A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Ahh-choo! 2014 spring allergy season may be a harsh one: docs

(New York Daily News) Start stockpiling tissues: The worst winter in years is about to give way to the worst allergy season.
Allergists are predicting a sneezy spring in the Northeast because of the long, cold winter and higher-than-average snowfall.
"We're going to get a bumper crop of pollen starting, I would bet, next week," said Dr. Paul Ehrlich, an allergy/asthma/immunology specialist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. "Because the weather has been so cold, we sort of picture trees sitting with their hands on their hips saying 'alright, we'll wait, and then we'll pour on the pollen.'"
"The cold weather actually makes it better for trees to pollinate," agreed Dr. Timothy Mainardi of Hudson Allergy Tribeca. "We had a tremendous amount of snow this year, and all that moisture is currently being drunk up by the trees."
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10 best tips to ease spring allergies

(USA Today) In the past year, almost 17 million adults were diagnosed with hay fever. Steering clear of allergens is the best way to reduce symptoms, but that's tough with billions of tiny pollen particulates in the air.
You can take steps, however, to minimize exposure; over-the-counter allergy remedies also may help, as well as prescription medications or allergy shots. Talk to a doctor to determine the best treatment plan.
1.    Check pollen counts…
2.    Shut the windows…
3.    Move outdoor activities to the afternoon…
4.    Head out on rainy days…
5.    Strip and shower…
6.    Dry laundry indoors…
7.    Use high-efficiency filters…
8.    Try a neti pot…
9.    Run [over-the-counter oral decongestants] by your doctor…
10.  Treat early.
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When a Pollen Allergy Becomes a Food Allergy

(Sharecare.com) As many as half of all people with pollen allergies react to eating certain fruits and veggies or sipping herbal teas.
That's because some foods contain proteins that look -- at least to your immune system -- like the same pollen that clogs your nose and makes your eyes flood… If you love the offending food, cooking it often neutralizes the proteins…
Also, let your doc know about your food-pollen cross-reaction: It's usually not a problem, but there's new evidence that about 1 in 50 people could experience a more severe allergy attack. And, of course, if you start to gasp and wheeze, get medical help pronto. Learn how allergies affect your sleep, too.
Some common cross-allergies: If fall ragweed gives you the sniffles, apples, bananas, melons, cucumber, chamomile tea, echinacea, honey, and nuts may, too. If you're allergic to bananas or latex, be alert when eating avocado or melon.
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More Information and Recent Research on Allergies

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) If you experience daily sneezing and itchy eyes at certain times of the year, you may have seasonal allergies. The following natural approaches may help - give them a try: 1. Take freeze-dried stinging nettles and butterbur… 2. Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids… 3. Get more quercetin [from citrus] fruits, garlic, parsley, apples, broccoli and tea… 4. Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits, such as berries and cherries… 5. Try nasal douching with a warm saline solution by using a Neti pot… 6. Drink plenty of water… 7. Eliminate dairy and any products that contain casein.
(MedPage Today) Treating allergic rhinitis with immunotherapy appeared to reduce the risk of chronic upper respiratory conditions, a Medicaid study showed.
(Shots, NPR) [B]ronchial thermoplasty … attacks the problem at its very root — the muscles in the lungs' airways. During an asthma attack, muscle cells contract and restrict airflow. To keep the muscles from constricting, a catheter is used to deliver heated zaps of energy that essentially burn off the outer layer of smooth muscle cells. That way there's less muscle to contract.
(BBC News) Researchers in Cambridge believe they've made a breakthrough in developing a potential treatment for peanut allergy. They carried out a trial where 100 children ate gradually increased doses of peanut protein each day.
(Reuters Health) Based on two dozen clinical trials, U.S. researchers find that expensive mattress covers make no difference in reducing dust mite allergies or their symptoms.
(Reuters) Danish pharmaceutical group Alk Abello expects to start selling its new dust mite allergy tablet in Europe and Japan around the end 2015 with the U.S. market a further year behind, its Chief Executive told Reuters on Thursday.
More . . .

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Balsamic-Glazed Filet Mignon
Pair steak with classic sides like mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. This menu comes together easily, but is sophisticated enough to share with guests.
EatingWell:
Creole Chuck Steak Etouffée
In this steak étouffée recipe, boneless chuck is slowly cooked in a flavorful liquid full of aromatic vegetables, spicy sausage and broth.
SouthBeachDiet.com:
Warm Salmon and Asparagus Salad
Arranged on a verdant bed of mesclun lettuce and roasted asparagus, a perfectly cooked portion of salmon is drizzled with a white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard dressing for a light spring lunch or dinner. If you're not a fan of salmon, sub in some roasted or poached chicken.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Seared Salmon With Orange Glaze
Not an ounce of flavor escapes this dish! The salmon is seared, trapping its rich flavor, briefly baked, and then drizzled with a thick, lightly fragranced orange ginger glaze - a balanced companion for a fish as flavorful as salmon. Salmon provides ample amounts of protein, B vitamins, vitamin A, and omega-3 oils.
Food as Medicine
Salmon are one of the richest dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids (one four-ounce serving contains 87 percent of the Daily Value). A recent study following individuals in Japan, China, the U.S. and the U.K. showed that those whose diets included greater amounts of omega-3s - from fish, nuts, seeds and certain vegetable oils - had lower blood pressure than those who consume less of these essential fatty acids.
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Eat More Fiber for Better Blood Sugar (and Cholesterol)

(Sharecare.com) Healthy foods high in soluble fiber (such as fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains) can help decrease after-meal blood sugar and cholesterol levels…
When it comes to fiber in your food, there are two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in your stomach to form a gooey, gel-like substance, while insoluble fiber stays relatively intact in your digestive system. Both types of fiber help with digestion, but soluble fiber has added advantages. Foods rich in soluble fiber are digested more slowly than refined or processed foods such as white bread, cookies, or cake. So sugar from your food is absorbed by your body at a slower rate, causing blood sugar levels to rise more slowly and preventing sudden blood sugar spikes.
What else can soluble fiber do? This sticky, gel-like substance is also a whiz at grabbing and trapping excess LDL cholesterol in your intestine. Once trapped, bad, fatty cholesterol is swept out of your body -- far away from your bloodstream -- by way of your normal digestive process.
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3 Healthy Canned Food Choices

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Looking for a cost-effective way to get nutrient-dense foods into your diet? Consider canned foods. Quality canned foods offer a convenient and economical alternative to fresh foods, and can provide nutritional benefits from seasonal items all year round…
1.    Fish: Sockeye salmon is a great choice, as it is always wild caught, and the canning process softens the bones, making them an edible source of calcium. Sardines packed in water or olive oil are also a good option.
2.    Beans: Always a healthy addition of fiber and protein to your meals, these time-savers can be used straight from the can after a quick rinse…
3.    Fruits and vegetables. Because fruits and vegetables are usually canned soon after they are picked, many of their nutrients are maintained…
More research is needed to determine if foods like canned soup raise BPA levels. So consume canned goods in moderation to round out your diet, and eat fresh or frozen foods instead whenever your time and budget permit.
Community: I don’t know why Dr. Weil never mentions canned tuna. It’s also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. And be sure to look for low sodium and low sugar versions when buying canned fruits and vegetables.
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Sugar in the News

(Jeff Ritterman, MD, Physicians for Social Responsibility) We now know that consumption of sugar can kill by causing heart attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Sugar has also been implicated in fatty liver disease, obesity and dementia. You don't need to get fat to be adversely impacted. Forty per cent of normal weight individuals are metabolically abnormal and at risk. Sugar can kill without us being forewarned by the accumulation of fat around our waistlines.
What if we all went back to eating real food and drinking tap water, spa water, milk, coffee and tea? What if we ate seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, bulk whole grains, dairy, eggs, fish, poultry and meat instead of packaged foods and food like material of all types whenever possible? What if we demanded that it all be farmed sustainably and in accordance with the laws of nature? You know, where cows eat grass, not corn, etc. One consequence would be in shifting our food dollar from transnational conglomerates to local farmers doing their best to farm sustainably. Our local farmers are stewards of the land.
Our advice could be simple: "Eat real food. If they advertise it, don't buy it." The explanation simple as well: "they advertise food and beverages because they want you to eat and drink products that are unhealthy."
(Consumer Reports) Why should you limit fruit juice? Though it may have a healthier reputation than soda, nutritionally it’s practically the same. “It’s true that some fruit juices have vitamins and minerals, but whole fruit supplies the same nutrients, plus it has fiber, which slows your body’s absorption of the sugar,” says Linda Greene, a health and food test program leader at Consumer Reports. That's why sugars in whole fruit aren’t considered free sugars; neither are those in unflavored milk or yogurt or “sweet” vegetables like beets or butternut squash.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) A new analysis from England puts the recommended sugar limit at five percent or less of your total daily intake of calories. Be aware that total includes all the “free sugar” in your diet – the sugar you put in your coffee or tea, and the amounts added to foods in cooking - in addition to the sugar contained in processed foods such as honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates. According to the report from Newcastle University, limiting intake to five percent (about five teaspoons for most people) can help protect your teeth from decay and minimize the risk of cavities for life.
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Fish Oil Supplements: A Look at the Possible Benefits

(LiveScience) How effective is fish oil? The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database provides ratings for fish oil. Here are many of them:
Effective
High triglycerides, blood fat related to cholesterol…
Likely Effective
Heart disease. People who already have heart disease may be able to lower their risk of dying from it by taking fish oil.
Possibly Effective
High blood pressure…
Rheumatoid arthritis…
Menstrual pain…
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)…
Stroke…
Weak bones (osteoporosis)…
Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)…
Kidney problems…
Bipolar disorder…
Psychosis…
Weight loss…
Endometrial cancer…
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)…
Blocked blood vessels…
Psoriasis…
Asthma.
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Vitamin D Blog: D Has No Effect on Depression

(MedPage Today) Depressed patients won't get any relief from vitamin D supplementation, a new meta-analysis found.
In a review of seven trials totaling nearly 3,200 patients, the vitamin had no significant effect on depressive symptoms overall, Jonathan Shaffer, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center, in New York City, and colleagues reported…
However, when looking specifically at patients who had clinically significant depressive symptoms or depressive disorder, the researchers found that there did appear to be a moderately significant effect of vitamin D supplementation on symptoms.
In a press release, the researchers noted that further work should be done on whether vitamin D adds to improvements when patients are also on antidepressants.
They also noted that supplementation may work when depressed patients have an actual deficiency in vitamin D, but more studies are needed.
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Cholesterol Might be Linked to Breast Cancer

(Scientific American) Scientists have long struggled to understand why women with heart disease risk factors are more likely to develop breast cancer. Now research suggests that high cholesterol may play an important role.
Estrogen drives the majority of breast cancers in women. The hormone binds to proteins known as receptors inside the tumor, helping it grow. So when Philip Shaul, a pediatrician and biologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and his colleagues learned that a common breakdown product of cholesterol also activates estrogen receptors, they thought they might be on to something…
The findings could have important treatment implications. They bolster the idea, backed already by one study, that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may slow the progression of some breast cancers. And because between 30 and 65 percent of women with estrogen-fueled breast cancers do not respond to drugs that thwart estrogen production, the studies suggest that in some women “there's simply an entirely different driver of the cancer,” Shaul says.
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Harms Outweigh Benefits for Women Aged 70 and Over in UK's National Breast Cancer Screening Programs

(Science Daily) Extending national breast cancer screening programs to women over the age of 70 does not result in a decrease in the numbers of cancers detected at advanced stages, according to new research from The Netherlands.
Instead, researchers told the European Breast Cancer Conference that their findings suggest that extending screening programs to older women results in a large proportion of women being over-treated, and at risk from the harmful effects of such treatment, because these women were more likely to die from other causes than from any tumors detected in the early stages of growth.
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New Method Can Diagnose Feared Pancreatic Cancer

(Science Daily) Pancreatic cancer is often detected at a late stage, which results in poor prognosis and limited treatment options.
Researchers at The University od Gothenburg, Sweden, have now developed a method which identifies the cancer's visible precursors with 97% certainty. The method, which is expected to aid in the early discovery of the cancer as well as minimize the risk of unnecessary surgery, may be introduced in patient care within five years…
"This is an exceptionally good result for a diagnostic test, and we are very hopeful that the method will enable more instances of early discovery of pancreatic cancer, at a stage when the cancer can be treated or prevented. This approach may also minimize the risk of unnecessary operations on non-malignant cysts," said Karolina Jabbar.
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New and Improved Laser and Light Treatments Take Aim at Cellulite, Fat, Tattoos, Wrinkles and Sagging Skin

(Science Daily) As more people look for ways to turn back the clock or improve their appearance, dermatologists are pioneering many of the newest aesthetic laser technologies -- from tattoo removal to erasing fine lines and wrinkles to reducing fat or cellulite. Before considering any cosmetic procedure, dermatologists recommend that consumers do their homework to better understand the best technologies available for their specific needs.
Treatments for Cellulite, Excess Fat Now Produce Long-Lasting Results…
1440 Nanometer Laser…
Cryolipolysis…
Ultrasound…
Hard-To-Treat Tattoo Colors Are No Match for Newest Laser…
Picosecond Laser…
Saving Face With Skin Tightening Skin Resurfacing…
Ultrasound and Radiofrequency for Skin Tightening…
Fractionated CO2 Laser for Wrinkles, Acne Scars.
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Pharmacies could soon sell pills to reset body clock, offer jet-lag relief

(UPI) Researchers at the University of Manchester have located a key to the body's circadian clock.
In testing lab mice, scientists were able to isolate an enzyme that controls the body’s clock. The enzyme enabled researchers to manipulate mice's circadian clock, in effect resetting it.
Dr. David Bechtold, who headed up the research effort, told the Daily Mail that pharmaceutical companies could use the research discovery to produce an over-the-counter jet-lag pill in the next five or ten years.
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NRA 'Blackmail' Must Stop, Top Journal Says

(NBC News) The National Rifle Association should not be allowed to hold up the nomination of a new surgeon general, editors of one of the world’s top medical journals said Wednesday in an unusually strongly worded commentary…
The NRA opposes [Dr. Vivek] Murthy, who is on the staff of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, because he’s spoken out for mandatory gun safety training and an assault weapons ban -– changes that many Americans, include some gun-rights supporters -– also approve of. Murthy has said his focus as surgeon general would be on obesity, not guns.
“Still, 10 Senate Democrats are apparently prepared to vote against Murthy's confirmation because of his personal views on firearms — a demonstration of just how much political power our legislators have ceded to the NRA,” the three editors wrote.
“The critical question is this: Should a special-interest organization like the NRA have veto power over the appointment of the nation's top doctor? The very idea is unacceptable,” they added.
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The Diminishing Returns of Modern Medicine

(Sandeep Jauhar, M.D., Well, New York Times) For several decades, doctors have taken it as an article of faith that more rapid treatment of an acute heart attack improves patient survival. The treatment of choice today is angioplasty, where tiny balloons and wire-mesh cylinders called stents are used to open up blockages in the arteries that feed the heart. A “door to balloon,” or D2B, time – the period from a patient’s arrival in the hospital to inflation of the coronary balloon – of less than 90 minutes has become a quality metric for American hospitals. “Time is muscle” is the operative mantra, and the shorter the delay, the better.
However, an article … is forcing a rethinking of this faith. In the study, which examined nearly 100,000 patients treated at 515 American hospitals over four years, shorter D2B times did not improve in-hospital survival. The median D2B time dropped to 67 minutes, from 83, in the period studied, but short-term death rates did not change…
There are other examples of such diminishing returns. In my field, heart failure, medications such as beta blockers and ACE inhibitors have profoundly improved survival since their advent in the mid-1980s. Yet recent studies of newer agents – endothelin blockers, vasopressin antagonists – have shown little benefit. Today, patients’ cardiac risk factors, such as hypertension or high cholesterol, are better controlled. It is getting harder to improve on existing successes…
Clinical research in its current form, focusing on “me too” drugs or add-on therapies or optimizing existing procedures, is increasingly producing only marginal advances… Should we continue to invest in exorbitant treatments that provide only modest gains when one dollar out of every six in this country is already spent on health care?
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Affordable Care Act News

(Philadelphia Inquirer) Nearly six months after the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov, with the website running smoothly and more than five million people signed up as open enrollment heads to a close, a new glitch has come to light: Incorrect poverty-level guidelines are automatically telling what could be tens of thousands of eligible people they do not qualify for subsidized insurance. The error in the federal marketplace primarily affects households with incomes just above the poverty line in states like Pennsylvania that have not expanded Medicaid. The mistake raises the price of their insurance by thousands of dollars, making insurance so unaffordable many may just give up and go without.
(Modern Healthcare) The Obama administration has made the individual mandate its line in the sand for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Despite delaying or tweaking numerous provisions—most notably the requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees provide coverage. ... The financial penalty isn't particularly onerous in the first year. ... But the individual mandate is likely to prove a paper tiger in 2014 for two other reasons: the availability of hardship exemptions and lax enforcement.
(Reuters) The Obama administration will soon issue new Obamacare guidelines allowing people to enroll in health coverage after a March 31 deadline, but only under certain circumstances, according to sources close to the administration. The sources said the new federal guidelines for consumers in the 36 states served by the federal health insurance marketplace and its website, HealthCare.gov, would allow people to enroll after March 31 if they had tried earlier and were prevented by system problems including technical glitches.
(Shots, NPR) [Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, said forcing people to move from plans with lower premiums and fewer benefits to higher premiums and higher benefits was "a bridge too far for some individuals" and resulted in the decision by the Obama administration to allow people to keep their old plans for longer than the insurance industry would like… As one possible alternative, Ignagni said she would create a "lower tier" of coverage. "So that people could gradually get into the program; so they could be part of the risk pool," she said. "So we don't hold the healthier people outside; so the process could be working the way it was designed."
(AP) Some businesses are dealing with administrative hassles or rising costs, while others worry about the law's requirement that mid-sized and big companies offer coverage or face penalties. But the law hasn't meant big changes for every company. And some small businesses now can offer employees a benefit they wouldn't be able to afford without the law.
(ThinkProgress) WellPoint has gained more than a million new customers, largely thanks to the health reform law.
Community: And yet, see below. We have got to rein in these bloodsuckers.
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Eat Less, Enjoy Food More With This Mindful Tip

(Susan Albers, Psy.D., Psychology Today) A recent article … gives us one secret to making food taste better.  It isn’t a new spice or ingredient (I always add a dash of salt in chocolate chip cookies because it naturally enhances the flavor).  It’s a behavioral shift: not multitasking while you eat.  Doing this is not as easy as it sounds.  It's hard to put on the emotional brakes, slow down and do one thing at a time.  The results of this study suggest why it [may be] worth trying. 
In this study, [researchers] gave participants a task.  They were asked to either remember a 7 digit number or 1 digit.  They did this while tasting either a salty, sweet, or sour substance and then rating the intensity of the flavor.  Participants who had to remember more numbers while eating (a more difficult task or “cognitive load”) rated the flavors as less intense.  They also ate more sweet and salty foods…
The take away message:  When you eat, just eat. 
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How to Be a Mindful Eater

(Susan Albers, Psy.D., Psychology Today) How can you spot a mindful eater when you see one? They do several unique things when they eat. These behaviors seem simple but often take practice. If you want to brush up on your mindful eating skills, start with these!
1)       Mindful eaters are picky eaters… Mindful eaters really taste food and if they don’t like it, they don’t eat it, just like picky eaters…
2)       Mindful don’t eat until they are “full.” Full is an overused term. Mindful eaters tend to eat until they are no longer hungry or satisfied…
3)       Mindful eaters pace themselves
4)       Mindful eaters are forgiving and flexible. Yes, mindful eaters overeat on occassion! What they don’t do is obsess and beat themselves up as much…
5)       Mindful eaters tend to gauge their hunger first before taking a bite
6)       Mindful eaters break out of old habits
To learn more success strategies, read about it in EatQ!
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6 Surefire Strategies for Keeping the Weight Off for Good

(SouthBeachDiet.com) You've finally reached your weight loss goal, and you're feeling (and looking) great. But a persistent little worry — what if I gain back what I lost? — is keeping you from really enjoying your well-earned happiness. To prevent backsliding and to help you stay fit and healthy over the long haul, resolve to follow these simple steps to maintain your success.
Eat breakfast…
Continue to build movement into your day…
Take care in restaurants…
Keep an ongoing food journal…
Remind yourself of where you started…
Continue to weigh yourself weekly.
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Tom Arnold on Losing 100 Pounds

(Tom Arnold, TODAY) [A]t my yearly physical last week … I realized I'd reached my goal of losing 100 pounds.
My goal in life has always been to live with as little humiliation as humanly possible. But being 100 pounds overweight is a perpetual humiliation extravaganza.
Trying on clothes that don't fit anymore or never did. The sweating. The blotchy skin. The lagging sexuality. The awareness that you look unhealthy because you are unhealthy. The overcompensating for your low self-esteem and unusual eating habits.
You don't look at yourself and you pray other people don't, either…
Because my blood pressure is now 120/80, instead of 180/120, the doctor took me off my heavy meds. I’d also had sleep apnea, which required me to sleep with the world’s least sexy mask on my face every night. Now I don’t need that CPAP machine anymore. My snoring is no longer ridiculous. I wouldn't allow myself to sleep on airplanes because of the humiliation of waking myself up with crazy pig snorts, my unique brand of snoring.
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More Weight Loss Tips

(Science Daily) Human nutritionist says to look past the social media headline when choosing a diet, because you could be missing important information. "Social media is a great way to get information, but people need a filter and to be educated on what some of the problems may be when looking at health-related information and trying to make judgments or decisions about what might be best for them," the lead author states.
(ABC News) Constant hunger pangs aren't the only tip-off that your weight-loss plan has crossed over into potentially dangerous territory. If you've recently started a diet, check out these signs that you could be harming your health or setting yourself up for a weight-loss fail. Your Energy Level is Circling the Drain… You Think About What You’re Eating 24/7… You've Cut Out an Entire Food Group… You Can't Sleep… You've Overhauled Your Social Schedule… Your Moods Are Swinging All Over the Place.
(Reuters Health)  In a new study suggesting laziness could be tapped as a tool for healthier eating, people reached for low-calorie apple slices more often than buttery popcorn when the apples were within easier reach. "There are the little things that we can do to just make our diets healthier, and one of them is the simple idea to just put the healthy foods closer to you and you'll find you can use your laziness to your advantage," Gregory Privitera told Reuters Health.
(Reuters Health) Playing a game of Tetris can reduce the strength of food and nicotine cravings, according to a new study… Researchers think this works because concentrating on the various Tetris shapes distracts the brain from picturing food, or whatever else a person wants.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) When stressed out or anxious, some people turn to food as a way to comfort themselves. However, what may be soothing at the time can make you feel worse - and weigh more - in the end. If you tend to turn to food as a way to cope with a stressful situation, consider the following seven tips: Don't drink caffeine or alcohol (and don't smoke) when stressed… Drink plenty of water throughout the day… Keep your blood sugar levels stable by eating several small, nutritious meals rather than three large ones.
(David Zinczenko, ABC News) Commit these five belly-busting salad sins, and you'll be left with no choice but to hit the treadmill. You Load It With Dried Fruit… You Drown It in Dressing… You Don't Go Easy on the Cheesey… You Get Crunchy With Croutons… You Fry Your Protein.
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More Information and Recent Research on Obesity and Weight Loss

(Reuters) - If the news last month that the prevalence of obesity among American preschoolers had plunged 43 percent in a decade sounded too good to be true, that's because it probably was, researchers say… [A]s obesity specialists take a closer look at the data, some are questioning the 43 percent claim, suggesting that it may be a statistical fluke and pointing out that similar studies find no such decrease in obesity among preschoolers. In fact, based on the researchers' own data, the obesity rate may have even risen rather than declined.
(LiveScience) Weight gain could be the result of snowball effect, new research shows, with a stint of inactivity leading to a few extra pounds, which then makes it harder to engage in physically activity. This produces a vicious cycle, two studies on inactivity … show.
(Science Daily) Individuals who are genetically predisposed to obesity may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of eating fried foods, concludes a study. The results of a new study show that eating fried food more than four times a week had twice as big an effect on body mass index (BMI) for those with the highest genetic risk scores compared with lower scores. In other words, genetic makeup can inflate the effects of bad diet.
(Matthew J. Edlund, M.D., Psychology Today) What is known is that healthier populations have better weight control. That’s the real direction of the equation: get populations healthy and weight control improves. Dieting and dieting and dieting doesn’t seem to have done much for the physical health of most people.
(Alexis Conason, Psy.D., Psychology Today) [A] study concludes that for individuals who perceive themselves as overweight, media messages that stigmatize obesity have the effects of increasing calorie consumption and feeling more out of control with eating.
(Science Daily) Drinking a lot of water is often advised to those who are trying to lose weight. But a nutrition expert says, while it is important, it’s not the magic bullet to weight loss. If losing weight is the goal, the researchers suggests trying long-running weight management programs based on real research.
More . . .

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Stir-Fried Shrimp with Spicy Orange Sauce
Neutral-tasting canola oil allows the flavors of orange juice, honey, ginger, and chiles in the sauce to shine. It can also withstand the heat of stir-frying in this tasty take on sweet-and-sour shrimp. Serve over rice or udon noodles.
EatingWell:
Seared Chicken with Lemon-Herb Cream Sauce
In this healthy chicken recipe, chicken breasts are quickly pan-seared and then topped with a lemon-herb cream sauce. The healthy cream sauce recipe uses yogurt and actually contains no cream at all. The cream sauce also pairs well with seasoned pan-seared cod or salmon. Serve the chicken and sauce with steamed broccoli or green beans for a healthy dinner.
SouthBeachDiet.com:
Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Sprinkle
Asparagus, the quintessential spring vegetable, stars in a rich-tasting soup that's easily prepped in just 10 minutes. A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese provides a tangy finish for this soup, which is delicious for lunch with half a pork tenderloin sandwich on whole-wheat toast (Phase 2) or Confetti Crab Salad (Phase 1); see slide 4.
The Supermarket Guru:
Steal This Recipe® Peeky Toe Crab & Fried Green Tomato with Mascarpone Froth
'Stolen with permission' from Scott Gottlich, Executive Chef and owner of Bijoux, this recipe is simple enough to make at home, yet luxurious enough to impress any guest with your culinary prowess.
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The App Review: MealBoard - Meal and Grocery Planner

(The Supermarket Guru) What it says it does: Do you wish meal and grocery planning could be made easier? MealBoard makes it quick and easy, combining recipe management, meal planning, groceries and pantry management into a single app. It is fully customizable. You can manage your recipes, ingredients, food categories, meal types, stores, store aisles, grocery items and many more with its clean, uncluttered interface. Meal and grocery planning will never be easier.
What it actually does: Input your favorite recipes, or import recipes from top recipe websites, to create meal plans organized by day and meal type. Generate your grocery list based on the meal plan you created and scale grocery quantities by specifying the number of servings you need.
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Can rebates spur people to buy healthier food?

(Philadelphia Business Journal) Families can be enticed with rebates to buy healthier foods, a study found, but if those financial incentives are taken away most will go back to their old food-buying habits. 
Einstein Healthcare Network’s Center for Urban Health Policy and Research, working with The Fresh Grocer in Philadelphia, conducted a study to determine the effect of financial incentives on encouraging healthier food purchases of lower income families. 
Selected families received a 50 percent rebate on the dollar amount they spent on fruits and vegetables…
The study found that families enrolled in the study bought, on average, 10 more servings of fruit and vegetables (fresh or frozen) per week than families who had not yet started the study. 
Over time the rebate amount was reduced to 25 percent and then eliminated. Researchers found that when the rebate was lowered, produce purchases reverted back to almost baseline levels. 
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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