercise and fitness advice for pregnant and new moms &mdash; recommends adding the full spectrum of coconut-based items to your diet, including coconut oil, milk, cream, flour, and sugar. &quot;For all systems &mdash; brain, nervous, metabolic, etc., it has anti-bacterial, anti-viral benefits,&quot; she says.</p> <p>Dr. Rhineart agrees, adding, &quot;Coconut oil is one of the most versatile substances in the grocery store. It is great for cooking as it tolerates high heat. It is also great for use on the skin and hair, as well as infections. It can also help support the immune system. When you consume coconut oil, some of the lauric acid (the main fat of coconut oil, comprising 50% of it's composition), actually is converted to monolaurin, which is known to have wide spectrum anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal/yeast properties. The other primary fats, capric acid and caprylic acid, also share similar properties. Capric and caprylic acid are what typically comprise 'MCT oil', whereas lauric acid must be consumed via coconut oil, or one can supplement with monolaurin directly.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Organic Milk</h2> <p>They say that milk does a body good &mdash; <a href="http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Study-Suggests-Milk-May-Not-Be-Good-For-You-After-All-281388981.html">although even that long-standing claim has been contested recently</a> &mdash; but organic milk will do your body better.</p> <p>Chef Jessica Swift, <a href="http://www.chef-jess.com">a registered dietician with an MSc in nutritional sciences</a>, says, &quot;Conventional milk can be filled with rBS and rBGH, which have been proven to be, how do you say, 'no bueno?' When it comes to skipping these hormones, I would say 'Yes, please' and grab a good ol' jug of the organic stuff.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Chocolate</h2> <p>I don't trust anyone who doesn't like chocolate &mdash; because, seriously, what's wrong with you? But even chocoholics like me would be wise to be a bit more conservative when choosing how to get that sweet cocoa fix.</p> <p>&quot;There are many different chocolates, but only a few that provide optimal healthy benefits,&quot; Chef Jess says. &quot;Skip the Butterfinger and go for a bar that contains at least 70% cocoa; this bar contains antioxidants to aid in optimal heart health.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Antibiotic-Free Chicken</h2> <p>According to the Huffington Post, the excess amount of antibiotics with which we're pumping our chickens is undermining the effectiveness the antibiotics have in fighting new diseases in our own bodies.</p> <p>&quot;Overuse by agricultural companies to make animals grow faster or to cover up poor living conditions for the animals is certainly not worth jeopardizing our ability to take care of our kids, parents, neighbors and the world community,&quot; the article says. The editorial board of <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/meat-and-superbugs/2012/07/01/gJQAV4egGW_story.html">The Washington Post</a> warned that more must be done to reverse the overuse of antibiotics in livestock before a new generation of superbugs is created. The effectiveness of these incredibly powerful drugs is being undermined every day we give them to animals.</p> <p>This long-term preservation of our collective health is certainly worth a few more bucks at the cash register, and your fellow Americans agree: &quot;Consumer Reports found 60% of poll respondents said they would pay more for antibiotic-free meats; <a href="http://notinmyfood.org/document/antibiotics-in-animal-feed">37% would pay up to one dollar more per pound</a>.&quot;</p> <p>Stacy Goldberg, registered nurse and founder of Savorfull, adds, &quot;The shelf life [of antibiotic-free chicken] is shorter, but you will be putting cleaner ingredients in your body.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Organic Eggs</h2> <p>Organic eggs can differ in price drastically from their non-organic counterparts, but there's also a drastic difference in the benefits they offer, too.</p> <p>&quot;Eggs are one of the best foods to eat for health,&quot; says Dr. Lisa Metzger, co-owner of <a href="http://biofunctionalhealth.com/">BioFunctional Health</a>. &quot;Organic free-range eggs are more nutrient dense than commercially raised eggs, having more vitamin A, twice as much omega-3 fatty acids, and more vitamin E due to the diet the free range chicken are fed as opposed to the commercial grain feed.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Grass-Fed Beef</h2> <p>Beef is already pricey, no matter how you slice it. But cattle that are able to graze in open spaces tend to lead healthier lives (with less need for antibiotics), so it's a smart choice to start switching up how you buy your steak.</p> <p>&quot;When cows are able to eat a diet that is natural for them, the nutritional composition of their meat is much more ideal for you, providing an increased level of omega-3s (a type of fat that many folks are lacking in) and other nutrients,&quot; explains Amanda Austin, <a href="http://getwellified.com/">a registered dietician and certified food sensitivity expert</a>. &quot;At the store, make sure that the beef that you're purchasing is actually 100% grass-fed beef &mdash; all cows are grass-fed for the first six to 12 months of life, but most are then 'finished' with grains, which are typically given to cows before slaughter to fatten them up at a quicker rate. You want beef that has been grass-fed for the entirety of the cow's life.&quot;</p> <h2>11. Wild Fish</h2> <p>Farm-raised fish are cheaper &mdash; larger supply is yielded with fewer resources used &mdash; but what once seemed to be an environmentally conscious solution to seafood demand has presented new problems of its own, especially where tuna, halibut, cod, and salmon are concerned.</p> <p>&quot;These predators are usually raised in the open ocean, in net pens,&quot; writes Margo True in an article for Sunset magazine. &quot;What seemed like a great idea initially has now revealed itself to be one in serious need of fixing: The <a href="http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/flavors-of-the-west/seafood-farmed-or-wild">farmed fish pollute the water</a> with their concentrated wastes, spread disease (the crowded conditions make them prone to it, which requires dosing with antibiotics), and escaped fish compete for food with the wild fish.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Walnuts</h2> <p>Personally, I enjoy cashews more than other nuts, and almonds tend to get much of the praise from health professionals, but walnuts also are a great source of healthy protein and other nutrients. &quot;These nuts are packed with omega-3s and heart healthy fats. They may be a little pricey, but I recommend eating a handful of nuts &mdash; including walnuts &mdash; every day,&quot; says Sharon Palmer, <a href="http://www.sharonpalmer.com/">nutrition expert and author of Plant-Powered for Life.</a></p> <p><em>Do you have other suggestions on pricey foods on which we should be splurging? What's your favorite? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, frugal eating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-recipes-with-cost-data">Healthy recipes--with cost data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Shopping fitness Health healthy foods superfoods Tue, 20 Jan 2015 18:00:27 +0000 Mikey Rox 1277448 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone's Life http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shocked-woman-laptop-Dollarphotoclub_75143222.jpg" alt="shocked woman laptop" title="shocked woman laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C610%7C1592&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C610%7C1592&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Fdaily-healthy%2FDr-Metzl-Prescribes-Fitness%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten7-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a>&nbsp;to learn more.</em></p> <p>I was chugging coffee, trying to meet a deadline before my children got home from school, when I felt a strange sensation: My left eyelid began twitching uncontrollably, fluttering as rapidly as a butterfly's wings.</p> <p><em>Great!</em> I thought. The last thing I had time for at that moment was a trip to the doctor. Instead, I typed a quick Facebook post: &quot;My eyelid keeps twitching uncontrollably. Is that bad?&quot;</p> <p>Within minutes, several mom friends informed me that this had happened to them, too, and that doctors had diagnosed it as a <a href="http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-twitching.htm">symptom of stress</a>. Well, that made sense. I made a mental note to see a doctor if it continued for long, but went on with my work, and once my deadline went away, so did the twitching.</p> <p>My story is not nearly as dramatic as those whose social networks helped point them toward life-saving diagnoses. But it illustrates a valuable point: The power of social networks to help us manage our health is much bigger than the occasional life-and-death story. Whether it's on Facebook, Reddit or any other platform, social media can be a valuable reality check to help us figure out when we or our children need <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/daily-healthy/Dr-Metzl-Prescribes-Fitness/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten7-_-TextLink">medical attention</a>, and when we need to just calm down and get on with things.</p> <p>The dramatic stories, though, are much more fun to read about. Enjoy these tales of ordinary people whose lives were saved when strangers or friends online let them know they needed intervention. Nearly every one was a tear jerker for me.</p> <h2>1. Kawasaki Disease</h2> <p>Doctors thought Deborah Kogan's 4-year-old son, Leo, had a strep infection, but when his <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/07/how_facebook_saved_my_sons_life.html">face swelled to &quot;Nutty Professor&quot; proportions</a>, Kogan was puzzled. Within 10 minutes of posting a photo of the sick child on Facebook, Kogan received a phone call from a contact, urging her to rush the boy to the hospital. The Facebook friend's son had had a rare autoimmune disorder called Kawasaki Disease, and she was convinced that Leo had the same thing.</p> <p>Kogan was tempted to ignore this warning and stay home &mdash; until two doctors in her social network contacted her with the same thought.</p> <p>At the hospital, Leo was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease, and although he suffered liver and heart damage, his life was spared.</p> <h2>2. Mastoiditis</h2> <p>An Australian mother looked to a mother's Facebook group for help identifying a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2708061/How-Facebook-saved-daughters-life-Woman-thanks-wonderful-mummies-helped-diagnose-toddlers-severe-illness-doctors-missed-it.htm">red lump on her toddler's head</a>. The photo the woman, identified only as Kerry, posted did not look alarming &mdash; just a little swelling behind the ear. Yet, her friends urged her to take 21-month-old Gracie to the hospital immediately. Some group members had correctly pegged the swelling as mastoiditis, an <a href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/mastoiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments">infection that can lead to hearing loss, meningitis or even a brain abscess</a>.</p> <p>At the hospital, Gracie had surgery, with doctors drilling into her skull to relieve swelling pressure. She made a full recovery.</p> <h2>3. Retinoblastoma</h2> <p>On the other side of the world, another toddler named Grace was also saved when her picture was posted on Facebook &mdash; but this time, her parents didn't even know she was sick. Michele Freeman uploaded an everyday snapshot of her daughter, and a friend who happens to be a pediatric nurse noticed <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1320423/Facebook-saves-girls-life-family-friend-spots-eye-cancer-mothers-photo.html">something odd about the child's eyes</a>: One reflected red light, as is common in flash photos, while the other eye looked white.</p> <p>Warned by her friend, Freeman had her daughter examined, and Grace was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a form of cancer. She lost her vision in the affected eye, but the cancer was treated before it could spread.</p> <h2>4. Obstructive Sleep Apnea</h2> <p>Mary Evelyn knew her son would have spina bifida before he was born. She joined some online groups for parents of such children, thinking that this would help her family adjust. Little did she know, her new online community would help save her child's life.</p> <p>After bringing the baby home from the hospital, Evelyn noticed that he took long pauses between breaths while he slept. Her pediatrician said it was normal, but she was not convinced.</p> <p>So Evelyn posted about the issue online, and was urged to take a video to show medical professionals. She did, and the video got the baby admitted to the hospital, where he was later diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and eventually needed a tracheotomy.</p> <p>&quot;An online community of <a href="http://www.whatdoyoudodear.com/time-internet-saved-sons-life/">strangers saved my baby's life</a>,&quot; Evelyn writes on her blog. Now, she tells other families whose children are diagnosed with SB: &quot;Find your community.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Testicular Cancer</h2> <p>The preceding stories show that moms are very active online when it comes to their kids' health, but not all stories of social diagnosis are about small children. In fact, last year, a college student ended up getting lifesaving cancer surgery because he <a href="http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/guy-testicular-cancer-reddit-saved-life/">looked at a photo on Reddit</a> that was labeled as &quot;gross.&quot;</p> <p>The photo was posted by someone who had recently had a testical removed due to cancer. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/reddit-saved-life-student-finds-testicular-cancer-post/story?id=22599100">Taylor &quot;Chase&quot; Tyree</a>, a computer science major at the Colorado School of Mines, realized he had the same symptoms that the poster described. Four days later, he was in surgery.</p> <p>&quot;I can tell my friends, 'Reddit saved my life!'&quot; Tyree <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/1xymrx/i_can_tell_my_friends_reddit_saved_my_life_thanks/">posted after the procedure</a>, along with a photo of himself in his hospital gown, thumbs up.</p> <p>It's important to note that all of these stories led the parents and patients to consult real doctors; it would be a terrible idea to rely <em>entirely</em> on the opinions of online friends to make diagnoses. Still, the common thread in all these stories is that the parents or patients would not have seen a doctor at that time, had they not been pushed to do so by their online networks.</p> <p>In the future, social media as a health resource might not be limited to advice from human connections. Researchers are experimenting with analyzing Twitter feeds for hints that the people behind them might be suffering from disorders, including postpartum depression. Others are using social media to <a href="http://healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/digital-disease-detection-using-social-media-predict-flu-trends-31114">track infectious disease outbreaks</a>.</p> <p>Today, your social media connections might realize you are sick before you do. In the future, it could be the social network itself, or an app on the network, that suggests you get that lump checked out.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn&#039;t Require Paper or Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">10 Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-reason-you-are-sick-tired-and-cranky">The Surprising Reason You Are Sick, Tired, and Cranky</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-silly-internet-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">10 Silly Internet Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty Technology health care Humana social media Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:00:22 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1277995 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-grocery-shopping-food-label-Dollarphotoclub_7027180.jpg" alt="woman grocery shopping" title="woman grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C608%7C1590&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C608%7C1590&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Fwell-at-work%2Fmaking-the-office-a-healthier-place%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WallStreetCheatSheet-_-Underwritten5-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a>&nbsp;to learn more.</em></p> <p><em></p> <p>Now that the New Year is here, my Facebook feed is full of friends' 2015 resolutions. Not surprisingly, a lot of my friends are vowing to live healthier this year, by making changes in their diet and other behavior. What is surprising: The number of &quot;healthy&quot; pledges people make that have zero positive impact on their health, or could even be harmful.</p> <p>No one likes a resolution troll, so I won't be calling out well-intentioned friends if they pledge to make pseudo-healthy changes in 2015. But maybe if I post this to my wall, they'll learn a little something and choose <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/news-trends/the-heart-of-personalized-care/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten4-_-TextLink">truly healthy changes</a> instead of any of these.</p> <h2>1. Juice Cleanses</h2> <p>Number one on my list combines two useless health trends &mdash; juicing and cleansing &mdash; into the trendiest waste of money of recent years, the juice cleanse. Embraced by celebrities and fueling a burgeoning retail trend, juice cleanses are touted as a way to rid the body of impurities, feel energized, clear your skin, make your hair shine, and cause fairy wings to sprout out of your back.</p> <p>OK, I made up one of those claims. But the others are quite common on the web sites of commercially-produced juice cleanses.</p> <p>The truth is that your <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/detox-diets/faq-20058040">kidneys and liver do just fine at removing toxins</a> from your body, without any special diet. Vegetable juice can contain plenty of vitamins, but drinking juice is <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vegetable-juice/faq-20058178">not as healthy as eating fruits and vegetables whole</a>, because carrot juice, for example, lacks the fiber of the whole carrot. Sure, you may lose weight while doing a juice cleanse, but that has more to do with the <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/11/juice_cleanses_not_healthy_not_virtuous_just_expensive.html">low calorie count in most juice regiments</a>. And <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-dangers">drastic calorie reduction</a> is bad for you.</p> <h2>2. Antibacterial Soap</h2> <p>Especially during the flu season, no one wants to spread germs. But <a href="http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm378542.htm">according to the Food and Drug Administration</a>, buying antibacterial hand soap is not a good way to stay healthy. The agency says that products marketed as antibacterial are no better than regular soap and water at preventing the spread of germs &mdash; and more worrying, they may contain chemicals that pose health risks with long-term exposure.</p> <h2>3. Vitamin Pills</h2> <p>It seems like a dietary insurance policy: Take a tablet every morning to avoid worries that you didn't eat enough leafy greens. However, several <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-can-learn-from-people-who-take-vitamins-its-not-what-you-think">studies have shown no health benefit</a> to taking multivitamins or mineral supplements &mdash; so you might as well save your money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/multivitamins-arent-as-good-as-you-think-eat-these-real-foods-instead?ref=seealso">Multivitamins Aren't as Good as You Think</a>)</p> <p>A more serious concern is taking megadoses of vitamins without a doctor's prescription. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/14/garden/personal-health-vitamin-therapy-toxic-side-effects-of-massive-doese.html?pagewanted=1">Doctors warn</a> that overdosing on vitamin supplements can cause neurological problems, liver damage, vomiting and a host of other ills, and can interfere with prescribed medication.</p> <h2>4. Teetotaling</h2> <p>This is a touchy subject, because alcohol abuse is extremely unhealthy and often fatal. However, <em>moderate</em> drinking has been shown to <a href="http://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/a-little-drinking-cuts-death-risk-for-older-adults-642365.html">confer a health benefit</a> over abstaining from alcohol. If you don't drink, it's not recommended that you start just for your health, because the risks of over-consumption are too great. But if you are a true moderate drinker (defined as just <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm#moderateDrinking">one drink per day for women and two for men</a>), you needn't feel like it's ruining your health.</p> <h2>5. Low-Fat, High-Protein, Raw Food, and Other Fad Diets</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thinking-of-going-on-a-diet-heres-how-to-figure-out-which-one-is-right-for-you">Dietary trends</a> &mdash; usually aimed at weight loss &mdash; come and go. For the most part, reducing a certain food category is not going to hurt you, but beware of going to extremes. For example, overloading on protein can <a href="http://www.medicinenet.com/how_much_dietary_protein_to_consume-page2/views.htm">damage your kidneys</a>.</p> <p>Raw fruits and veggies are good for you, but those who restrict themselves to eating only raw foods miss out on <a href="http://www.livescience.com/26278-risks-raw-vegan-diet.html">nutrients that are unlocked in the cooking process</a>.</p> <h2>6. &quot;Wheat&quot; Bread, &quot;Natural&quot; Chicken, and Other Confusingly Labeled Foods</h2> <p>Healthy-sounding labels are big on packaged foods nowadays, but be aware that a healthy-sounding label doesn't guarantee a healthy product. For instance, some shoppers mistakenly believe that any bread labeled &quot;wheat&quot; contains whole grains; to ensure you're buying whole-grain bread, which is indeed healthier than white, <a href="http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/identifying-whole-grain-products">look for &quot;whole-wheat flour&quot; on the ingredient list</a>. Even if a product is labeled &quot;whole grain,&quot; if it is also packed with sugar or other unhealthy ingredients, it's not necessarily very good for you.</p> <p>The word &quot;natural&quot; means basically nothing on product labels &mdash; the <a href="http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/transparency/basics/ucm214868.htm">FDA has not set out rules for its use</a>. So the &quot;natural&quot; chicken, cereal or other product isn't necessarily any better for you than the one without that label.</p> <h2>7. Extreme Exercise</h2> <p>Pushing yourself is in nowadays, with <a href="http://www.stridenation.com/2012/2/28/2830407/the-marathon-more-popular-than-ever">marathons more popular than ever</a> and the cardio/weight lifting program <a href="http://www.fastcodesign.com/3035118/infographic-of-the-day/the-insane-popularity-of-crossfit-visualized">CrossFit growing like crazy</a>. Exercise is great &mdash; but experts warn that too much, at too high intensity, is not great.</p> <p>&quot;Chronic extreme endurance&quot; training, such as for long-distance runs, can damage the heart, <a href="http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20120604/can-too-much-exercise-be-harmful">research has found</a>. Another consequence of pushing too hard can be injuries &mdash; <a href="http://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-too-much-exercise-can-be-bad-042514">especially for child athletes</a>.</p> <p>Severe exertion can even lead to a <a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000473.htm">scary condition called rhabdomyolysis</a>, wherein muscle tissue breaks down and releases its contents into the bloodstream, potentially damaging the kidneys.</p> <h2>8. Energy Bars</h2> <p>Once used mainly by distance athletes, energy bars are everywhere nowadays, and many people use them as a convenient meal or snack on the go.</p> <p>But just because they are associated with sports, don't assume that energy bars are health food. <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/nutrition-bars-healthy-hype">Dieticians warn</a> that many of them are packed with sugar. Another concern is that if you fill up on bars of any kind, you may not have an appetite for the fresh fruits and veggies you need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">20 Healthy Energy Bars You Can Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>9. Extreme Cleanliness</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with taking a shower, or with washing the kitchen floor. But it's not necessary to maintain a daily cleaning schedule, for either body or home. In fact, excessive cleaning of either can be harmful.</p> <p>For the body, <a href="http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/daily/tips/daily-shower-skin1.htm">excessive showering can damage the skin</a>, and certain areas of your body are <a href="http://drbenkim.com/dont-use-soap-private-parts.htm">too delicate to be lathered up</a>, ever. Babies, in particular, can get <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/healthy-baby/art-20044438">dry skin from daily baths</a>.</p> <p>When it comes to the home, recent research suggests that removing all bacteria from the living environment &mdash; previously thought to be the healthiest way to live &mdash; <a href="http://www.medicaldaily.com/hygiene-hypothesis-action-has-our-cleanliness-obsession-made-younger-generations-more-allergy-prone">could actually contribute to allergies</a>.</p> <p>So while there's no need to be stinky, it's healthy to relax a little when it comes to soap and scrub brushes.</p> <h2>10. Sports Drinks</h2> <p>Americans have figured out that soda is not good for you, but when sugary soft drinks are replaced by sports drinks, there's no real health improvement. That's because many sports drinks contain <a href="http://sph.umn.edu/sph-research-finds-sports-drinks-just-as-unhealthy-as-soda/">just as much or more sugar than sodas</a>. Most people &mdash; especially kids &mdash; can rehydrate just fine with water without the need for a specialized beverage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-these-10-homemade-healthy-energy-and-sports-drinks?ref=seealso">Healthy Homemade Energy Drinks</a>)</p> <p></em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter">7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn&#039;t Require Paper or Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Humana Thu, 15 Jan 2015 16:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1277996 at http://www.wisebread.com Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here's What's New http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/doctor-nurse-patient-tablet-Dollarphotoclub_65772639.jpg" alt="doctor patient tablet" title="doctor patient tablet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed ACA into law, enabling all Americans to obtain health insurance via the online marketplaces. Although Americans have had access to Obamacare for a little over a year now, some provisions of the law will change for 2015.</p> <p>If you're planning on buying health insurance this year, here's what's new.</p> <h2>Here's What You Need to Know for 2015</h2> <h3>Open Enrollment Ends February 15</h3> <p>Anyone without health coverage can sign-up during the open enrollment period, which runs November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. If you miss open enrollment, you may qualify under the special circumstances period, which grants individuals and families 60-days from a status change, such as birth, marriage, or loss of insurance to apply for coverage.</p> <h3>New Contribution Limits</h3> <p>FSA contribution limits have been raised by $50 for individuals to $2,550. Also, the &quot;Use It or Lose It&quot; rule has now been amended &mdash; in many cases, you can now carry-over up to $500 of your FSA balance into the following year. However, carry-over funds are only extended for use through March 15th of the following year.</p> <p>HSA contribution limits have been increased by $50 for individuals to $3,350, and up $100 for families to $6,650.</p> <h3>Out of Pocket Cost Caps</h3> <p>Maximum out-of-pocket costs are now $6,600 for individuals and $13,200 for families. This is the most you can be accountable for during a coverage year before your provider must cover 100% of medical expenses. This includes deductibles, co-payments, qualified premiums, and other qualified health related expenses.</p> <h3>Employer Mandate Kicks In</h3> <p>As of 2015, the Employer Mandate kicks in. All employers with 100 or more full-time employees must provide a company health plan. Employers with 50-100 employees have until 2016 to implement these changes.</p> <h2>Understanding the Patient's Bill of Rights</h2> <p>As always, it's important to remember that the benefits of the ACA are for all Americans covered by health insurance &mdash; not just those who purchased theirs via the government-run marketplaces. Under this &quot;Patient's Bill of Rights,&quot; you are entitled to some benefits.</p> <ul> <li>You qualify for health coverage regardless if you have a pre-existing condition.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can no longer be denied coverage for a mistake on your application.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You now have access to out-of-network emergency care (without penalty). <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You now have the power to choose any physician or pediatrician of choice within your network, and you no longer need a referral for OB-GYN services.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Those receiving Medicare get a 50% discount on brand-name drugs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can stay on a parent's health plan until the age of 26. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Insurance companies can no longer use annual and lifetime dollar limits of benefits.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Most plans have to provide free preventive care services, including certain immunizations and screenings for things like women's services, blood pressure, diabetes, depression, HIV, and more. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Insurance companies cannot increase your rate in excess of 10% without public disclosure.</li> </ul> <p>But remember: The ACA mandates that every individual must have health insurance, or face a penalty. Those not in compliance with the law will face significant fees. The fee for 2015 increased and is the greater of: $325 per year for individuals and $162.50 a year per child, or 2% of your annual income. So if you don't yet have health insurance, consider taking advantage of the ACA's benefits and sign up before open enrollment ends February 15th.</p> <p><em>Will you be signing up for health insurance this year via an ACA exchange?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new" class="sharethis-link" title="Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here&#039;s What&#039;s New " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-fall-for-these-common-obamacare-scams">Don&#039;t Fall for These Common Obamacare Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-health-insurance-plans">The Types of Health Insurance Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understanding-the-affordable-care-acts-health-insurance-exchange">Understanding the Affordable Care Act&#039;s Health Insurance Exchange</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/generic-drug-price-lists-for-six-major-pharmacies">Generic Drug Price Lists For Six Major Pharmacies - Updated</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-times-to-consider-declining-your-employers-health-coverage">3 Times to Consider Declining Your Employer&#039;s Health Coverage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty Insurance ACA health care health insurance obamacare Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:00:08 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1279973 at http://www.wisebread.com Wait! Are You About to Lose More Money in Your FSA/HSA? http://www.wisebread.com/wait-are-you-about-to-lose-more-money-in-your-fsahsa <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wait-are-you-about-to-lose-more-money-in-your-fsahsa" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/doctor-patient-conversation-Dollarphotoclub_60800986.jpg" alt="doctor patient conversation" title="doctor patient conversation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Health Savings Accounts are a great way to save for future medical expenses. And the best thing about them is there is no income tax on contributed funds &mdash; just like a 401(k). To make things really simple, once your HSA is set-up, your financial institution can issue you a debit card to pay qualified medical expenses including deductibles, co-payments, prescriptions and things like first-aid kits, bandages, and testing kits.</p> <p>But funds in some HSAs or FSAs don't roll over &mdash; which means you might lose money if you don't use them by the end of the calendar year. Consider these facts before you lose any of your hard-earned contributions.</p> <h2>Understanding Your Health Savings Account Options</h2> <p>Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) allow those covered under high deductible health plans to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses and insurance premiums using pre-tax contributions. Better yet, you don't have to worry about losing money in your account at year end, because unspent funds will rollover to the following year.</p> <p>To qualify for an HSA, you cannot be covered under another health plan, including Medicare or a spouse's non-HSA plan, and you cannot be claimed as a dependent on anyone else's tax return. The 2015 contribution limit is $3,350 for singles or $6,650 for families and an extra $1,000 for those ages 55 and up.</p> <h3>Remember That FSAs Have Rollover Limits</h3> <p>Flexible Spending Arrangements, or FSAs have a few distinctions from HSAs. First, FSAs don't cover insurance premiums, and the money set aside in your account must be used between the January 1st and December 31st calendar year. The IRS recently implemented a carryover period, which extends the deadline to March 15th &mdash; but only for $500. Any additional funds not used by December 31st cannot be rolled over and are lost.</p> <p>Unfortunately, with the New Year, any funds in an FSA account in excess of $500 are already lost. If you are at risk if losing the rest of your FSA money, see your doctor for routine check-ups, stock-up on medical supplies, and consider reducing the amount you contribute. Also, remember that the great thing about FSAs is the ability to pay dependent care costs like daycare, after school programs, nanny, and adult care. The 2015 contribution limit is $1,250 for singles and $2,500 for families.</p> <p>In short, if you have a HSA plan, your unused funds <em>will</em> rollover to 2015, but if you have an FSA, hurry up &mdash; all but $500 of your contributions must have been used by December 31st. So, now's the time to schedule that last-minute medical appointment &mdash; use it or lose it!</p> <p><em>Did you leave any money behind in 2014 in an FSA account?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wait-are-you-about-to-lose-more-money-in-your-fsahsa" class="sharethis-link" title="Wait! Are You About to Lose More Money in Your FSA/HSA?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wait-are-you-about-to-lose-more-money-in-your-fsahsa">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-your-fsa">What You Need to Know About Your FSA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-free-medical-supplies-with-flex-spending">Medical Supplies You Can Still Score With Flex Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/generic-drug-price-lists-for-six-major-pharmacies">Generic Drug Price Lists For Six Major Pharmacies - Updated</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new">Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here&#039;s What&#039;s New</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-care-reform-good-for-people-like-me">Health Care Reform: Good for People Like Me</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty Insurance FSA health insurance HSA rollover Tue, 13 Jan 2015 14:00:08 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1277864 at http://www.wisebread.com The Surprising Reason You Are Sick, Tired, and Cranky http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-reason-you-are-sick-tired-and-cranky <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-surprising-reason-you-are-sick-tired-and-cranky" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bored-tired--businesswoman-Dollarphotoclub_50902516.jpg" alt="bored tired businessman" title="bored tired businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C609%7C1591&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C609%7C1591&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Fnews-trends%2F3-gadgets-to-track-light-intake%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten6-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a>&nbsp;to learn more.</em></p> <p>We all love the sun but it causes cancer, right? So we stay inside or, when we venture out, we lather on the 50+ SPF, cover up our limbs, and hide under a large floppy hat. But what if, in our quest to avoid too much of a good thing, we're simply <em>not getting enough</em> of that good thing?</p> <p>That's what research from the University of California, San Diego found, in a study that linked <a href="http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/health/08-07VitaminDKE-.asp">low vitamin D levels</a> with increased risk for several health ailments, including breast and colon cancer. In fact, the level of <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/the-causes-of-womens-fatigue?page=2">vitamin D deficiency</a> seen over the past few decades has been described by some doctors as &quot;an epidemic,&quot; caused primarily by our avoidance of the sun. Another physician estimated that a whopping <a href="http://www.oklahomaheart.com/blog/vitamin-d-deficiency-causing-your-high-blood-pressure-0%23.VIL8okt20aV">40% to 75% of people</a> are vitamin D deficient.</p> <p>Getting enough sun exposure, turns out, can help us&nbsp;avoid a whole host of health problems. Perhaps that's just one reason why our ancestors once worshipped the fiery orb. According to research, direct exposure to sunlight at moderate levels can help our bodies fight ailments and gain the following benefits.</p> <h2>1. Better Sleep</h2> <p>Researchers have uncovered a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201301/vitamin-d-deficiency-and-daytime-sleepiness">sleep problems</a>, including daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome.</p> <h2>2. Stronger Bones</h2> <p><a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/vitamin-d-deficiency">Bone pain and muscle weakness</a> can be the markers of a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D acts as an aide in the body, helping it use the calcium in the food you've eaten. The two nutrients work together to keep your bones healthy.</p> <h2>3. Boost Energy</h2> <p>Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, an ailment marked by continual tiredness that doesn't go away with increased rest. Other symptoms include muscle weakness, memory problems, and insomnia. One researcher found <a href="http://www.iacfsme.org/Portals/0/pdf/Attachment%20E%20Annedore%20Hoeck,%20Vitamin%20D.pdf">chronic fatigue sufferers recovered quickly</a> when administered an optimal dose of vitamin D.</p> <h2>4. Enhance Mood</h2> <p>Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with <a href="http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/579946">mood disorders</a> like PMS, seasonal affective disorder, non-specified mood disorder, and major depressive disorder.</p> <h2>5. Lower Blood Pressure</h2> <p>One study found that subjects with higher levels of vitamin D had lower blood pressure and <a href="http://www.oklahomaheart.com/blog/vitamin-d-deficiency-causing-your-high-blood-pressure-0%23.VIIgxkt20aU">reduced risk for hypertension</a>. As vitamin D concentrations increased by 10%, the study found, hypertension risk decreased by 8.1%.</p> <h2>6. Prevent Breast and Colon Cancer</h2> <p>As many as 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal <a href="http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/health/08-07VitaminDKE-.asp">cancer could be prevented</a> each year by increasing vitamin D intake, according to one researcher.</p> <h2>7. Decrease Risks of Autoimmune Disorders</h2> <p>Vitamin D deficiency has even been <a href="http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/747623">linked to many autoimmune disorders</a> including multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and even systematic lupus. Research has found that a vitamin D supplement can improve these diseases.</p> <h2>8. Protect Against Melanoma</h2> <p>It's unexpected but <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19155143">this study</a> found an increase in melanoma levels among indoor workers who didn't have enough outdoor exposure. The researchers found that UVA light was filtered out by windows, leaving indoor workers exposed only to UVB rays. They concluded that moderate UVA exposure actually helps decrease the risk of melanoma.</p> <h2>How Much Vitamin D Do We Need (and How Can We Get More)?</h2> <p>Our skin helps produce vitamin D after sun exposure but there are many variables that affect its production including season, time of day, where in the world you live, how much skin is exposed, skin color (those with darker skin are <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/the-causes-of-womens-fatigue?page=2">more prone to vitamin D deficiency</a>), age, and whether sunscreen has been applied.</p> <p>Researchers recommend 2000 International Units of vitamin D a day to avoid certain types of cancer. Most of us can get that amount from just <a href="http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/health/08-07VitaminDKE-.asp">15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure at midday</a>, when the sun is at its strongest (between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.). Of course, melanoma is still a risk, so it's recommended we cover up (with clothing and/or sunscreen) after getting our 15-minute dose. There are <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/news-trends/3-gadgets-to-track-light-intake/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten6-_-TextLink">gadgets you can use to track light intake</a>, just to be sure you've gotten as much as you need.</p> <p>It's more difficult to get proper sun exposure in winter, when cloud cover is heaviest and we're most likely to be clothed. There are also certain populations who are more <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/the-causes-of-womens-fatigue?page=2">prone to a vitamin D deficiency</a> including those with a milk allergy, who follow a strict vegetarian diet, have darker skin (because melanin makes it more difficult for the skin to make vitamin D from sunlight), or are overweight. Proper diet and nutritional supplements can help fill the gaps not met through direct sunlight exposure alone.</p> <p>If you think you may be vitamin D deficient, a simple blood test can measure your levels. The treatment is easy: 15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure per day, a vitamin D supplement, and proper diet. So go ahead, get outside today. It's good for you.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-reason-you-are-sick-tired-and-cranky" class="sharethis-link" title="The Surprising Reason You Are Sick, Tired, and Cranky " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-reason-you-are-sick-tired-and-cranky">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">10 Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn&#039;t Require Paper or Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-nutrients-you-need-more-of">7 Nutrients You Need More Of</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty Humana vitamin D vitamin deficiency Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:00:11 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1272453 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/granola-cup-Dollarphotoclub_60520102_0.jpg" alt="granola cup" title="granola cup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're at all like me, food takes up a significant chunk of your budget each month. And if you care about things like eating whole foods, buying locally grown food, eating fair trade goods, and eating food that is raised in an environmentally responsible manner, your food spending can take an even bigger bite out of a budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck?ref=seealso">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</a>)</p> <p>While the cultural shift toward better and more responsible eating seems to be a good thing overall, the truth is that there are some foods you don't need to splurge on. These foods either aren't as good for you as you might think, or they don't have the benefits that have been touted in the past.</p> <h2>1. Gluten-Free Foods</h2> <p>Though <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/business/food-industry-wagers-big-on-gluten-free.html?_r=0">up to 30% of people</a> in the United States would like to eat less gluten, recent studies show that <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/rosspomeroy/2014/05/15/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity-may-not-exist/">gluten sensitivity doesn't actually exist</a>. Thus, unless you have Celiac Disease, you probably don't need to pay so much to get rid of the gluten. If you suffer from the symptoms of what has been called gluten sensitivity, it's more likely to need to remove the short-chain carbs called <a href="https://stanfordhealthcare.org/content/dam/SHC/for-patients-component/programs-services/clinical-nutrition-services/docs/pdf-lowfodmapdiet.pdf">FODMAPs</a>. These are found in bread, among other things, but are not tied to gluten.</p> <h2>2. Multigrain Bread</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/multigrain-bread-Dollarphotoclub_22964729.jpg" /></p> <p>&quot;Multigrain&quot; is a word that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-whole-grain-nutrition">sounds healthy but actually isn't</a>. While its use does indicate that a product contains more than one grain, those grains can be as processed as the manufacturer wants to make them. If high quality bread is important to you, <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/multigrain/faq-20057867">buy whole grain bread instead</a>. That bread will have more fiber, higher nutrient concentrations, and other compounds in the grain that are destroyed by processing.</p> <h2>3. Organic Baby Food</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/organic-baby-food-Dollarphotoclub_63884235.jpg" /></p> <p>You want to buy your child the best, right? Especially when they are so young and fragile. Multiple studies have shown, though, that <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/organic-baby-food-its-more-expensive-but-it-may-not-be-more-nutritious/2013/03/18/b24f91d6-656a-11e2-b84d-21c7b65985ee_story.html">organic baby food doesn't have any more nutrients</a> than the less expensive, non-organic type. <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814600001679">They don't have less pesticide residue, either</a>. So instead of paying so much for baby food, why not spend that money on something that will actually enhance your child's life?</p> <h2>4. Smoothies From the Store</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/smoothies-market-Dollarphotoclub_56629050.jpg" /></p> <p>A smoothie is fruity, yogurt-y, wheat grass-y goodness, right? Not if you buy it from the store. Most of those are <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/-experts-warn-fruit-smoothies-may-be-just-as-unhealthy-as-soda-201445900.html">so high in sugar</a>, they are more comparable to drinking a soda than to biting into a peach. Instead of spending all that money at the store, make your own smoothie at home. That way, you control how much sugar you add, so it ends up both cheaper and healthier.</p> <h2>5. Stick Margarine</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/stick-margarine-Dollarphotoclub_69652410.jpg" /></p> <p>It's not butter, so it must be healthy, right? Wrong! Margarine replaced the supposedly bad fats in butter with partially hydrogenated fats. For a while, science thought those were good for us. As it turns out, these do damage to arteries and other blood vessels. Instead, <a href="http://www.trueactivist.com/butter-vs-margarine-the-big-fat-butter-lie/">eat real butter</a>. Not only does it contain healthier fats, but it has compounds that inhibit tumors and contains relatively high concentrations of the fat-soluble vitamins.</p> <h2>6. Energy Bars</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/energy-bars-Dollarphotoclub_55652293.jpg" /></p> <p>Most energy bars contain a lot of filler material, which usually translates into food that takes up space in your stomach but doesn't offer much in the way of nutritional value. They also tend to be high in sugar, and some of them have way too many calories for a snack, even if you're refueling after a workout. Instead of spending so much on these, buy the raw ingredients to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home">make your own</a>, instead. Save money and eat something that will actually help your body perform.</p> <h2>7. Enhanced Water</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/energy-drinks-Dollarphotoclub_7266676.jpg" /></p> <p>Enhanced water is basically a way for water companies to get more of your money <a href="http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/08/07/are-enhanced-water-drinks-worth-the-price/">without adding much value</a>. And, sometimes, they also add quite a bit of sugar. For most purposes, regular water is the best beverage to choose. If you're exercising hard, you may want to replace electrolytes, but even then there are better and more cost effective ways to do that without buying the expensive water. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-these-10-homemade-healthy-energy-and-sports-drinks?ref=seealso">Save Money With These 10 Homemade, Healthy Sports and Energy Drinks</a>)</p> <h2>8. Organic Fruits and Vegetables</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/organic-fruits-vegetables-Dollarphotoclub_68974087.jpg" /></p> <p>Apparently, <a href="http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/science-scope/organic-food-isnt-actually-any-better-for-you-and-its-way-more-expensive/">organic fruits and vegetables don't actually offer many of the benefits</a> we'd like to believe they do. They aren't more nutritious, and they don't offer much, if anything, in the way of health benefits. If you're concerned about pesticides, you can still save money. <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/organic_natural/15_foods_you_dont_need_to_buy_organic">These 15 foods</a> are the ones least affected by pesticides, and so you don't have to buy them organic.</p> <h2>9. Low-Fat Foods</h2> <p>The medical establishment has long held that we need to eat less fat but, as it turns out, the more expensive, lower fat foods aren't better for you. When it comes down to fat and diet, it's <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/low-fat-diet">more about the type of fat you eat than the amount</a>. This is why it's actually better to eat the full-fat version of milk products and peanut butter. In addition, when they take out the fat they often have to add sugar and other additives to make the food palatable, so foods lower in fat can end up having as many calories &mdash; or more! &mdash; than their full-fat counterparts.</p> <h2>10. Granola</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/granola-cup-Dollarphotoclub_60520102.jpg" /></p> <p>Before you pour milk over those breakfast grains, check the box. Often, granola has so much added sugar that it's worse that almost anything else you can have for breakfast. Sure, it looks good, with all those oats and grains and nuts and even dried fruit, but the truth is that <a href="http://livehealthy.chron.com/bad-granola-diet-3032.html">granola is not nearly as good as it looks</a>. As with so many other things, it's better for you and cheaper to make your own, so you control how healthy it is based on what you put in it.</p> <h2>11. Prepackaged Health Food</h2> <p>As with any prepackaged food, buying it this way is more expensive than buying in bulk or making it yourself and repackaging it at home. Sure, it's nice to have your almonds portioned into 200 calorie snack sizes, but it's not usually worth the extra money. So buy your health foods in larger quantities and take the time to portion them out yourself, or just make it from scratch in the first place.</p> <p>There are so many ways to eat well without breaking your budget. Avoiding spending more on these foods is a great place to start!</p> <p><em>What supposedly healthy foods do you avoid? How do you eat well and save money, too?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-healthy-habits-that-can-hurt-you">20+ Healthy Habits That Can Hurt You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-killer-ways-to-really-actually-lose-weight">7 Killer Ways to Really, Actually Lose Weight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thinking-of-going-on-a-diet-heres-how-to-figure-out-which-one-is-right-for-you">Thinking of Going on a Diet? Here&#039;s How to Figure Out Which One Is Right for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-ways-to-lower-your-cholesterol">10 Simple Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-doing-it-wrong-6-health-and-fitness-rules-that-have-changed">You&#039;re Doing It Wrong: 6 Health and Fitness Rules That Have Changed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty diet fitness Health nutrition shopping Mon, 05 Jan 2015 18:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1275084 at http://www.wisebread.com Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn't Require Paper or Work http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/166840579.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C596%7C1532&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C596%7C1532&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Finnovations%2Freducing-paperwork%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Sponsored1-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a> to learn more.</em></p> <p>Insured Americans are more likely to face healthcare paperwork overload than any other industrialized nations, according to<a href="http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/In-the-Literature/2013/Nov/Access-Affordability-and-Insurance.aspx"> a recent report by The Commonwealth Fund</a>, a private foundation whose mission includes various improvements to the U.S. healthcare system. In fact, a staggering one in three American adults reported spending &quot;a lot of time&quot; managing their insurance paperwork, where only 25 percent of Swiss, 19 percent of Dutch, and 17 percent of German respondents claimed the same.</p> <p>Healthcare giant Humana is making strides to tackle the healthcare industry's paperwork problem. The company recognizes the frustration that comes with filling out, figuring out, and following up on healthcare insurance forms. Through use of its online dashboard, <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/innovations/reducing-paperwork/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Sponsored1-_-TextLink"><em>My</em>Humana</a>, the company has created a secure, easy-to-use portal that makes it easy to navigate your health information from anywhere you are. All you have to do is log on through your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The online portal cuts the annoying paperwork right out of the equation.</p> <p>With <em>My</em>Humana, all your information is in the same place. There's no need to go back through your plan paperwork or check your personal medical history files to get answers to current healthcare questions. It's all available through the portal, just a mouse click away.</p> <h2>Check Your Deductibles</h2> <p>Know exactly what your deductibles are for medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage. The portal also shows you how much money has gone toward each deductible during the plan year, including how much you have remaining before your annual deductible is met. If you're not sure of your member ID number, group ID, plan type, or start date, it's all right there, in the portal, for easy access.</p> <h2>Review Your Claims</h2> <p>If you're not sure if you owe money for a recent doctor's visit, you can easily log on and check it out. The portal displays each claim number, the date of the claim, the amount paid, and the amount due. You even see the original amount billed, any discounts applied, and how much was paid by your plan (versus by you). In the event you have a question that's not answered through the portal and are logged in from your smartphone app, there's an easy-to-use phone icon that can automatically connect you with a Humana associate.</p> <h2>Find a Doctor</h2> <p>You won't have to wonder whether a doctor is under your planned. The online search will help find one that's covered through your plan. Before you schedule your next office visit, you can quickly check the portal to find an in network provider. You can look for doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies, and urgent care centers. You can choose to look a provider up by name. Or, if you don't have a specific specialist or other professional in mind, you can search for in network providers in your area. All contact information including phone, street address, and even distance from you are quick and easy to view. With just one click, your smartphone will automatically dial the provider of your choice.</p> <h2>Compare Prescription Costs</h2> <p>The portal can be used to find what your new prescription will cost or just to research cheaper, generic alternatives before you get to the pharmacy counter. &nbsp;Right from the portal you can input your drug and dosage. <em>My</em>Humana will automatically compare the cost of your prescription from both local and mail order pharmacies, highlighting the least expensive option. Once your prescription is in the system, you can set up a text alert to remind you when it's time to refill, if your benefits change, or if the prescription becomes available somewhere else for a lower cost. You can even set up clinical pharmacy alerts, which let you know if any potential problems arise with the medicine you're prescribed.</p> <h2>Access HumanaVitality</h2> <p>HumanVitality is a wellness app that allows you to seamlessly transfer your workouts from your heart rate monitor, pedometer, or other fitness tracking device. The program also allows participants to earn points for completing health-related tasks like getting a flu shot, completing an online health assessment, getting First Aid certified, or going for a bike ride. Accumulated points can be traded in for prizes like movie tickets, a heart rate monitor, or even a digital camera.</p> <p>Thanks to Humana's online portal, navigating your health and insurance information doesn't have to be complicated. Now Humana members can safely file their healthcare paperwork away, knowing that most of what they need can be found with the swipe of a finger. Good-bye paperwork. Hello <em>My</em>Humana.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work" class="sharethis-link" title="Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn&#039;t Require Paper or Work" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">10 Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-reason-you-are-sick-tired-and-cranky">The Surprising Reason You Are Sick, Tired, and Cranky</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cost-comparison-emergency-rooms-vs-urgent-care">Cost Comparison: Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty Technology healthcare Humana Thu, 25 Dec 2014 16:00:11 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1258888 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/460148049.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C595%7C1530&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C595%7C1530&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Fnews-trends%2Fwear-out-your-wearable%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten1-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a> to learn more.</em></p> <p>Many people are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-that-youre-sleep-deprived">more sleep deprived</a> than they realize. Are you one of them? Recently, new devices promising to help track fitness and sleep have become available. Here are some ways you can get a better, more consistent night's sleep with the help of a <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/news-trends/wear-out-your-wearable/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten1-_-TextLink">wearable health device</a>.</p> <h2>Tracking Your Behavior</h2> <p>Do you ever examine your routine? Many devices such as <a href="http://www.fitbit.com/">FitBit</a>, <a href="https://jawbone.com/up">Jawbone UP</a>, <a href="http://www.mybasis.com/">BASIS</a>, and <a href="http://www.beddit.com/#science-small">Beddit</a> track not only your sleep but your daily fitness habits. A pedometer within these devices and apps reveals how often you walk, how often you jog, and your average heart rate throughout the day.</p> <p>Why is this important? We tend to be more mindful of our behavior when we are keeping score. If you discover that you're only walking 2,000 steps per day when the goal is 10,000 steps, you are more likely to be motivated to walk more. The gamification of the daily habits can help you become more aware of your health and more proactive in improving it.</p> <p>Monitoring your sleep using an app or device is ideal, because all you have to do is wear it. Keeping score of your body movement and rest periods will lead to discover why you are restless at night, why you don't remember your dreams, or why you're so tired in the morning. Knowledge is power.</p> <h2>Analyzing Your Sleep Pattern</h2> <p>How does sleep even work? Everyone sleeps a little differently, but there is an ideal pattern. There are five different types of sleep. The below stages cycle through the brain in loops that last between 90 and 110 minutes:</p> <ul> <li>Stage 1, in which one is drifting in and out of sleep, and can be woken easily.</li> <li>Stage 2, during which eye movement stops, with only a few bursts of movement.</li> <li>Stage 3, when the extra slow delta waves begin and sleep becomes deeper.</li> <li>Stage 4, as the brain is in almost entirely delta waves, known as &quot;deep sleep.&quot;</li> <li>REM sleep, wherein sleep waves become more rapid, heart rate and breathing quicken, and eye movement is rapid. This is when most dreaming occurs.</li> </ul> <p>Most sleep monitoring devices such as BASIS and Beddit can pinpoint when you are wakened in the night, and can usually distinguish where deep sleep ends and REM sleep begins. These are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-christopher-winter/sleep-tips_b_4792760.html">important patterns to study,</a> because you can use this data to hack your sleep cycle and make it more satisfying. For example, it can tell you the <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2587568/How-feel-refreshed-little-sleep-MUST-afternoon-nap-Never-wake-tired-again.html">optimal time for you to wake up</a>. You might be setting your alarm to wake you up in the middle of your sleep cycle, so you get out of bed groggy and slow. A minor adjustment to your wake up time (or bedtime) could mean getting up refreshed and alert.</p> <h2>Correcting Causes of Poor Sleep</h2> <p>Are you waking up too often in the night or suffer from insomnia? Some sleep monitoring devices can even combine your data with health information using cognitive behavioral therapy. Devices such as the <a href="http://www.sleeprate.com/">SleepRate system</a> can display your entire day of activity and suggest possible ways to fix the issues in your sleep cycle.</p> <p>Depending on your sleep pattern, a monitoring app or device can provide advice like the following:</p> <ul> <li>Wake up the same time every morning</li> <li>Increase exposure to natural light throughout daytime hours</li> <li>Avoid caffeine after 4pm</li> <li>Decrease napping</li> <li>Dim lights near bedtime</li> <li>Don't bring laptops, ipads, and other backlit devices to bed</li> <li>Avoid alcohol close to bedtime</li> <li>Relieve anxiety with stretching or deep breathing exercises</li> </ul> <p>With a little help from wearable tech, you can not only get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sleep-better-in-fewer-hours">better night's sleep</a>, but also improve your overall health and quality of life by becoming more conscious of your daily habits.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sleep-better-in-fewer-hours">7 Ways to Sleep Better in Fewer Hours</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">10 Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn&#039;t Require Paper or Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty Lifestyle Humana sleep Wed, 24 Dec 2014 16:00:09 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1245574 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stressed-woman-traffic-Dollarphotoclub_53811864.jpg" alt="stressed woman traffic" title="stressed woman traffic" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stress is how we respond to life's challenges. And since life always throws us curveballs (especially if you're a Baltimore Oriole gunning for a World Series title&hellip; I'll get over the shutout eventually), a completely stress-free life might never happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress?ref=seealso">20 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Reduce Stress</a>)</p> <p>But while you can't snap your fingers and wish away big stresses, you can eliminate little stressors that impact your everyday life. Expunging minor annoyances that increase blood pressure and anxiety level may not provide complete peace of mind, but it's a good starting point. Here are six to set you on the right path.</p> <h2>1. Toxic Relationships</h2> <p>Whether it's a so-called friend, a co-worker, neighbor, or miserable relative (you know who you are, <em>Aunt Silvie</em>), some people may drain the life out of you and increase your stress level. You may put up with the abuse because of your history, but the last thing you need is a toxic relationship adding stress to your life.</p> <p>It's a common type of relationship. In fact, &quot;84% of women &mdash; and 75% of men &mdash; said they'd <a href="http://www.today.com/id/44205822/ns/today-today_health/t/toxic-friends-people-endure-poisonous-pals/#.VH4pgofPbzI">had a toxic friend</a> at some point,&quot; acccording to a study conducted by Today.com and Self Magazine. You don't have to banish these people from your life, but to enjoy less stress and more happiness, you have to acknowledge a toxic relationship sooner than later and <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/toxic-friends-less-friend-more-foe?page=3">deal with the toxicity</a>, such as &quot;taking some degree of responsibility for the situation&quot; and setting boundaries.</p> <h2>2. Traffic Jams During the Morning Commute</h2> <p>Nobody wants to deal with bumper-to-bumper traffic (especially if you are not a morning person), and research proves that traffic and your commute can be bad for your health. &quot;It is very stressful &mdash; you have little control over it,&quot; says Dr. David Frid of the Cleveland Clinic. &quot;And it is something, like most stressful situations, that can have an impact on your heart. It can increase your heart rate and increase your blood pressure, both which are very bad for your system in the short term as well as the long term.&quot;</p> <p>Researchers believe that honking and the sound of traffic can trigger elevated stress levels. But if you work outside the home and live in a heavily populated area, major slowdowns are inevitable and a bad start to your day. There's nothing you can do about traffic, but you can minimize its effect.</p> <p>&quot;Leave with enough time so that if a traffic jam occurs&hellip; you're not going to be bothered by it,&quot; Frid says. &quot;If you get caught in a traffic jam, it is what it is. Don't get upset about it. Listen to your (audio) book, listen to the radio.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Long Lines</h2> <p>Whether it's at the grocery store or the bank &mdash; you can't escape long lines. And if you're tired, hungry, and stuck standing in a long line after finishing an eight-hour shift, this might be the thing that pushes you over the edge.</p> <p>Unfortunately, as long as there are people, there will be lines. But this doesn't mean you have to waste time standing in them. Take advantage of time-saving tools created to make your life less stressful. Just about every bank and credit union has a mobile app that lets customers deposit checks from a mobile device (this is one of the best technological advances so far this century, in my opinion). And I recently learned that Walmart (and many other grocery stores) now offers a feature that lets customers grocery shop online. Visit the grocery store's website, select items to purchase, choose a pick-up time (or delivery, in some cases), pay online, and pick up your items from the store's designated area. No lines.</p> <h2>4. Too Much News</h2> <p>After work you may turn on the TV to catch up on the latest headlines. But given how most news isn't good news, after a few programs you may notice your anxiety level rising. This feeling isn't all in your head.</p> <p>A national survey of more than 2,500 Americans conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health found that 1 in 4 participants experienced &quot;a great deal of stress in the previous month,&quot; and the biggest contributing factor was reading, watching, or listening to the news. Additionally, a study conducted after the Boston Marathon bombing found that &quot;people who exposed themselves to six or more hours of media daily actually reported more acute stress symptoms than did people who were directly exposed &mdash; meaning they were at the site of the bombings,&quot; says professor Alison Holman of the University of California.</p> <p>We should stay up-to-date on national and world events, sure. But try limiting yourself to only 10 or 20 minutes of news coverage a day.</p> <h2>5. Perfectionism</h2> <p>We can be our own worst enemy and our own stress trigger. Some people have to do everything perfectly, and mistakes are unacceptable. However, nobody is perfect, and if you're reaching for perfection, you're only going to succeed at stressing yourself out (which is why Xanax is my best friend). Do your best, but know your limits (and I'll try to practice what I preach as well).</p> <h2>6. Too Much Technology</h2> <p>Between smartphones, tablets, and unlimited data plans, you can be connected to the outside world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But there's a <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042390/">connection between stress and overuse of technology</a>. And if you can't go 30 minutes without checking your email or text messages, you may experience higher stress levels than someone who completely unplugs.</p> <p>Sure, you may need your smartphone or tablet, but it's okay to set boundaries. Maybe shut down all devices two or three hours before bed to allow your mind time to unwind. This means no playing games, texting, reading blogs, and definitely no paying bills online. It'll be hard to break this habit, but people have put more difficult addictions to rest. You got this if you want this.</p> <p><em>What are some other stressors that are commonplace that we can feasibly avoid? Let me know your suggestions and tips in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more">6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-nervous-tics-you-need-to-stop-right-now">6 Nervous Tics You Need to Stop Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-you-can-go-easier-on-yourself">12 Ways You Can Go Easier on Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-slow-down-your-fast-paced-life">How to Slow Down Your Fast-Paced Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty Personal Development relax stress stress relief tension Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1270104 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Beauty Savings Secrets Every Woman Should Know http://www.wisebread.com/7-beauty-savings-secrets-every-woman-should-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-beauty-savings-secrets-every-woman-should-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-buying-cosmetics-Dollarphotoclub_67027622.jpg" alt="woman buying cosmetics" title="woman buying cosmetics" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to The Huffington Post, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/23/beauty-products_n_3975209.html">women spend over $426 billion a year on beauty products</a>. This can get exceedingly expensive for women who buy into the high priced anti-aging skincare lines and like to stay on top of the latest cosmetics trends. Fortunately, there are a few new ways to save that don't require sorting through the bargain bin at the end of each season.</p> <p>Here are the seven best ways to stretch your dollar in the beauty department.</p> <h2>1. Sign Up for Surprise Beauty Box Subscriptions</h2> <p>Beauty box services like <a href="http://www.glossybox.com/">Glossy Box</a>, <a href="http://www.ipsy.com/">Ipsy</a>, or <a href="http://www.beautybar.com/SampleSociety/LandingPage.qs">Sample Society</a> all work in more or less the same way. You select a plan with the type of products you're interested in getting and how long of a contract you want (typically, the longer your contract, the bigger the discount). Then every month you get a box in the mail, filled with sample or full-size beauty products to test out.</p> <h3>What's the Catch?</h3> <p>Most of these services are upfront about the fees and quality of products, but there's no way of knowing what you'll receive from month to month. It's possible to end up with a box full of products that you have no interest in using.</p> <h2>2. Sign Up for Retailer Rewards</h2> <p>Beauty companies that offer rewards systems pay you cash, redeemable points, or special discounts depending on the dollar amount you spend at their store. Some may even offer lower members-only prices. When signing up, make sure to ask about the program's benefits, so that you can figure out the best way it can work for you. For example, the CVS reward program offers personalized coupons, weekly sales to members, and 2% cash back on all purchases. Other programs to consider: <a href="http://www.beauty.com/">Beauty.com,</a> <a href="http://www.sephora.com/">Sephora</a>, <a href="http://www.sallybeauty.com/">Sally Beauty Supply</a>, <a href="http://ulta.com/">Ulta</a>, and <a href="http://www.cvs.com/">CVS</a>.</p> <h3>What's the Catch?</h3> <p>Rewards programs are a good deal, but read the fine print. Some companies may limit the items available to purchase with reward points or price reward items ridiculously high. For example, Sephora offers one reward point for each dollar spent, but it takes 100 points (or 100 dollars spent) to redeem one sample-size mascara.</p> <h2>3. Shop Online</h2> <p>Online beauty retailers like <a href="http://www.dermstore.com/">Dermstore</a>, Beauty.com and <a href="http://www.beautybar.com/">Beautybar.com</a> can offer better prices because they don't have the same overhead costs as a traditional brick and mortar. These retailers pass on the savings through daily or weekly sales, special promotions, and additional coupons found on third-party coupon websites.</p> <h3>What's the Catch?</h3> <p>You don't get the luxury of trying new products like you would in-store and to receive free shipping you have to meet the minimum order value of $35-$50.</p> <h2>4. Buy the Bundled Kit</h2> <p>Some brand-specific retailers promote the use of their products in a group or kit, for best results. For the full package, they offer big savings. For example, at Murad their &quot;<a href="http://www.murad.com/environmental-shield-30-day-kit">Environmental Shield Introductory Kit</a>&quot; costs under $40, but if you bought all the components separately, the cost would be $125.</p> <h3>What's the Catch?</h3> <p>As long as you want all the products in the kit, this one's a no-brainer.</p> <h2>5. Get Those Free Samples!</h2> <p>There are four ways to get free samples.</p> <ul> <li>When the woman at the department store counter asks if you want a free sample, you say, &quot;Yes!&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Stores like Sephora have sample containers waiting to be filled with products you'd like to try; you just have to ask an employee for it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check websites like <a href="http://womanfreebies.com/">Womanfreebies</a> and <a href="http://www.shopathome.com/">Shopathome</a> for updates on a variety of free stuff including bath and beauty supplies.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Manufacturers new and old are fighting for your business and offer free samples so that you can try them out, so check their websites for details.</li> </ul> <h3>What's the Catch?</h3> <p>You may not get the full benefit of a product from a sample size. Especially with skin and hair care products, potential results may not show up until a certain number of uses that can't be fulfilled in a one or two-time portion.</p> <h2>6. Compare Ingredients</h2> <p>According to a ShopSmart interview with cosmetics chemist Randy Shueller, &quot;if the first five ingredients are the same or nearly the same, then <a href="http://www.shopsmart.org/2014/11/smart-swaps-to-save-big-on-cosmetics-and-skin-care.html">the product is probably very similar</a>.&quot; They compared three similar products and found that the less expensive products were 50% cheaper &mdash; for the same ingredients!</p> <h3>What's the Catch?</h3> <p>You'll have to spend a little more time doing the research on these ingredients. But even if you know them inside out, the unfortunate truth is that beauty product labels don't state the usage amount of the ingredients listed. For all you know, they used a drop of the ingredient you need in your beauty product.</p> <h2>7. Buy Reusable Applicators</h2> <p>Every time you use a traditional foundation applicator, you have to throw it away. Instead, replace your one-time use foundation sponges with a reusable foundation brush or beauty blender sponge that will last you up to 3-6 months. Depending on how often it's used and how well you take care of it, it may even last longer. This will eliminate your restocking fees and decrease the unnecessary waste that's produced by traditional sponge applicators.</p> <h3>What's the Catch?</h3> <p>Nothing more than a change and learning curve, but there are hundreds of YouTube beauty tutorials that will show you the best ways of using it.</p> <p><em>What are your best beauty savings secrets? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-beauty-savings-secrets-every-woman-should-know" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Beauty Savings Secrets Every Woman Should Know" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nayri-leanna-gregor">Nayri Leanna Gregor</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-beauty-savings-secrets-every-woman-should-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budgeting-beauty-an-expert-tells-all">Budgeting Beauty - An Expert Tells All</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-beauty-be-this-basic">Can Beauty Be THIS Basic?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-feel-more-attractive-without-actually-changing-how-you-look">12 Ways to Feel More Attractive Without Actually Changing How You Look</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/generic-drug-price-lists-for-six-major-pharmacies">Generic Drug Price Lists For Six Major Pharmacies - Updated</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money">11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty beauty cosmetics savings shopping Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:00:09 +0000 Nayri Leanna Gregor 1269224 at http://www.wisebread.com 36 Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room While It's Cold Out http://www.wisebread.com/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-exercise-living-room-Dollarphotoclub_63851547.jpg" alt="woman exercise living room" title="woman exercise living room" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's cold enough to reasonably excuse yourself from running, but it's not too cold to workout inside. So move your coffee table out of the way, roll out your yoga mat and make your TV the focal point of your workout, because we've rounded up 36 exercises you can do in your living room. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=seealso">These At-Home Workouts Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a>)</p> <p>Most of these workouts are available online for free, but don't forget Christmas time usually offers deals on videos at local retailers. You'll need a yoga mat and a few hand weights for some of the workouts. And no matter which workout is right for you, make sure you follow the instructions carefully &mdash; the last thing you want to do is pull a muscle trying to gain muscle.</p> <h2>Strength Training</h2> <p>You won't need a lot of fancy weight lifting equipment to start buffing up at home.</p> <h3>POPSUGAR Fitness</h3> <p>POPSUGAR Fitness is a fantastic source for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/popsugartvfit">YouTube</a> workouts. I will warn you though: Their channel is mixed with food recipes. Their <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=istOU9nxhm8">beginner strength training workout</a> is phenomenal if you don't have a lot of workout supplies &mdash; it only requires a yoga mat. It does require some coordination, but since you're in your living room and not in public, there is no need to feel embarrassed.</p> <h3>Nike+ Training App</h3> <p>If you're a woman with a smartphone, try out the free <a href="http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/womens-training/apps/nike-training-club">Nike+ Training Club app</a>, which acts as a personal trainer, motivator, and calorie counter. This app is great for when you don't know how to do a certain bend or lift.</p> <h3>Jillian Michaels App</h3> <p>The free <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jillian-michaels-slim-down/id399841706?mt=8">Jillian Michaels app</a> helps you plan your workout in conjunction with a meal plan. It's like The Biggest Loser only you're the only one competing and no one is watching you.</p> <h2>Focus Areas</h2> <p>If you're trying to fix one certain part of your body, there are a plethora of body part specific workouts you can try out.</p> <h3>Abs</h3> <p>If you're looking for ab workouts, try <a href="http://www.hulu.com/watch/386209">Gaiam's Quick Fix Ab</a> workout.</p> <h3>Lower Body</h3> <p>If you're focusing on your lower body, try <a href="http://www.fitnessblender.com/v/workout-detail/Butt-and-Thigh-Workout-with-Fat-Burning-HIIT-Cardio-At-Home-Legs-On-Fire-/kd/">Fitness Blender's Butt and Thigh</a> workout or POPSUGAR's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCYCHj_NGNg&amp;list=UUBINFWq52ShSgUFEoynfSwg">Tighten Your Love Handles</a> workout.</p> <h3>Back</h3> <p>Strengthen your back with <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql_fjjleuu8&amp;list=UUBINFWq52ShSgUFEoynfSwg">this workout</a>, also from POPSUGAR.</p> <h3>Upper Body</h3> <p>For your upper body, check out <a href="http://www.fitnessblender.com/v/workout-detail/Bodyweight-Only-Upper-Body-Workout-Killer-Arms-Shoulders-and-Upper-Back-Workout/ke/">Fitness Blender's Upper Body</a> workout (no weights needed!). And Military.com offers <a href="http://www.military.com/military-fitness/workouts/best-twenty-minute-workouts">a round-up of 20 minute workouts</a> on their website. No matter what your focus area is, make sure you give it a break at least every other day. Too much on one certain area can cause you to strain your muscles.</p> <h2>Dancing</h2> <p>I avoid Zumba like the plague because I have no rhythm and I am not quick at picking up dance moves. However, I will happily dance when no one is watching.</p> <h3>Dance Workout for Dummies</h3> <p>This <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEjsAW5rokA">Dance Workout for Dummies video</a> on YouTube is helpful simply because she is instructional as she dances.</p> <h3>Dance and Be Fit</h3> <p>Hulu's <a href="http://www.hulu.com/dance-and-be-fit">Dance and Be Fit</a> channel offers a plethora of choices.</p> <h3>Beyonce Dance Workout</h3> <p>If you feel like you could be the next Beyonce, check out POPSUGAR's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/popsugartvfit">Beyonce Dance Workout</a>.</p> <p>Most importantly, these videos require nothing but your body and an ability to laugh at yourself.</p> <h2>Military Workouts</h2> <p>If you need a little extra motivation only a drill instructor can give, you have several options.</p> <h3>Military.com Whole Body Workout</h3> <p>Military.com offers <a href="http://www.military.com/military-fitness/workouts/stuck-inside-indoor-workout-ideas">a workout for your whole body</a>. This workout focuses on everything: arms, legs, chest, and shoulders. However, the instructor recommends splitting the workouts up to give your body rest time in between certain sections. The good news is they don't have a YouTube video attached to them, so if your &quot;workout instructor&quot; gets on your nerves, this is an alternative. The bad news is that you have to pace yourself and make yourself keep going.</p> <h3>Other Boot Camps</h3> <p>Health.com also offers a <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20690381,00.html">30-minute Boot Camp Workout</a> with no videos. And if you need someone yelling at you, try Exercise TV's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtYgmDEddug">Boot Camp Calorie Burn</a> or XHIT Daily's Military <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR96MWRPwHg">Boot Camp Workout</a>, which features a British instructor.</p> <h2>Yoga</h2> <p>Yoga is the best living room workout, and if you learn from a video, you won't feel embarrassed when you don't know what happy baby is.</p> <p>Try <a href="http://myfreeyoga.com/">MyFreeYoga.com</a> or Hulu's channels <a href="http://www.hulu.com/yoga-for-everyone">Yoga for Everyone</a>, <a href="http://www.hulu.com/my-yoga-classes">My Yoga Classes</a>, or, the aptly named, <a href="http://www.hulu.com/yoga">Yoga</a>. POPSUGAR rounds up <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Websites-Offer-Free-Yoga-Classes-21156881">a few more websites</a> that cost around $9 a month &mdash; certainly cheaper than $15-$20 a class!</p> <p>Refer to these <a href="http://www.yogajournal.com/">Yoga Journal</a> videos to make sure your poses are done correctly.</p> <h2>Pilates</h2> <p>Hulu has a great <a href="http://www.hulu.com/gaiam-pilates">Pilates channel</a> available on their website. And try out Fitness Blender's <a href="http://www.fitnessblender.com/v/workout-detail/Quick-and-Easy-Pilates-Toning-and-Flexibility-Workout/kn/">Quick and Easy Pilates Toning and Flexibility Workout</a> (which lasts less than 20 minutes and tells you how many calories you're burning as you go), or Fitness Blender's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gugu8jehy7A">Leg Slimming Pilates Routine</a>. eFit30 also offers a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv1q-jpa5uM">30-Minute Pilates</a> workout, which is led by a delightful Aussie named Renee.</p> <h2>Total Body Workouts</h2> <p>If you're in a rush, <a href="http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/total-body-workouts">this five minute workout</a> from Women's Health is perfect for you. This workout has five steps, which you do 50 seconds apiece, taking a 10 second rest in between.</p> <p>Gaiam Fitness on Hulu also offers a <a href="http://www.hulu.com/watch/510380">total body workout</a> for those with a little more time.</p> <p>Men's Fitness offers <a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/training/workout-routines/8-at-home-workouts-to-lose-weight-and-build-muscle">eight different workouts</a> you can do at home. Some do require dumbbells, but a lot are possible with just you.</p> <h2>Pinterest Workouts</h2> <p>If videos aren't your thing, try what I'm calling a &quot;Pinterest&quot; workout. You know, one of those workouts made in Paint that will make you feel bad about your recipe board. There is the <a href="https://makinghealthahabit.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/workout6.jpg">100 Workout</a>, the <a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/7b/c1/c5/7bc1c5f0e6c2f01a695dc80b214cf804.jpg">&quot;Everytime You See This&quot; Workout</a>, the <a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/e2/55/ab/e255ab0de4298184fe191723d710df14.jpg">Quick Morning Workout</a>, the <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZPDmsOQRHhw/UhLQrxC9gnI/AAAAAAAABTA/3BveEI0PvjM/s1600/Quick+Fix+Workout.png">Quick Fix Workout</a>, the <a href="http://iheartvegetables.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/10-minute-circuit-workout-.jpg">10 Minute Circuit</a>, and <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=fitness%20workouts&amp;term_meta%5B%5D=fitness%7Ctyped&amp;term_meta%5B%5D=workouts%7Ctyped">numerous others</a>.</p> <p><em>What do you use to workout at home? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out" class="sharethis-link" title="36 Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room While It&#039;s Cold Out" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-getting-the-best-morning-workout">7 Tips for Getting the Best Morning Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-doing-these-4-exercises-your-workouts-are-worth-nothing">If You&#039;re Doing These 4 Exercises, Your Workouts Are Worth Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walk-walk-walk-walk-walk">Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-online-workout-videos-for-free-or-cheap">7 Online Workout Videos for Free or Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-no-sweat-workouts-perfect-for-the-workplace">10 No-Sweat Workouts Perfect for the Workplace</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty Lifestyle exercise fitness free workouts home gym workouts Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:00:08 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1268204 at http://www.wisebread.com