Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

Some of the best healing remedies to overcome inflammation also taste fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods won’t cause the nasty side effects common to most pain medications.
1. Blueberries: Blueberries are also excellent anti-inflammatory foods. They increase the amounts of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age.  When heat-shock proteins are in short supply inflammation, pain and tissue damage is the result.
2. Cayenne Pepper: Ironically, cayenne pepper turns DOWN the heat on inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compound capsaicin.
3. Celery and 4. Celery Seeds: James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and celery seeds in his research, including a substance called apigenin, which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action.  Add celery seeds to soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.
5. Cherries: While many people opt for aspirin as their first course of action when they feel pain, Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving inflammation.
6. Dark Green Veggies: Veggies like kale and spinach contain high amounts of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.  Both minerals help balance body chemistry to alleviate inflammation.

7. Fish: According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil acts directly on the immune system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines – compounds known to destroy joints and cause inflammation.
8. Flax seeds and Flax Oil: Flax seeds are high in natural oils that convert into hormone-like substances in the body to reduce inflammatory substances. Add ground flax seeds to smoothies, atop pancakes or French toast, and many other foods.  Do not heat.
9. Ginger: Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava at Odense University in Denmark found that ginger was superior to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Tylenol or Advil at alleviating inflammation.
10. Raspberries, 11. Blackberries, and 12. Strawberries: In Dr. Muraleedharan Nair’s later research she discovered that these berries have similar anti-inflammatory effects as cherries.
13. Turmeric: Research shows that the Indian spice frequently used in curries suppresses pain and inflammation through a similar mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side effects).
14. Walnuts: Like flax seeds, raw, unsalted walnuts contain plentiful amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids that decrease pain and inflammation.

source: care2.com
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How Food Affects Your Moods

Can your diet help put you in a good mood (or a bad one)?
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic – Expert Column
Can your diet really help put you in a good mood? And can what you choose to eat or drink encourage bad moods or mild depression?
While certain diets or foods may not ease depression (or put you instantly in a better mood), they may help as part of an overall treatment plan. There’s more and more research indicating that, in some ways, diet may influence mood. We don’t have the whole story yet, but there are some interesting clues.
Basically the science of food’s affect on mood is based on this: Dietary changes can bring about changes in our brain structure (chemically and physiologically), which can lead to altered behavior.
How Can You Use Food to Boost Mood?
So how should you change your diet if you want to try to improve your mood? You’ll find eight suggestions below. Try to incorporate as many as possible, because regardless of their effects on mood, most of these changes offer other health benefits as well.
1. Don’t Banish Carbs — Just Choose ‘Smart’ Ones
The connection between carbohydrates and mood is all about tryptophan, a nonessential amino acid. As more tryptophan enters the brain, more serotonin is synthesized in the brain, and mood tends to improve. Serotonin, known as a mood regulator, is made naturally in the brain from tryptophan with some help from the B vitamins. Foods thought to increase serotonin levels in the brain include fish and vitamin D.
Here’s the catch, though: While tryptophan is found in almost all protein-rich foods, other amino acids are better at passing from the bloodstream into the brain. So you can actually boost your tryptophan levels by eating more carbohydrates; they seem to help eliminate the competition for tryptophan, so more of it can enter the brain. But it’s important to make smart carbohydrate choices like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which also contribute important nutrients and fiber.
So what happens when you follow a very low carbohydrate diet? According to researchers from Arizona State University, a very low carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet was found to enhance fatigue and reduce the desire to exercise in overweight adults after just two weeks.
2. Get More Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In recent years, researchers have noted that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts) may help protect against depression. This makes sense physiologically, since omega-3s appear to affect neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Past studies have suggested there may be abnormal metabolism of omega-3s in depression, although some more recent studies have suggested there may not be a strong association between omega-3s and depression. Still, there are other health benefits to eating fish a few times a week, so it’s worth a try. Shoot for two to three servings of fish per week.
3. Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Eating breakfast regularly leads to improved mood, according to some researchers — along with better memory, more energy throughout the day, and feelings of calmness. It stands to reason that skipping breakfast would do the opposite, leading to fatigue and anxiety. And what makes up a good breakfast? Lots of fiber and nutrients, some lean protein, good fats, and whole-grain carbohydrates.
4. Keep Exercising and Lose Weight (Slowly)
After looking at data from 4,641 women ages 40-65, researchers from the Center for Health Studies in Seattle found a strong link between depression and obesity, lower physical activity levels, and a higher calorie intake. Even without obesity as a factor, depression was associated with lower amounts of moderate or vigorous physical activity. In many of these women, I would suspect that depression feeds the obesity and vice versa.
Some researchers advise that, in overweight women, slow weight loss can improve mood. Fad dieting isn’t the answer, because cutting too far back on calories and carbohydrates can lead to irritability. And if you’re following a low-fat diet, be sure to include plenty of foods rich in omega-3s (like fish, ground flaxseed, higher omega-3 eggs, walnuts, and canola oil.)
5. Move to a Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is a balanced, healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, nuts, vegetables, cereals, legumes, and fish — all of which are important sources of nutrients linked to preventing depression.
A recent Spanish study, using data from 4,211 men and 5,459 women, showed that rates of depression tended to increase in men (especially smokers) as folate intake decreased. The same occurred for women (especially among those who smoked or were physically active) but with another B-vitamin: B12. This isn’t the first study to discover an association between these two vitamins and depression.

Researchers wonder whether poor nutrient intake may lead to depression, or whether depression leads people to eat a poor diet. Folate is found in Mediterranean diet staples like legumes, nuts, many fruits, and particularly dark green vegetables. B-12 can be found in all lean and low-fat animal products, such as fish and low-fat dairy products.

6. Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D increases levels of serotonin in the brain but researchers are unsure of the individual differences that determine how much vitamin D is ideal (based on where you live, time of year, skin type, level of sun exposure). Researchers from the University of Toronto noticed that people who were suffering from depression, particularly those with seasonal affective disorder, tended to improve as their vitamin D levels in the body increased over the normal course of a year. Try to get about 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day from food if possible.
7. Select Selenium-Rich Foods
Selenium supplementation of 200 micrograms a day for seven weeks improved mild and moderate depression in 16 elderly participants, according to a small study from Texas Tech University. Previous studies have also reported an association between low selenium intakes and poorer moods.
More studies are needed, but it can’t hurt to make sure you’re eating foods that help you meet the Dietary Reference Intake for selenium (55 micrograms a day). It’s possible to ingest toxic doses of selenium, but this is unlikely if you’re getting it from foods rather than supplements.
Foods rich in selenium are foods we should be eating anyway such as:
  • Seafood (oysters, clams, sardines, crab, saltwater fish and freshwater fish)
  • Nuts and seeds (particularly Brazil nuts)
  • Lean meat (lean pork and beef, skinless chicken and turkey)
  • Whole grains (whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.)
  • Beans/legumes
  • Low-fat dairy products
8. Don’t Overdo Caffeine
In people with sensitivity, caffeine may exacerbate depression. (And if caffeine keeps you awake at night, this could certainly affect your mood the next day.) Those at risk could try limiting or eliminating caffeine for a month or so to see if it improves mood.
Published February 29, 2008.

SOURCES: Maes, M. Psychiatry Research, March 22, 1999; vol 85: pp 275-291. Appleton, K.M. Journal of Affective Disorders, Dec. 2007; vol 104: pp 217-223. Medical Journal of Australia, Nov. 6, 2000; 173 Suppl: S104-5. White A.M. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, October 2007; vol 107: pp 1792-1796. Sanchez-Villegas, A. Public Health Nutrition, 2006; vol 9: pp 1104-9. Simon, G.E. General Hospital Psychiatry, Jan-Feb 2008; vol 30: pp 32-9. Weiss, C.J. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, August 2005; vol 105: p 26.
source: medicinenet.com   WebMD


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Dental health linked to dementia risk

BY NATASJA SHERIFF, REUTERS AUGUST 21, 2012

People who keep their teeth and gums healthy with regular brushing may have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life, according to a new study.

Researchers who followed close to 5,500 elderly people over an 18-year period, found those who reported brushing their teeth less than once a day were up to 65 per cent more likely to develop dementia than those who brushed daily.

“Not only does the state of your mind predict what kind of oral health habits you practice, it may be that your oral health habits influence whether or not you get dementia,” said Annlia Paganini-Hill, who led the study at the University of California.

Inflammation stoked by gum disease-related bacteria is implicated in a host of conditions including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

And some studies have found that people with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, have more gum disease-related bacteria in their brains than a person without Alzheimer’s, said Paganini-Hill.

It’s thought that gum disease bacteria might get into the brain causing inflammation and brain damage, she told Reuters Health.

So she and her team wanted to look at whether good dental health practices over the long term would predict better cognitive function in later life.

The researchers followed 5,468 residents of a Californian retirement community from 1992 to 2010. Most people in the study were white, well-educated, and relatively affluent. When the study began, participants ranged in age from 52 to 105, with an average age of 81.

All were free of dementia at the outset, when they answered questions about their dental health habits, the condition of their teeth and whether they wore dentures.

When the researchers followed-up 18 years later, they used interviews, medical records and in some cases death certificates to determine that 1,145 of the original group had been diagnosed with dementia.

Of 78 women who said they brushed their teeth less than once a day in 1992, 21 had dementia by 2010, or about one case per 3.7 women. In comparison, among those who brushed their teeth at least once a day, closer to one in every 4.5 women developed dementia. That translates to a 65-per cent greater likelihood of dementia among those who brushed less than daily.

Among the men, the effect was less pronounced, with about one in six irregular brushers developing the disease – making them 22 per cent more likely to have dementia than those who did brush daily. Statistically, however, the effect was so small it could have been due to chance, the researchers said.

There was a significant difference seen between men who had all, or at least most, of their teeth, or who wore dentures, and those who didn’t – the latter group were almost twice as likely to develop dementia.

That effect was not seen in women, though.

Paginini-Hill could only speculate on the reasons for the different outcomes among men and women. Perhaps women wear their dentures more often than men, and they visit the dentist more frequently, she suggested.

The new findings, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, cannot prove that poor dental health can cause dementia.

Neglecting one’s teeth might be an early sign of vulnerability to dementia, for instance, or some other factor could be influencing both conditions.

Still, this report “is really the first to look at the effect of actions like brushing and flossing your teeth,” said Dr. Amber Watts, who studies the causes of dementia at the University of Kansas and was not involved in the research.

The new study does have some limitations. Paganini-Hill and her team looked at behavior and tooth count as a kind of proxy for oral health and gum disease. They didn’t carry out any dental exams so they couldn’t determine if people had gum disease or not.

And tooth loss isn’t always related to gum disease, Watts noted. Head injury and malnutrition are also important causes of tooth loss in adults, and any of those might increase risk for dementia, she said.

“I would be reluctant to draw the conclusion that brushing your teeth would definitely prevent you from getting Alzheimer’s disease,” Watts said.

Yet despite the limitations, Watts said the study is an important step toward understanding how behavior might be linked to dementia.

“It’s nice if this relationship holds true as there’s something people can do (to reduce their chances of developing dementia),” said Paganini-Hill. “First, practice good oral health habits to prevent tooth loss and oral diseases. And second, if you do lose your teeth, wear dentures.”

SOURCE: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, online August 2, 2012.



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Back-to-School Supplies Contain Toxic Chemicals, Report

According to a new consumer report, children’s back-to -school supplies have chemicals that have been linked to asthma and birth defects.


BY AMBER MOORE | AUG 27, 2012



According to a new consumer report, children’s back-to -school supplies have chemicals that have been linked to asthma and birth defects.High levels of phthalates were found in vinyl backpacks, rain boots, raincoats, lunch boxes and 3-ring binders. Popular branded school supplies including Disney, Dora and Spiderman had elevated levels of phthalates.

According to the report, 80 percent of children’s back to school supplies contained phthalates and about 75 percent contained levels of phthalates that would have been considered a violation of federal law if these supplies were treated as toys.

One product, the Amazing Spiderman Lunchbox, contained an estimated 27,900 parts per million (ppm) of the phthalate DEHP which is 27 times more phthalate than what is allowed in toys.

“Our investigation found elevated levels of toxic phthalates widespread in children’s school supplies, including Disney and Spider-Man lunchboxes and backpacks. These dangerous chemicals manufactured by Exxon Mobil have no place in our children’s school supplies,” said Mike Schade, Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) author of the new report, Hidden Hazards: Toxic Chemicals Inside Children’s Vinyl Back-to-School Supplies.

“Unfortunately, while phthalates have been banned in children’s toys, similar safeguards don’t yet exist to keep them out of lunchboxes, backpacks and other children’s school supplies. It’s time for Congress to move forward and pass the Safe Chemicals Act to protect our children from toxic exposure,” said Schade in a press release.

Phthalates are used in a variety of things like soaps, shampoos, building materials plastic toys etc. Previous research has shown that exposure to phthalates is common in infants. Phthalates are also known to disrupt the human hormonal system and reproduction system. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is used extensively because it is flexible and stable. This flexibility is achieved by the use of plasticizers like phthalates, diesters of phthalates and phthalic acids. Previous research has shown that exposure to phthalates can cause asthma.

In the present study, 20 back-to-school supplies available at various store in the New York City area were tested for the presence of phthalates. Researchers at Paradigm Environmental Services tested multiple components of the same products for the presence of 6 phthalates and heavy metals. The phthalates measured were Diethyl phthalate (DEP), Dimethyl phthalate (DMP), Di‐n‐butyl phthalate (DBP), Bis (2‐ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP) and Di‐n‐octyl phthalate (DnOP).
“This report highlights the fact that parents can’t assume that a product is safe for their kids simply because it’s on a store shelf. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need comprehensive laws that make sure chemicals are safe,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director, Clean and Healthy New York, in a press release.

The report recommends that parents must
  • -> Always buy products that do not contain vinyl
  • -> Check for universal recycling symbol. If the product has been labeled as V or PVC, then avoid the product.
  • If you are unsure if the product has vinyl then email or call the 1-800 number of the manufacturer or the retailer and ask them about the material used in the product.


source: medicaldaily


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Cartoon stickers may sway kids’ food choices

By Genevra Pittman
NEW YORK | Tue Aug 21, 2012

(Reuters Health) – For youngsters who turn up their noses at fruits and vegetables, slapping a cartoon face on a healthy snack could make those choices more appealing, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that when elementary school students were offered apples and cookies with lunch, kids were more likely to opt for an apple when it was branded with an Elmo sticker.

One researcher not involved in the new study said parents and school administrators can take a lesson from food companies: Elmo, Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob help sell snacks, healthy or unhealthy.

“There are so many foods that are of poor nutritional quality and they are being marketed to children,” said Christina Roberto, who studies food choices at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Kid-friendly characters used for marketing “aren’t popping up on the carrots and apples as much as they are on a wide range of foods that aren’t so good for kids,” Roberto told Reuters Health.

Those cartoon characters and other flashy advertising often don cookie and candy packaging, said David Just, co-director of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs in Ithaca, New York.

For the new study, Just and his colleagues did the apple and cookie experiment with 208 eight- to 11-year-olds at suburban and rural schools every day at lunch for a week. Kids were allowed to choose an apple, a cookie or both snacks along with their normal meal.

Some of those days, the snacks were offered without cartoon stickers or other branding. On other days, either the cookie or the apple was branded with a familiar kids’ character.

When the snacks weren’t specially marked, 91 percent of kids took a cookie and just under one-quarter took an apple.

Putting an Elmo sticker on the apples led 37 percent of kids to take fruit, the researchers reported this week in a letter to the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Stickers on cookies didn’t affect kids’ choice of the sweet snack – probably because the youngsters already knew they tasted good, according to Just.

Roberto said some experts want branding off of kids’ foods altogether, but others are willing to experiment with marketing strategies to encourage kids to make healthier choices.

Just advocated for the latter strategy.

“If we’re trying to promote healthier foods, we need to be as smart as the companies that are selling the less-healthy foods,” he told Reuters Health. “The message should be: fight fire with fire.”

Fire, in this case, being Elmo and other friendly faces, of course.

Using stickers on fruits and vegetables could be one cheap option to help improve students’ diets, Roberto said, as well as something parents can try at home.

“It’s not a bad idea to create those positive associations,” Roberto said, “especially if you’re struggling to get kids to eat healthy foods.”

Just added that parents can use fun names to encourage little kids especially to see fruits and vegetables as cool, such as “X-ray vision carrots” and “power peas.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/Rzn7zT Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, online August 20, 2012.   reuters.com


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33 Ways to Eat Environmentally Friendly

If you started using reusable bags exclusively starting at age 25, you could save more than 21,000 plastic bags in your lifetime. Point being: sustainable eating doesn’t have to be hard, and it also doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. A single change can make a difference

By LAURA NEWCOMER | GREATIST.COM | August 24, 2012

The sustainable food movement is sweeping the country. Farmer’s markets, organic produce, genetically modified foods, cage-free eggs — they’ve all become part of the cultural lingo. While a lot of this conversation focuses around whether organic foods are better for people’s health, let’s not forget that these trends are also good for the planet. Read on to learn about the 33 environmentally friendly eating habits that are making a difference for our bodies and our earth.

At the store:
1. Reuse it. Bring a reusable bag on your next shopping trip, and you’ve already helped out the planet. The U.S. alone uses about 100 billion new plastic bags each year, and (brace yourself) this massive production costs 12 million barrels of oil. Worldwide, only about 1% of plastic bags are recycled — which means that the rest end up in landfills, oceans or elsewhere in the environment. Why does it matter? Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, but light exposure can degrade them enough to release toxic polymer particles — most of which end up in the ocean. Approximately 1 million birds and 100,000 turtles and other sea animals die of starvation each year after ingesting plastic bags, which block their digestive tracts. And public agencies spend millions of dollars on litter clean-up each year. (In case you’re wondering, paper bags aren’t much better. Each year, 14 million trees are cut down to make paper shopping bags via a process that requires even more energy than the making of plastic bags.)
2. Strip down. Look for products with minimal packaging, like unwrapped produce or meat straight from the deli counter or butcher. Excess packaging is often made out of unsustainable materials and contributes to waste that ends up in landfills. Perhaps the worst culprit is polystyrene (a.k.a. Styrofoam), which is a suspected carcinogen and is manufactured through an energy-intensive process that creates hazardous waste and greenhouse gases.
3. Don’t buy the bottle. Millions of tons of plastic are used to produce billions of plastic water bottles each yearSave money and lessen waste by drinking tap water from a reusable water bottle. Worried about your health? Try a water filter, or take courage from the fact that a lot of bottled water is likely no better than what’s on tap.
4. Shop different. Choose to give your money to stores that demonstrate care for the planet, both in their company practices and in the food selections they provide. Look for a selection of local and organic foods as well as store practices that limit waste (think doors on the refrigerated sections so that energy isn’t wasted, minimal and/or recyclable packaging and a store-wide recycling program).
Produce:
5. Go local. Eating locally grown foods is possibly the best way to lower your carbon footprint when it comes to what you eat. Bonus: Eating locally means that food will be fresher — and therefore taste better and perhaps retain more nutrients — than food shipped across the globe.
6. Eat more of it. Eat more produce than any other food category, and you’ve already made an impact for the planet (not to mention your body!).
7. Go organic. The definition of organic can be a little confusing, but food labels can help. Certified organic foods are grown and processed using farming methods that recycle resources and promote biodiversity, without the use of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes or petroleum- or sewage-sludge-based fertilizers. (Weird. Who wouldn’t want their food grown in sewage sludge?) Though their benefits to the environment have a long-term payoff, organic foods can be pricier — if you’re on a budget, find out which foods are most worth buying organic, and limit your organic purchases to the ones that make the biggest impact.
8. Eat it raw. Chomp down on a raw carrot instead of boiling or sautéing it, and save energy that would otherwise have been used to power cooking appliances.
9. Eat in season. Seasonal nomming allows you to eat locally — and we’ve already covered how important local purchasing is for the environment. Check out what’s growing nearby right now.
10. Preserve it. Want to eat more locally, but love to eat strawberries year-round? Learn how to preserve fruits and vegetables so you can eat locally grown produce all year long (it’s bound to impress Grandma, too).
11. Grow it. You don’t need to live in the wild to grow your own fruits and veggies. Join a community garden, or, if you’re cramped for space, create a vertical garden right inside your window.
12. Get some community support. Not into the idea of growing your own? Consider joining a CSA (short for community supported agriculture), which allows you to reap the benefits of locally grown produce without getting your hands dirty.
Meat:
13. Eat less of it. Industrially farmed meat has the greatest impact of any food product on the environment. In addition to the tips outlined below, consider making meat less of a staple in your diet. Can’t give up the stuff? Try going meat-free for just one day per week (or one meal per week if you’re really attached).
14. You guessed it: buy local. We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again: buying local is a great way to cut down on the environmental impact of your food. Just imagine how much energy it would take to haul a side of beef from, say, New Zealand, in comparison to transporting it from the local butcher shop.
15. Go organic. When it comes to meat, the definition of “organic” changes a little. Obviously, chickens aren’t grown in the soil, nor are they (we hope!) conventionally grown with pesticides. Rather, organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and cannot be supplemented with antibiotics or growth hormones.
16. Be anti-antibiotics. It’s common practice these days to feed growth-producing antibiotics to animals raised for meat, but this results in health risks for the animals — and, by extension, the people who eat them.
17. Go out to pasture. Pasture-raised livestock make less of a negative environmental impact. They’re also treated more humanely than their industrially raised counterparts.
Seafood:
18. Look for the label. Figuring out how to buy sustainable seafood is tough: turns out “wild caught” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s environmentally friendly, after all, while some farmed fish are. The easiest way to sort through all the confusion is to look for the label of the Marine Stewardship Council, which guarantees that a product has successfully met requirements for sustainability.
19. Know your fish. Check out these guides to figure out which fish are least endangered and most likely to be farmed sustainably, and use them to guide your buying decisions.
20. Be a patriot. Buy Canadian caught or farmed fish. It’s as close as you can get to buying “local” when you live in a land-locked province, and it also means that the product has had the chance to be reviewed by the Marine Stewardship Council, so you have a better sense of the conditions under which the fish were caught.
21. Try something new. Instead of eating the ever-popular Alaskan salmon along with everybody else at the restaurant, expand your diet and distribute your impact by trying different varieties of fish. Check out these alternatives to some of our fishy favorites — you might even find a variety that you like more than tuna. In the process, you’ll reduce the risk of endangering key species.
Dairy:
22. Be hormone-free. (Wouldn’t that have made adolescence easier…) Just as livestock raised for consumption are often pumped full of antibiotics, dairy cows are often fed artificial hormones to up their milk production. This has big health impacts for the cows, the people who consume their milk and other dairy products, and the environment (manure lagoons sure don’t sound like a good thing to us). Industrial dairy production is also linked to massive greenhouse gas emissions. Luckily, hormone-free dairy products are readily available.
23. Surprise! Go local. As always when buying local, you’ll be reducing the distance that food must travel — and the energy it takes to do so — on its way to your plate.
24. Go organic. It’s better for the environment and for your body.
25. Cut back. The production of one pound of cheese might produce upwards of 11 lbs. of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas emitted by human activities and a big driver of climate change. As with meat, you can quickly lessen your environmental impact simply by eating less dairy. Bonus: eliminating common staples from your diet one or two days a week is a chance to experiment with fun new recipes.
At a restaurant:
26. Order from the tap. Cut down on packaging; ask for tap water instead of bottled. Likewise, save the beer bottle and order on tap.
27. Eat local. Just because you’re not at the farmer’s market doesn’t mean the market’s bounty isn’t available to you. More and more restaurants are incorporating locally sourced items into their menus.
28. Don’t be afraid to ask. There’s no shame in asking your server or a manager how your food was grown or processed (though it’s probably best not to take it to this extreme).
Eating at home:
29. Reduce waste. Use cloth napkins and real plates, bowls and utensils.
30. Turn waste into a resource. If you’ve got the inclination and a little bit of free time, give composting a try and turn food scraps into a resource that keeps on giving.
31. Revamp leftovers. Instead of dumping leftovers in the trash, turn them into new meals. It’ll reduce waste and also save on the energy it would have taken to cook a different meal the next day.
32. Double your recipes. Leftovers will last twice as long, and you’ll use less energy than you would if you cooked multiple meals.
33. Cook one local meal per week. Challenge yourself to cook one meal a week (or month) that is composed completely of local ingredients. Get some friends in on the action and revel in doing something good for your health and the health of the planet.

source: Time


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20 Instructions for Life

1.Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R’s:
–  Respect for self,
–  Respect for others and
–  Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.


11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and

think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
20. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

source: Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.