Author: donna

Are Your Habits Putting You at Risk for Dementia?

Posted on Jul 29, 2015 by No Comments

While some studies show that dementia is more prevalent in some blood types, there is also research that suggests how we live may also play a factor.  That means we are all vulnerable.

According to Donna B. Fedus, M.A., gerontologist and founder of Borrow My Glasses: Aging and Caregiving from a New Perspective there are things we can do to help reduce our risk of developing dementia.

Exercise

We know that living life as a couch potato or someone who sits at a desk all day can put us at risk for heart disease, but it turns out that not exercising is also bad for our brain.

According to Fedus, “Exercising regularly does reduce risk for multiple diseases of old age, including dementia.” And when it comes to our brain, exercise can actually improve cognition and even slow the decline for those who are already struggling with dementia.”

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating the right foods can help boost your chances for preventing dementia. Be sure to include foods rich in the B vitamins.

If you eat a varied, balanced diet this should not be too difficult because B vitamins are widely available throughout all food groups and include: eggs, fortified grains, meat and legumes.

Nzinga Harrison, M.D. also points to obesity as another risk factor saying, “The buildup of fats and other substances in the walls of your blood vessels can reduce blood flow to the brain, cause multiple mini-strokes, and lead to vascular dementia.”

Moderate Alcohol Use

Heavy alcohol use is another risk factor for dementia.

The thing that may surprise many people is that for women, drinking three or more drinks in a single day (or more than seven in a week) is considered heavy drinking. For men that number is five or more in a day and more than 15 in a week.

Regular Sunshine

Vitamin D deficiency is another factor that increases your chances of developing dementia. Get outside and boost your vitamin D levels just by spending 10 – 15 minutes outdoors several times a week without sunscreen.

Along with these proactive lifestyle habits, be sure to manage health conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol which can contribute to dementia.

If you look at all these lifestyle suggestions it really goes back to eating a healthy balanced diet and getting regular exercise. The key is to take steps now.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Jennifer Lopez’s Version of the Little Black Dress

Posted on Jul 29, 2015 by No Comments

Jennifer Lopez turned 46 this past week, and she showed up for her party in the Hamptons looking as hot as ever.

She was accompanied by her on-again-off-again-on-again boyfriend, Casper Smart, as she sported a new shorter hairdo that adds to her youthful appearance. But people weren’t paying much attention to her hair; it was her dress that had everyone talking again.

J. Lo is famous for wearing sheer dresses and this little black dress was another to add to her collection. This transparent black number was designed by a little-known L.A.-based designer by the name of Bao Tranchi who has also been worn by Demi Lavato, Serena Gomez, Rita Ora, and Sereyah McNeil in Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood video.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart.

This dress incorporated cutouts, sheer fabric, and strategically placed panels that let her flaunt her hard body and left very little to the imagination. I mean you can see that the hours she puts in with her personal trainer are really paying off, but I wonder how many hours that is!

Let’s face it, not every 46-year-old can pull off a look like this, even if they have a personal trainer. She looks like she’s 20! Even her face. But that’s leads to a different sort of speculation.

So this hot birthday dress that everyone is still talking about was extremely low-cut and pretty much a sheer body stocking with strategically placed panels. But is it really the dress that’s so hot?

I’m telling you right now, that if I stopped to put that dress on and walked anywhere in public that people would not be so wowed. I applaud her hard work.

How did she celebrate the big 46? According to an Us Weekly source, “She was dancing all night, and she looked amazing.” And when J. Lo became a little overwhelmed by guests jockeying for a snapshot, Smart was said to step in and kindly ask her fans to back off so she could enjoy her fiesta.

Happy 46th J. Lo!

Photo credits: The Incredible World

Sisters at Braves Game Let Man Know His Wife Sexting Another Man

Posted on Jul 28, 2015 by No Comments

Did you hear about the two sisters at an Atlanta Braves game that noticed the woman in front of them was sexting? The messages were under the name “Nancy” on the woman’s cell phone, but as the texts flew back and forth it was clear she was talking to a man by the name of Mark Allen.

What also caught the sisters’ attention is that the woman was sitting beside her husband and even cuddling with him at time.

The sisters, Delana and Brynn Hinson were sitting right behind the woman and leaned over the her shoulder and took pictures of her texts and posted them on Twitter, Brynn writing: “These hoes ain’t loyal so we expose em.”

Delana also decided to write a note to the husband. She wrote with a black sharpie on her stat sheet that said, “Your wife is cheating on you. Look at the messages under Nancy! It’s really a man named Mark Allen. There are pictures on my phone.”

They also included a phone number he could use to reach them if he wanted to see the photos if the texts were deleted. Delana ended her message with an apology saying, “Sorry, just thought you should know!”

So what do you think of this? I’ve been in the position a few times when I’ve learned a spouse of a friend is cheating and was in the position to let them know. That was difficult. But in this case, these people don’t know each other.

And what about someone leaning over your shoulder to read your texts? I feel like when someone is trying to read my emails, or texts, uninvited, they are being nosy. In my opinion, you should not read another person’s screen unless they invite you to do so.

Turns out in this case that the husband did contact the sisters asking for the pictures. I’m not sure how it all turned out.

I’m certainly not in favor of infidelity in any way shape or form, but I’m not for people sticking their nose in where it doesn’t belong, either. Which do you think this is?

Photo credits: mith mitr

Collagen Beer: Is It the Elixir of Youth?

Posted on Jul 27, 2015 by No Comments

Collagen is a protein found in the inner layer of our skin. It makes up the connective tissue in the dermis and it is the thing that keeps our skin looking young. As we age, it breaks down. As a result, wrinkles and sagging starts to develop.

None of us wants wrinkles and the beauty industry has capitalized on that with all kinds of lotions and cosmetics that use collagen as an ingredient.

The problem is that collagen can’t be absorbed through the skin, which has led to finding ways to increase collagen production rather just apply collagen to the skin.

In Asia, the practice of consuming collagen has been going on for years, and currently drinking collagen has become big. Companies like Shiseido and Kinbi sell collagen supplements in little bottles, much like the 5-Hour energy doses sold here in the U.S.

Last month, a company by the name of Suntory launched a collagen beer marketed with women in mind. It’s called Precious. Even for women that seems a strange name for beer in my opinion, but that aside, it’s five percent alcohol and contains 2 grams of collagen per can.

Their marketing tag line? “Guys can tell if a girl is taking collagen or not.” That tag line would never work here, but I won’t get into that. Instead, let’s look at whether consuming collagen provides any benefits to how we look.

The trend for collagen consumption has spread to Europe and “wrinkle-free meals” can be found at some restaurants in the U.S, but Japan is the leader in serving up collagen laden dishes.

It’s a naturally occurring ingredient in some dishes like chicken and pigs feet, but since it is a tasteless additive, it can easily be added to all kinds of dishes. The Japanese company, Eiwa, even makes marshmallows packed with 3,000 milligrams of collagen in each one.

So does ingesting collagen work to fight aging any better than smearing it on our skin? According to the British Skin Foundation, eating collagen doesn’t benefit the skin in any way.

Looks like drinking Precious beer won’t do much more than give someone a buzz, but I’m guessing that won’t stop the collagen consuming trend. Sometimes if we believe a myth, we think we can see results.

Photo credits: Gasp

Grass-Fed Fat Is Good for You

Posted on Jul 27, 2015 by No Comments

Expert advice on what is good for us and what’s not continues to evolve. I think we are still recovering from all the low-fat misinformation we were fed for a couple of decades.

With low carb diets, the Paleo diet and others, we are re-learning that fat is good for us. However, not all fats are the best for us.

I’ve recently learned that grass-fed animal fat is better for us that grain fed. This makes logical sense to be because the grass would be low carb while the grain would not.

Anyway, grass-fed animal fat includes bone barrow, tallow, and lard, but doesn’t include the fat of chickens or other poultry. According to a recent study, what makes them better is that they are high in nutrients, essential fatty acids, protein, minerals, antioxidants, and fat-soluble nutrients.

As we’ve heard over and over, we are what we eat. And the same goes for cows. Cows that feed on carotenoid-rich grass and forage assimilate substantial amounts of these compounds into their tissues.

Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are forerunners to vitamin A and are found as pigments in plants, so the carotenoids give the fat from grass-fed beef a more yellow hue than that found in the fat from grain-fed beef. Consider that a good indicator.

Grass-fed beef has also been shown to contain significantly higher levels of vitamin E and other nutrients used in the protection of our cells from oxidation. Antioxidants like vitamin E and beta-carotene also work synergistically to protect the meat against damage as it makes the journey to our plates.

Butter from grass-fed animals is also high in fat-soluble vitamins, antioxidants, vitamins A, E, D, and K, and healthy fats, while butter made from grain-fed cows offers lower levels of these beneficial compounds.

In a way, I look at grass fed meat as taking low-carb to one more level and the benefits are clear.

Photo credits: Neeta Lind

How Toxic Is Nutmeg?

Posted on Jul 24, 2015 by No Comments

Nutmeg is a potent spice that comes from the nutmeg tree which is native to many of the Indonesian islands.

Nutmeg is actually a nut, has a spicy aroma and a versatile flavor which can be used in sweet and savory dishes. For instance, I use it in my bread pudding recipe, when I make white sauce, and one of our family favorites, chicken tetrazzini.

With that said, I must also admit that it is not my favorite flavor if it is overused. It can easily overpower the overall piquancy of a dish. In fact, I sometimes leave it out of cookie recipes and just go with cinnamon instead.

Recently I read an article that said nutmeg was ‘toxic.’ Of course that claim piqued my curiosity, and led me to one study that mentions “numerous citations in medical literature” that report the common household spice’s abuse “as a psychoactive agent, primarily for its purported hallucinogenic effects.”

The research suggests that these effects are the result of the compound myristicin.

For this study, researchers reviewed the California Poison Control System database from 1997-2008 and tracked all the cases of single-substance human exposure to nutmeg. The results clearly show people have been known to abuse nutmeg.

For that time period a total of 119 people had experienced nutmeg exposure, with 86 of those people going after the experience on purpose. The rest had unintentionally consumbed too much.

When comparing the two groups, a higher number of the people from the group that had abused the spice on purpose experienced “tachycardia and agitation.”

The study concluded that “nutmeg exposure” is uncommon, but those who do experience it may suffer clinical effects that could require medical intervention. However, “life-threatening toxicity and death did not occur in this series.”

Don’t let this information stop you from using nutmeg though, because according to the study, most of the people responsible for abusing nutmeg were between the ages of 13 and 20. Need I say anymore?

Photo credits: wikimedia

Is the Word ‘Trophy’ Offensive to Women?

Posted on Jul 24, 2015 by No Comments

Have you seen all the controversy over a T-shirt being sold at Target? There’s all kinds of activity on the store’s website with some of the customers claiming the shirt which bears the word ‘Trophy’ is offensive.

What do you think?

I’m not a trophy wife, but if someone wants to wear it and claim that title that’s up to them. I’m afraid we are growing into a culture that could lead to us wearing uniforms if we keep censoring what words or pictures can be depicted on our shirts.

The Target shirts are basic black shirts with the word ‘trophy’ written in white letters across the front. While some women act like the retailer is treating women and girls as objects, there are others of us out here who understand that if that’s the case no one will buy the shirt.

It might also be seen as somewhat of a joke by others who would wear it in fun. Perhaps that’s part of the problem. Are we losing our sense of humor along with our sense of freedom to buy and wear what we like?

The shirt has been on sale since June, but it wasn’t until it became a topic on Social Media that it has become an issue. Now people are using words like “sexist.”

Plenty of women have voiced their dissatisfaction, but turning it into a political issue is unnecessary. Just don’t buy the shirt. When things don’t sell, they go away. They are marketing the shirt toward women, so if the majority of women don’t like it, it will not sell.

Target issued a statement that says the shirt is part of a collection for brides and went on to say, “It is never our intention to offend anyone, and we always appreciate receiving feedback from our guests. The shirt is part of a collection of engagement and wedding shirts that are available in our women’s and plus size departments. The collection also included shirts that say ‘Team Bride,’ ‘Mrs.,’ and ‘Bride.’ These shirts are intended as a fun wink and we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our guests.”

So now we have the war going on. Why? Could it be a war between those with a sense of humor and those without?

While that could be, those who take life so seriously now feel it is their duty to come against the trophy shirt. Now there’s even a petition started on Change.org demanding that Target stop selling the $12.99 shirt. It has already received more than 700 signatures.

Is it me, or does it seem like the world has gone crazy. No I wouldn’t buy the shirt, but I can only think that if all this energy was used in doing something really useful instead of wrangling over words some find offensive and some don’t, that we could actually accomplish something that matters.

Photo credits: Got the News

One Direction Singer Has Baby on the Way Asks Cowell for Advice

Posted on Jul 23, 2015 by No Comments

One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson (23) has found himself at a difficult crossroad in life. He is in that place where he’s learned he’s expecting his first child with his friend Briana Jungwirth. In his case, he decided to turn to mentor Simon Cowell (55) his mentor and boss, who himself has a one year-old son with girlfriend Lauren Silverman.

Cowell and Tomlinson have known each other since the young singer placed third on the UK’s X Factor with his One Direction bandmates, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horann, and Zayn Malik (who has since left the band).

That was 2010, and since then the band has gone on to churn out plenty of hits and enjoyed ongoing success, but not without drama.

In fact, the band is still reeling somewhat from Zayn Malik (22) leaving, and now Tomlinson drops the baby bombshell.

So what advice did Simon give regarding the baby? And what does all this mean for the future of the band?

According to the Toronto Sun, Cowell told the father-to-be, “You man up. You’re fortunate because you’re in a position to be able to look after the baby and not worry too much about that.”

He went on to tell Tomlinson that this wasn’t a bad thing and told him, “this is your business, but I’m here for you.”

Us Weekly has said Tomlinson started spending time with Jungwirth after breaking up from his longtime girlfriend Eleanor Calder back in March, however the two are not in a romantic relationship

According to another Us Weekly source, they plan to raise their child together. And while the baby is unexpected, Tomlinson admits he’s excited about it now.

He and Briana have become good friends, and he plans to be there for the baby.

For now, Cowell admits that the boy band might be ready to “take some time off.” I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out.

Photo credits: wochit Entertainment

Coconut Water Keeps You Hydrated and More

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 by No Comments

Before I moved to Florida, I’d never seen a palm tree and the only coconut I’d eaten were the big, brown, hairy-looking fruits in the produce section of the grocery store.

When I saw green coconuts on the trees and wondered out loud about how different they looked, someone told me the nuts were inside.

Because I liked coconut, I looked forward to trying a fresh one. When the time came, I marveled at the amount of work it took to get that nut out of its green shell. The person doing all the work used a large hammer and a chisel-like tool.

When it opened somewhat, they used brute strength to pull the fibrous outer shell open a piece at a time. And there it was, a green coconut, which I later learned is how young coconuts look.

“Ready to try some coconut water?” they asked.

At that time, I’d never heard of coconut water, but I liked coconut and I was game. My friend hacked at the green outer part of the coconut revealing a soft white interior. He lopped a hole at the top and handed it to me to drink from the opening.

To my surprise it was clear. The taste was slightly sweet and had a hint of a nutty flavor. It really was more like water than I expected.

At the time, I had no idea that the rare drink in my hands was rich in electrolytes, low in calories or that it offered more potassium than a sports drink.

It wasn’t until I moved to Georgia that I learned about coconut water’s health benefits. It can aid in weight loss, it’s good for our skin, helps us stay hydrated, and can even aid in lowering blood pressure.

Of course now, I have to buy it at the store or travel 50 miles to the farmer’s market that offers young coconuts, which are expensive. Since I don’t like the immature fruit part of the young coconut, for me the convenience of buying coconut water at the store is the best option.

Either way, it’s a treat worth having on hand in the summer months because it really helps keep me hydrated and tastes way better than any sports drink.

Photo credits: wikipedia